How to Book the National Museum of the Philippines for Your Private Events

national museum
PHOTO BY L: Archives, R: Pixabay

( Social media is abuzz with talks about the wedding of socialite Dominique Cojuangco, only daughter of Gretchen Barretto and Tonyboy Cojuangco, to Michael Hearn on Saturday night and it's not because of the celebrities who attended. It's a today-I-learned moment for some Filipinos who found out that you can book the state-owned National Museum of the Philippines for private events.

Four days before the event, the National Museum of the Philippines said on Facebook that the National Museum of Natural History would be temporarily closed on March 4, without citing any reason. The National Museum of Fine Arts and the National Museum of Anthropology will be open on the same day and will resume regular operations on Sunday, March 5, it said.

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It was only when social media users saw the photos and videos from the wedding that the Internet found out why, and it was met with mixed reactions online. Some argued that it was inappropriate to rent the venue on a weekend, while others raised that it is also a means to earn income, given that Filipinos can enter the National Museum for free.

National museum screenshot
How social media users reacted to the National Museum announcement.
PHOTO BY Screenshot/National Museum of the Philippines/Facebook
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It's understandable: Weekends are sacred for students and the working class, as it is the only time when they could enjoy their free time to go out and say, visit museums. But as it turns out, you can really rent and reserve the National Museum of the Philippines for private events.

How to Rent an Events Venue at the National Museum of the Philippines

National Museum of Fine Arts
PHOTO BY Shutterstock

It wasn't the first time the National Museum has hosted private events. In 2002, Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez performed the ABS-CBN-produced "One Night with Regine" on the steps of the museum. It remains to be one of the "most memorable" moments in her 35 years in showbiz. Miss Earth 2006 was also held at the National Museum grounds.

If ever you plan to hold any event at the National Museum of the Philippines, the updated guidelines published in December 2022 are as follows:

  1. Submit a written request addressed to the Head of the Agency Director-General Jeremy R. Barns 30 days before the event.
  2. State the objective/s of your request and include a project brief, which will be subject to review, assessment, and approval of the Director-General.
  3. Once approved, submit the accomplished application and guidelines agreement forms to the Museum Services Division.
  4. Wait for a client coordination meeting to be set by the Museum Services Division (MSD).
  5. Upon meeting, an event floor plan shall be submitted to the Director-General for approval.
  6. Secure a notarized memorandum of the agreement two weeks before the event, subject to review and approval by the National Museum legal office.
  7. Fees shall be paid in full to the National Museum's cash section in cash or online bank transfer a week before the event.
  • For bank transfer, payment shall be sent to the following details:
    Account Name: National Museum Income Fund
    Account Number: 0012-1184-30
    Servicing Bank: Landbank of the Philippines – Intramuros Branch
  • Issuance of Official Receipt is two (2) days upon submission of the original Deposit Slip or receipt of Transfer Confirmation Email from bank.

You may also pay using a manager's check, cashier's check, or money order payable to the National Museum Income Fun and Modified Disbursement System Check or LDDAP-ADA (for government transactions) payable after the event.

Other Reminders from the National Museum for Venue Rentals

  • Chairs, tables, sound systems, ushers, and other logistical needs must be provided by the client.
  • The National Museum reserves the right to cancel the venue rental if the client fails to pay before the scheduled event.
  • All the National Museum equipment, furniture, and fixtures that will be used for the event shall be inventoried before and after the event.
  • All outsourced personnel like security and maintenance who will be assigned to the event shall be compensated by the event organizer.
  • Food catering services are allowed in designated areas only.
  • Technical equipment such as light effects and sounds, wirings, stage layout, etc. shall be assessed by the Facilities Management and Conservation personnel for the safety and security of the museum collections and exhibitions.
  • Only the names listed on the filled-up form accomplished by the client will be allowed entry to the museum. The NMP reserves the right to refuse entry to any visitor as it deems necessary.
  • Cancellation of the request must be made three days before the schedule of the shoot and rescheduled date must be applied at least three days before the new preferred date.
  • For requests coming from the NMP regional, area, and site museums, the Regional Administration and Operations Division (RAOD) shall coordinate with the Museum Services Division for the processing and arrangement of venue rental.
  • The National Museum reserves the right to disapprove requests if it is not in line with the museum’s mandate and objectives and where they will compromise its interest.

How to Rent the National Museum of the Philippines for Photo Shoots and Video Shoots

The National Museum also allows photo and video shoots, which includes pre-nuptial and pre-debut shoots, media coverage, and interviews. Just follow these guidelines based on the Citizen's Charter of 2020:

  1. Secure forms from the Regional Area Site Museum and Satellite Offices (RASMSO) and prepare the following requirements:
    • Letter of Request/Intent
    • Application form for events
    • Filled out forms for the following:
      a. Guidelines on photo & video shoot
      b. Guidelines on pre-nuptial and pre-debut photo shoots
      c. Guidelines on the use of National Museum venues
      d. Rules for Media Coverage and
    • Interviews
  2. Submit the letter of request/intent to the RASMSO.
  3. Upon approval, pay the required amount.
  4. Proceed with the activity.
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