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National Museum of the Philippines Cebu: A Guide to its Ex…

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What to Expect at the New National Museum of the Philippines-Cebu

If you’re looking for a fascinating cultural experience in Cebu City, look no further than the National Museum of the Philippines Cebu. This museum, located in the heart of Cebu City, showcases the rich history and natural wonders of the region, making it a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike.

National Museum of the Philippines Cebu photo via NMP
National Museum of the Philippines Cebu photo via NMP

With its stunning architecture and design, the National Museum of the Philippines Cebu is a true work of art in itself. The museum’s exhibits and collections are equally impressive, featuring everything from ancient artifacts to contemporary art pieces. Whether you’re interested in learning about the island’s pre-colonial past or exploring its vibrant modern culture, you will find something to captivate your imagination at this world-class museum.

Why should you visit the National Museum Cebu?

  • The National Museum of the Philippines Cebu is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the region’s rich history and natural wonders.
  • The museum’s stunning architecture and design are true work of art.
  • With exhibits and collections ranging from ancient artifacts to contemporary art pieces, there’s something to captivate everyone’s imagination at this world-class museum.

History of National Museum of the Philippines Cebu

The National Museum of the Philippines – Cebu is located in Cebu City, Philippines. It is part of the National Museum of the Philippines system and was inaugurated on July 28, 2023, as the 16th component museum of the National Museum.

The museum is housed in the former location of the Cebu Customs House, built in 1910. The building, also known as the “Aduana,” was designed by William Parsons, an American architect who also designed the Manila Hotel.

Aduana (Customs House) 1910 Cebu
Aduana (Customs House) 1910 Cebu

In 2019, the building was declared a National Cultural Treasure, and soon after, it was transformed into the National Museum Central Visayas – a captivating reminder of the country’s rich cultural heritage.

The National Museum of the Philippines – Cebu is the first National Museum in Cebu. It is the only museum in the country that focuses on the history and culture of the Visayas region. It features exhibits on Cebu’s pre-colonial and colonial periods, including the Sinulog festival, which is celebrated annually in the province.

The museum’s collection includes artifacts, artworks, and other cultural materials showcasing Cebu’s rich history and heritage and the Visayas region. Some of the highlights of the collection include the Cebuano pottery, which dates back to the Neolithic period, and the Santo Niño de Cebu, a religious icon considered the oldest religious artifact in the Philippines.

The facade of the building from the coast by Bayronnoel via Wikimedia cc
The facade of the building from the coast By Bayronnoel – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

Architecture and Design

Exterior Features

The National Museum of the Philippines – Cebu is located in the historic Plaza Independencia near Fort San Pedro. This component museum is housed in the “Aduana” building, designed by William Parsons and constructed in 1910. The building is a prime example of neoclassical architecture, with its symmetrical facade, pediment, and columns.

The building’s exterior is made of reinforced concrete, a new and innovative building material at the time of construction. The building’s renovation in 2004 preserved its original neoclassical style while adding modern amenities.

Interior Design

The National Museum of the Philippines – Cebu interior is just as impressive as its exterior. The museum’s galleries are arranged thematically, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Cebu and the surrounding Central Visayas region. The museum’s collection includes artifacts, artworks, and specimens illustrating the region’s history, culture, and natural environment.

One of the museum’s most striking features is its central atrium, a three-story space that allows natural light to enter the building. The atrium is surrounded by galleries on all three levels, which are connected by a grand staircase. The galleries are designed to be flexible, allowing the museum to showcase a variety of exhibits and events.

Exhibits and Collections

Discover Cebu’s captivating history and culture at the National Museum of the Philippines-Cebu (NMP-Cebu)! From permanent and temporary exhibitions that showcase the island’s rich and diverse biodiversity, geology, archaeological treasures, art, and ethnographic and maritime traditions, the museum offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. Step inside and explore the Queen City of the South’s vibrant past through its vast collection of artifacts and exhibits.

Permanent Exhibits

The National Museum of the Philippines in Cebu has five key art galleries that showcase Cebu’s natural wonders, cultural heritage, and historical significance.

Gallery 1: Kinaiyahan: Cebu’s Natural Wonders

Cebu Tamaraw
Cebu Tamaraw

This exhibition features the unique geological, botanical, and zoological heritage of Cebu, and its neighboring islands. This includes a diorama showcasing the Cebu tamaraw (as well as its bones), a stratigraphic column featuring the Lutopan Diorite, and replicas of white lauan tree and a parasitic plant called Lepeostegeres cebuencis. Also highlighted in this gallery are herbarium specimens such as Cinnamomum cebuense, photos, and an illustration of significant bird species in Cebu including the Cebu flowerpecker, and the Glory-of-the-sea shell. The Mobile Museum Boxes project which featured the natural and cultural heritage of the Visayas was also showcased in the exhibition gallery.

Gallery 2: Ang Karaang Sugbo ug ang mga Kabiling Bahandi

This exhibition features various archaeological artifacts that have been recovered in Cebu, including a gold death mask and an ewer, that were both recovered in Plaza Independencia, as well as a secondary burial jar with cover from San Remigio.

Gallery 3: Paglawig: Cultural Movement Across the Seas

Baroto from Alcoy photo via DOT
Baroto from Alcoy photo via DOT

This exhibition features artifacts that were recovered from shipwrecks, such as an astrolabe, a tool seafarers used to navigate the seas using the position of the stars, as well as a blue and white bowl, which originated from China. This exhibition also showcases Cebu’s enduring boatbuilding and fishing traditions through the commissioned boat models, an actual baroto (a non-motorized boat used for fishing) from Alcoy, fishing implements, and a fish cage model from Bantayan.

