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“Under renovation but well worth the visit”
Review of National Museum

National Museum
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$63.84*
and up
Introduction to Philippine History Art and Cuisine Walking Tour
Ranked #8 of 140 things to do in Manila
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This grand exhibit house features the country's most historic works of culture and national heritage, including the paintings of heralded Philippine artist Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo.
Reviewed May 16, 2012

I decided to escape the May heat by visiting the national gallery hosted in the National Museum building. To be clear - this is not the Museum of the Filipino People hosted in the old Finance Building but the National Museum building that presently is essentially a museum of art/National Gallery. As pointed out by a previous reviewer, the galleries are not well signposted and you may spend some time walking around the building to find the galleries that are open - but it is a grand building to wander through. Many galleries are 'under construction' and the renovations will probably take many years but this does not stop it being worth a visit.

The main gallery showcases some masterpieces from Hidalgo and Luna - with some pieces stretching to the ceiling of the grand hall and dwarfing the visitors. I prefered the figure studies of Luna to the French landscapes of Hidalgo that were on show but the sombre tones and message of the Spolarium with dead gladiators being dragged off stole the show for me.

Other galleries told the history of Filipino art with a variety of works using different media from past and present artists. This included one room dedicated to Arellano who was the architect of a number of Manila landmarks from the 1920s and 1930s. Whereas one might be overcome by the volume of artworks on display in many museums/galleries, the number of pieces here was modest and allowed one to appreciate them and the visit all the more.

The intention of escaping into airconditioned comfort was only partly achieved - one still had to walk between galleries - but this was still a worthwhile visit and did not cost anything (I believe the intention is for it to be free until the renovations are more complete).

2  Thank Saydelah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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346 - 350 of 442 reviews

Reviewed May 15, 2012

The Old Congress Building has a grand and regal feel about it, with great pillars at the entrance and high, uniform windows creating an imposing façade. Presenting a great view from across the street at the end of Rizal Park, the Old Congress Building is one to walk past. It is next to the Manila Town Hall, another impressive building.

2  Thank Fiver75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2012

It was worth spending a couple of hours here and a nice break from the April heat. Start with the Wreck of the San Diego on the first floor, then work your way up the levels. Some displays were closed but there was enough to see. Note that Sunday is Free Day and it is not even crowded. A beautiful building. Then you can go across the street to the National Gallery of Art. Also free on Sundays!

2  Thank Helen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2012

I should say that this is a great visit, and truth is I still find it interesting. I have visited many museums. Now this one is boring. No offense. You need to visit with a really good tour guide otherwise you would rather sit it out. Also check the schedules with your tour operator. Make sure it is the first in the itinerary so that it's done.

Thank Rayme_525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2012

went there with the kids and we were all excited going from one room to another viewing all works on display. we can visualize how our ancestors lived through their works and arts.

Thank rossManila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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