Travel Magazine

National Museum of Natural History

By Mustachio @mustachio2011
The Philippines' National Museum of Natural History opened on May 18, 2018. At the time of my visit (August 2018), only seven of the twelve galleries have opened, the other five were still works in progress.
National Museum of Natural History
There are exhibits about the Philippines' UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites; species of plants and animals that have been discovered in the country; mangroves, beaches, wetlands, and forests in the Philippines; and marine, plant, and animal life of our country.
National Museum of Natural HistoryPlants and animals discovered in the Philippines
There are replicas (such as Rafflesia, the world's largest flower, which I learned we had 13 species of! But, sadly, endangered.), miniature models (such as the lakes in the Philippines), life-size models (making you feel like you were walking through a forest or a mangrove), taxidermied animals, pressed plants, interactive zones, and activity areas.
National Museum of Natural HistoryExplore the mangrove
National Museum of Natural HistoryCheck out the flora and fauna of a mossy forest
The mangroves and forests (pine forests, mossy forests, rainforests, etc) exhibits I thought were pretty awesome. It was like walking through a mangrove/forest and observing the creatures that inhabit it. It was also interesting to learn about the animals endemic to the country. Some creatures I had only heard and seen for the first time: such as the weird looking bird called Philippine Frogmouth.
National Museum of Natural HistoryTake a closer look at these plants
National Museum of Natural HistoryTwo extinct birds in the Philippines: spot-billed pelican (left) and sarus crane (right).
National Museum of Natural HistoryMarbled water monitor, endemic to the Philippines
Of all the exhibits, my favorite would have to be about the underwater life in the Philippines. I love the sea but can only dream of scuba diving. In this exhibit, I learned about some corals that I have seen while snorkeling, poisonous corals and creatures, and which areas in the Philippines we can find whales, dolphins and sea cows.
National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of Natural HistoryCheck out this corner to know where to spot whales, dolphins, and sea cows in the Philippines.
National Museum of Natural HistoryThe titan triggerfish (center, back row) attacked me in Gilutungan!
It makes me proud that we have these museums—National Museum of Natural History, National Art Gallery, Museum of the Filipino People—in the country! And then it makes me sad to learn how we have taken our natural resources for granted. We have many animals endemic to our country, but are a threatened species (Philippine eagle, tamaraw, rufous hornbill, Visayan warty pig, etc) because of hunting and loss of habitat. In 1900, we had 70% of forest cover. It is now 2018; the chart shows just data from 1999 and the projection for 2010! I shudder to think how little is left—if any at all!
National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of Natural History
Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Ermita, Manila
Tuesday to Sunday 10AM to 5PM
Free admission
Directions: Take the LRT to United Nations Station. Walk 300 meters to the National Museum of Natural History.

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