National Museum Tour and Binondo Food Trip

It’s my first time to visit the National Museum, I shamefacedly told John Silva during our guided tour. I was sitting down on the floor at the time, we were almost halfway through the three-hour tour and I wanted to rest my legs. He was standing in front of me, and upon hearing my remark he looked down at me and said sternly, “And you call yourself a Filipino?”

Now that was a bit harsh, really; surely that’s not the only measure of being an upstanding or good or whatever you call it Filipino. But still, he has a point. If you’re a Filipino, you have to have a deep awareness of and affinity with what that means, and what that has meant throughout the years. A trip to the National Museum makes us acutely aware of our country’s identity and its rich past, as expressed in art and cultural artifacts. Alas, the photos here are of course poor, poor approximations of the originals. You have to go there and see everything for yourself.

I recommend that you join one of John Silva’s tours for starters, to get an introduction, and then, as I plan to do, go back for a more leisurely and introspective wandering about the place. Aside from the National Museum itself, don’t forget to go to the National Art Gallery across the street, because that’s where Juan Luna’s Spoliarium is, at the Hall of Masters. A bonus of joining a tour is that John would let you take photos (as long as you don’t use flash), something that’s not permitted at regular museum visits.

After the museum tour, we headed to Binondo and wandered around taking pictures and eating, eating, eating. Binondo is practically a real world-museum itself, and I had also enjoyed a guided tour of it last year. In going back, of course, more discoveries were in store.

It was a long and tiring Sunday, but, replete with history, art, culture, and food, we came home happy and satisfied.

For museum tour dates and other info:

The rest of the Museum and Binondo photos in my Multiply album

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11 thoughts on “National Museum Tour and Binondo Food Trip

  1. Don De Alban July 24, 2008 at 2:14 am Reply

    Ang saya nung museum tour! We should do it again, and then do a tour of the other museums in Manila.

    Mas maganda yung shot mo nung young babysitter sa Plaza Ruiz! 🙂


  2. rina July 24, 2008 at 2:21 am Reply

    Don: ahem, ahem, sabi nga ni kat, wala sa DSLR yan 😀


  3. Scarlett July 28, 2008 at 11:58 am Reply

    Nakakahiya man, pero elementary pa ako nung last ako nagpunta sa National Museum…waaah!

    Hmm….babalik nga ako! Salamat sa entry na ito… 🙂


  4. rina July 28, 2008 at 11:34 pm Reply

    you really should, scarlett. i’m sure it’s a lot better than what you remember from your elementary school visit. john and his team has done a lot to raise funds and improve the place. make sure you allot a few hours for the visit 🙂


  5. tutubi August 9, 2008 at 3:48 am Reply

    so that’s the way for me to take pics inside the museum 😛

    been tothe museum quite a number of times


  6. rina August 9, 2008 at 3:54 am Reply

    tutubi: yes, that’s the way, he he. you just have to be quick and alert, because in between the spiels during the gallery stops, john walks REALLY fast. you won’t want to be left behind! 🙂


  7. nold August 11, 2008 at 9:11 pm Reply

    I love museums, especially ours.

    I better revisit our National Museum, its been awhile.

    This John guy must be good huh?


  8. rina August 12, 2008 at 12:49 pm Reply

    nold: yes, very knowledgeable in art history. he’s been with the museum for a long time and was really instrumental in making improvements to the place. he still has some tours this month, you might want to join one so you can get a proper re-introduction to the national museum 🙂


  9. […] languages; all the colorful little details, artifacts and stories that make us who we are. I joined a tour a few weeks ago, and it’s definitely something I […]


  10. Toe August 18, 2008 at 6:04 am Reply

    Few people know of the National Museum. I went there once about six years ago and I was amazed at the richness of its pieces and how well-kept it was. Heck, I was amazed that such a thing even existed. The National Museum and its shows and exhibits ought to be advertised more.


  11. rina August 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm Reply

    toe: yes,all too often people (myself included) are unaware what a fascinating and beautiful experience a museum visit can be. john said that the tours are part of efforts to develop a “museum culture” among Filipinos, and I wish they’d be successful in that effort


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