Saturdays are meant for self-discoveries—a new restaurant that opened nearby, a new movie which plot interests you or new hangout spots you want to try out. This Saturday, I decided to visit the National Museum of Natural History in Manila. I have been meaning to find time to go, but seeing the long lines outside on social media stops me from going.
I met up with a budding photographer and decided that we should do a Metro Manila photowalk (This is actually a future project of ours!) The sun is out and the train station is not flocked with its usual crowd of students and workers. We alighted at United Avenue Station.
I love the feeling whenever I ride the train. There’s an “anime” feel to it. Like I am some sort of a character in my own manga series. The swift movement of it making everything a little blurry always puts me in this calming trance. The shadows that cut through the windows, touching my face, making shapes as I pass from one shadow to another.
We walked until we found a pedestrian crossing—passing by Luneta Park and other schools belonging to what we call the university belt. Arriving at the vicinity, we then find ourselves in some sort of a maze (just kidding, we just got lost walking.) We walked along the statue of Lapu-Lapu’s roundabout—meeting the facade of the museum at the end.
Video is really not my forte. I have been so used to taking photographs that I almost forgot to enhance this skill. But today’s activity, made me take the leap. For the first time in forever, I tried taking footages of our photowalk. I asked him about the do’s and dont’s and applied it on my videos… hesitantly.
It really amazes me that it took us numerous years before realizing that preserving infrastructures around the Metro is essential in protecting our heritage. Unfortunately, some were already torn down to the ground and some… well, they serve as shelters for illegal inhabitants. But I believe that rebuilding this into a museum is the start.
Luckily, the line is not long when we got inside. This must be a divine intervention because God knows how I hate long lines. I just don’t hate it, I despise it. It takes away the fun in every activity. Anyhoo, just before we enter the hall, we were reminded of a few things that are prohibited when inside the museum. Like for instance, videography is not allowed (for some sort of reasons that baffles me), and so are bringing big bags. I remember the guard telling us that it must be the size of a short bond paper which is ridiculously small. We ended up bringing all of our lenses in our side and back pockets.
Natural Museum of History’s interior is so breathtaking. It is obvious that it is influenced with neoclassical architecture, just like a few of the buildings here in Manila. The tree of life standing so proudly in the center, the dome with part-glass triangular windows, it’s pearly-white walls, all of these left me in astonishment.
We made rounds inside several exhibits. Rafflesia, the remains of a dugong and Lolong, the largest saltwater crocodile in captivity, and other prehistoric fossils are there.
I notice that there are a lot of students inside which is great. What’s not good is that they are here to take photos. Museums are meant to be perused. I wish there are tour guides for these kids to educate them. I do not condone selfies, I too, take selfies. But this is not a venue for it.
That day, the management tested the elevators, so we took the opportunity of riding it. Everything is lovelier on top. People look so small up there. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay long in the bridge as this activity was just a test.
We went down the criss-crossing planks until we reached the lobby. Some of the exhibits are still off-limits, so we just took some snaps before finally leaving. I am honestly excited for all of the exhibits to be available for public viewing. It will be just as spectacular as the others, I can already sense.
National Museum of Natural History is just one of the few things you can do around the Metro for free. We need to educate ourselves of our country’s colorful history, so we can live each day grateful, knowing that the past that defined our present can save our future—culturally-speaking. I, too, have some studying to do, more museums to visit and more places to immerse myself into. Manila is so vivacious, it is so full of life. We should be proud we live here, despite its chaos, I would not replace Manila for any city in the world.
You can watch my first ever vlog here: https://youtu.be/ndXAjeYRcK8
Enjoy watching! 🙂