I Keep Coming Back to Manila! (Part 1)

Because today was not such a good day (Consti 2 midterms. Don’t ask.), and I still don’t want to study for Oblicon, I shall distract myself and post about my adventures this month!

Des, Joy and I found ourselves one Sunday with nothing to do while waiting for Des’ flight back to Cebu. What else would three bored girls do on a pleasant Sunday afternoon than spend time in a museum? At the National Museum of the Philippines, no less.

Considering that I’m a history/culture buff, sad to say, I’ve never been there. I’ve always wanted to visit though, just because I’ve always wanted to see the Spoliarium. Ta-da! Wish granted!

National Museum Main BuildingΒ 

Juan Luna’s Spoliarium

Just a bit of trivia — the National Museum was designed by Daniel Burnham, the same person Burnham park in Baguio was named after. The building also used to house the Philippine Congress. In fact, the same actual room in which the Spoliarium is located was their main hall! Once you go into the lobby, its the room immediately in front of it. The Hall of Masters, Bulwagang Luna at Hidalgo, they call it. The sight of the wall sized Spoliarium will undoubtedly overwhelm you, because its just so BIG! (And a bit morbid too)

The museum houses more collections, and there are actually more buildings in the compound, which sadly, we weren’t able to fully explore. We got there at around 4ish, and they apparently close at 5. (That’s the problem with spur of the moment trips. :s) And oh, entrance is free during Sundays!

(L-R): Joy, Des and I

And then we went around Intramuros, stopping at the requisite touristy places, like the Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church. Apparently, Des, being from Cebu, has never had a field trip there, unlike Joy and I.

Fort Santiago was a special stop. Because we were the last visitors there, we had to be escorted out by the Guardia Civil looking guards. Well, at least, we got to have someone to take pictures of the three of us together. I especially like this one — overlooking the Pasig River. Looks a bit like Hong Kong, doesn’t it? And oh, the guards also serve as pseudo-tour guides! Our “private tour” was filled with trivia and random kwento about ghosts in the Fort Santiago and chismis about who has gotten married there. Definitely not your typical field trip lecture. (Because apparently, the Fort Santiago grounds can be rented as a wedding reception venue!)

We ended up in Binondo for dinner at my favorite Binondo restaurant, Wan Tsai Teahouse! πŸ™‚

For more info, click below!
National Museum of the Philippines: www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph
Open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am – 5pm
Entrance fee: Adults, Php 150. Students, Php 50. Senior Citizen, Php 120.
Entrance is free during Sundays

Photos from my Instagram account:Β http://instagram.com/leighvillegas


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