The SPOT.ph Guide to University Museums in Metro Manila
School isn't just for students.
(SPOT.ph) Universities in Metro Manila are known for their expertise in various academic fields, state-of-the-art facilities, world-class faculty, and valuable areas of research. But within these compounds of intellectual pursuits are rooms and halls that remind us that unravelling the past is always important in discovering the future, may it be the Philippines’ oldest fossils, a school’s humble beginnings, or an inspiring historical story.
Here are some of Manila's most interesting university-based museums. Admission is often free or less than P50. That’s pretty much a steal if you ask us.
The Museum at De La Salle University - Manila
2/F Don Enrique T. Yuchengco Hall, De La Salle University-Manila, 2401 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila
Contact: 524-4611 local 368
Open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Monday to Friday)
As a university-art museum, The Museum at De La Salle University in Manila showcases a collection of Philippine modern art donated by the heirs of Wili and Doreen Gamboa-Fernandez. These include works of prominent Filipino artists such as Fernando Amorsolo, Ang Kiukok, Carlos "Botong" Francisco, Jose Joya, Cesar Legaspi, Arturo Luz, Vicente Manansala, J. Elizalde Navarro, and more. It also houses temporary exhibits in its halls.
Museum of Contemporary Art and Design
College of Saint Benilde’s School of Design and Arts, Dominga Street, Malate, Manila
Contact: 230-5100 local 3897
Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Tuesday to Saturday); 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Sunday)
The College of Saint Benilde’s School of Design and Art is one of the few art colleges in the Philippines, so it doesn't come as a surprise that their museum is more of an art gallery than a repository of artifacts. This is especially true for the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, which is housed within the unique architecture of the school. It displays solo shows and collaborations by professional artists, both local and international, to facilitate and enhance its global education platform.
Ateneo Art Gallery
2/F Old Rizal Library Special Collections Building, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Open from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Monday to Friday), 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Saturday)
The Ateneo Art Gallery was established in 1960 after Fernando Zobel gave his personal collection of works by Filipino artists to the university. Among its prized possessions are works by Vicente Manansala, Arturo Luz, Jose Tence Ruiz, and Impy Pilapil. The gallery also spearheads the Ateneo Art Awards, which is now considered one of the most prestigious award-giving bodies recognizing emerging artists in the Philippines.
UP Biology Invertebrate Museum
Room 111, West Wing of Zoology Building, Quirino Avenue, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
Contact: 981-8500 local 3730
Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday to Friday)
The Invertebrate Museum of the University of the Philippines was established in the 1930s when the Department of Zoology and Department of Botany were still separate units. The 4,000 specimens housed in the museum were properly accessioned and documentedin 2014. This repository of well-known invertebrates includes the hermatypic corals of Francisco Nemenzo Sr., regarded as the "Father of Philippine Coral Taxonomy," that date back to 1935, Neon Rossel's cirriped-type specimens, and even a bivalve mollusk collected in 1909.
Bulwagan ng Dangal
South Wing Basement, Gonzalez Hall (Main Library Complex), G. Apacible Street corner Roxas Avenue, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
Contact: 981-8500 local 2874
Open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Tuesday to Friday), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Saturday)
The Bulwagan ng Dangal was established in 2009 as the University of the Philippines' heritage museum. It houses artworks by distinguished UP alumni and professors at the College of Fine Arts, including four National Artists for the Visual Arts. It takes its name from a line in the university's anthem, “UP Naming Mahal.”
UP Geology Museum
National Institute of Geological Sciences Building, G. Velasquez corner C.P. Garcia Streets, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday to Friday)
The National Institute of Geological Sciences - UP Geology Alumni Association Geology Museum, which opened in 2007, serves as a teaching platform for earth sciences education in the Philippines. It features a comprehensive display of various types of minerals, rocks, and fossils, especially those specimens found in the country. A section is devoted to explaining how geothermal power plants work, how ore deposits are obtained, and how volcanic eruptions and earthquakes happen.
Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center
Roxas Avenue, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
Contact: 981-8500 local 4024
Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Tuesday to Saturday)
The in-house museum of the University of the Philippines prides itself on "being the only art repository in the country embracing the entire range of Philippine artistic creativity from the 1880s to the 1960s." Aside from permanent displays, specifically Jorge B. Vargas’ own prized collection, it showcases works of students from the university's College of Fine Arts and other contemporary artists. Exhibit openings in the gallery often include shows by performance artists, cultural advocates, and indigenous groups.
Adamson University Museum
G/F SV Building, Adamson University, San Marcelino Street, Ermita, Manila
Open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (Tuesday and Thursday)
Adamson University Museum opened its doors in November 2013 and completed its final wing in September 2014. It showcases the history of the university, starting from the life of its founder, Greek chemist and educator George Lucas Adamson, to the passing on of its administration to Vincentian Fathers and Brothers of the Congregation of the Mission. Aside from these, it also features rotating exhibits.
Museum of a History of Ideas
University of the Philippines - Manila, Philippine General Hospital Compound, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila
Open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Tuesday and Thursday)
The Museum of a History of Ideas, which was inaugurated in 2014, highlights the role of the University of the Philippines in the intellectual and cultural development of the country. In focus are the years between 1910 and 1929, the period of the university's establishment. It houses textbooks, photos, and dental and medical instruments that are mostly donations from UP alumni. The building where the museum stands was constructed in 1931.
Museo ni Apolinario Mabini
Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa, Manila
Open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Tuesday to Sunday)
The Mabini Shrine at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines features a reproduction of the nipa hut where Apolinario Mabini, regarded as "The Brains of the Revolution," used to live as a law student. His original portrait photographs, a replica of his recliner chair, and a long wooden bench owned by his family are also on display.
UST Museum of Arts and Sciences
3/F, Main Building, University of Santo Tomas, España Boulevard, Manila
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Open from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Monday) and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Tuesday to Friday)
As the oldest university in the Philippines, it doesn't come as a surprise that University of Santo Tomas's museum has a collection that dates back to 1682. It presents "Gabinete de Fisica," a room full of animal, mineral, and vegetable specimens used as study aids by students of the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Faculty Medicine and Surgery. The museum also takes pride in owning the country's largest carved ivory image of the Crucified Christ. Aside from archiving these important collections, it also houses temporary exhibits and holds symposia and lectures.