National Museum of the Filipino People

Browse a collection containing thousands of years of the country’s history and anthropology, from its earliest inhabitants to Spanish colonists and more.

The National Museum of the Filipino People chronicles thousands of years of history, from the primitive technology of the Philippine’s earliest known inhabitants to the art of different cultures. The museum’s vast collections are spread out over five permanent exhibitions.

Inspect the ancient stone tools and pottery in The Origin exhibition. Look at the skull cap of Tabon Man, one of the Philippine’s oldest human relics. The fossilized remains are believed to have belonged to a person who lived around 24,000 B.C.

Turn your gaze to the treasures of the San Diego. This Spanish galleon sunk off the coast of Manila Bay in 1600. View gold coins, jewelry, ceramics and a rosary of ivory beads. The exhibit includes some of the ship’s cannons and everyday 17th-century items such as cups, bottles and large jars that used to contain food provisions. 

Look at salvaged cargoes from shipwrecks of ancient merchant vessels at Five Centuries of Maritime Trade. The artifacts are evidence of the existence of thriving trade communities in the region long before the arrival of the Spanish colonists.

Learn about early burial practices at Kaban ng Lahi. The exhibition features secondary burial jars recovered from numerous cave sites. Secondary burials were ritual ceremonies that took place after a corpse had decomposed. The bones were treated and reburied in ornamental jars that were shaped like human figures. You can make out the facial features on the carved heads on some of these jars. The centerpiece of the exhibit is the Manunggul jar that dates from 890-710 B.C.

Discover more about the cultural history of the country’s communities by viewing the large collection of pre-Hispanic items and musical instruments.  

Go into the courtyard and climb up inside the Ifugao house from Mayoyao. The one-room dwelling sits on stilts and was relocated to the courtyard from the province of Ifugao piece by piece. Inside you’ll see a range of household utensils.

The museum is located within the grounds of Rizal Park, and is easily reached by taxi. It’s open every day except Monday. The admission price also includes a visit to the National Planetarium.

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