The Philippine Center New York Core Collection of 1974.

This exhibition features an assemblage of artworks meticulously selected for the Philippine Center New York to embody the Filipino national identity, in line with the dominant style of the global art scene during the 1970s. Included in this exhibition are Procession by Cesar Legaspi (who was a member of the ‘Thirteen Moderns’, a group of artists who pioneered modern art in the country), Serenade 7/25 by Manuel Rodriguez, Sr. (who is recognized as ‘The Father of Philippine Printmaking’), and Shocking Pink, Orange, Maroon by Lilian Hwang.

Gallery 5 – Ang Kamamugnaon ug Kinaadman ni Maestro Tinong

Gallery 5 focuses on the works of Martino “Tinong” Abellana, also known as the “Dean of Cebuano Painters.” Martino paved the way for Cebuano artists.

Temporary Exhibits

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the National Museum of the Philippines in Cebu also features a rotating selection of temporary exhibitions that showcase different aspects of Cebu’s history and culture. These exhibits change regularly, so visitors are encouraged to check the museum’s website or social media pages for the latest updates.

Educational Programs and Events

The National Museum of the Philippines – Cebu offers a variety of educational programs and events for visitors of all ages. These programs aim to promote the appreciation and understanding of Philippine culture and history through interactive and engaging activities.

One of the museum’s most popular programs is the guided tour, available for individuals and groups. During the tour, knowledgeable guides will lead you through the museum’s exhibits and provide insights into the history and significance of the artifacts on display.

In addition to guided tours, the museum offers workshops and lectures on various Philippine culture and history topics. These programs are designed to provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the country’s rich cultural heritage.

For younger visitors, the museum has a dedicated children’s section where kids can learn about Philippine history and culture through fun and interactive activities. The section features a variety of exhibits and hands-on activities that are designed to engage and educate children.

Throughout the year, the museum also hosts a variety of special events and exhibitions. These events showcase different aspects of Philippine culture and history and provide visitors with a unique opportunity to learn and experience something new.

Visitor Information

If you plan to visit the National Museum of the Philippines in Cebu, here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your experience.

Hours of Operation

The National Museum of the Philippines-Cebu is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. It is closed on religious holidays.

Admission Details

Admission to the National Museum of the Philippines-Cebu is free. However, donations are welcome to help support the museum’s operations and conservation efforts.

Facilities and Accessibility

The National Museum of the Philippines-Cebu is wheelchair accessible. It also has restrooms and drinking fountains for visitors.

The museum has a small gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and books related to the exhibits. However, food and drinks are not allowed inside the galleries.

National Museum Cebu Souvenir Shop
National Museum Cebu Souvenir Shop
National Museum Cebu Gift Shop
National Museum Cebu Gift Shop

To ensure the safety of the exhibits, visitors are not allowed to bring large bags, backpacks, or tripods inside the galleries. Small bags and purses are allowed but are subject to inspection. Photography is allowed but without a flash or tripod.

If you have any questions or concerns during your visit, the museum staff is available to assist you. They are knowledgeable and passionate about the exhibits and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

How to Reach

If you plan to visit the National Museum of the Philippines Cebu, there are several ways to reach the museum. Here are some transportation options you can consider:

By Car

If you are driving, you can quickly locate the museum as it is situated in the heart of Cebu City’s shipping district. You can use GPS or Google Maps to navigate to the museum. There is also a parking area near the museum where you can park your car.

By Public Transportation

If you commute, you can take a jeepney or a taxi to the museum. The museum is near the Cebu City Pier, so you can take a jeepney or cab bound for the pier. You can also take a taxi from the airport to the museum.

By Tour Bus

If you are on tour, you can ask your tour operator if they have a package that includes a visit to the National Museum of the Philippines Cebu. Some tour operators offer packages that include transportation to and from the museum.

National Museum Cebu Contact Information

If you want to visit the National Museum of the Philippines in Cebu, you can find its location and contact details below.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. It is closed on Mondays and on holidays. Admission is free for all visitors.

If you have any inquiries or concerns regarding the museum, you can send an email to nmpcebu@gmail.com or call their trunkline number at (032) 256-2284.

The National Museum of the Philippines – Cebu also has a Facebook page that you can follow for updates and announcements. You can find it at https://www.facebook.com/nmpcentralvisayas/.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the opening hours of the National Museum of the Philippines Cebu?

The National Museum of the Philippines Cebu is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 9AM to 5PM.

Is the National Museum of the Philippines Cebu open today?

We cannot answer that question as we do not know the current date. However, the National Museum of the Philippines Cebu is closed on Mondays and holidays.

What are the entrance fees for the National Museum of the Philippines Cebu?

Admission to the National Museum of the Philippines Cebu is FREE.

What can be found in National Museum Cebu?

The National Museum of the Philippines Cebu showcases five key art galleries, including Kinaiyahan: Cebu’s Natural Wonders, The Cinematheque, The Diorama Experience, The Ethnography Collection, and The Fine Arts Collection. Visitors can immerse themselves in the island’s breathtaking art, eye-opening history, and unique flora and fauna.

Please note that museum etiquette should be observed to respect other visitors and ensure the preservation of artifacts that play an important role in history.

Cebu City Travel and Tour Packages

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