Manila, Manila: National Museum and Rizal Park


Every country has an official repository for its national treasures, archives, and mementos for all the precious historic moments that would encapsulate its history as a nation.

Pao and I have been enthusiastically visiting museums from abroad, and we felt very guilty for not having been able to visit our very own National Museum. Our conversations would normally include thoughts about visiting the National Museum but we did not actually make a concrete plan on when to actualize it.

One Saturday morning, Pao told me that he was going to take me to a place that we should urgently visit.  He told me it was a surprise and that I just needed to trust him and that I should just hop on the car. Being the obedient girl that I am (insert halo here), I willfully agreed and just held my breath in eager anticipation.

National Museum

And yes, we found ourselves at the very heart of Manila, near the kilometer zero for measuring road distances in Manila. We felt like tourists in Manila as he took me to the National Museum to see the beauty of the Spoliarium and to discover all the other national treasures of the country.

Juan Luna’s Spoliarium.

The National Museum houses several collections related to the Fine Arts, Archeology, Ethnography, Anthropology, Botany, Zoology, Geology and Natural History. The National Museum is worth the visit especially if you are a Filipino, though I must comment that the exhibits inside the museum need to be better cared for and the interiors of the museum itself  are already experiencing signs of wear and would be recommended to be given some extra loving care. Though the space inside the museum is enormous, only a few areas are utilized for exhibitions while the rest of the space and unused.

My favorite part in the museum. I love how there’s an interplay of optical illusions here.

It may be recommended to have more exhibits, especially exhibits that are interactive so that both children and adults alike would have an intense experience during their stay inside the museum as they get transported back in time.

National Museum in the Philippine 50 Peso bill

Entrance Fees:

The National Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Free admission on Sundays.

Individual Fee (PHP)
Student 30.00
Senior Citizen 80.00
Adult 100.00
Groups of 50 or more
Students 25.00
Senior Citizens 40.00
Adults 80.00

Rizal Park

After National Museum, we also took a side trip to Rizal Park, as it was just an arm’s length away from the National Museum. It was quite unusual for us to spend one Saturdate there but it was such a liberating and novel experience to just be spontaneous as we just enjoyed whatever we encountered along the way.


One of the best things of the day was being able to eat whatever the peddlers offered us as we discovered that cotton candy + powdered milk was definitely, definitely addicting!

Street food and street rides at its best.

Rizal Park perhaps is the best example to showcase how much the city has transformed for just over a century. In the midst of a concrete jungle that is Manila, is Rizal Park or more popularly known as Luneta. Rizal Park pays tribute to the country’s national hero, Jose Rizal, as it is the same spot where the he was executed via firing squad.

Rain or shine, these guards would ensure that the national hero is safe and sound

The day was indeed marked with much spontaneity and I am grateful that I am blessed with a life that enables me to see the beauty of my own country.  Truly, “a wise traveler never despises his own country” and if I may add, “a wise traveler would always come home to his country as happy as he left (or maybe even happier)”


About Mia G.

Teacher Mia. A Happy Girl. Chaser of dreams. Believer of living out each beautiful dream. A Full-time Preschool Teacher with a part-time job of being a happy traveler and wanderer. Co-founder of Destination Getaways Travel and Tours! A Proud Filipina who wants to travel the world one place at a time, one breathtaking moment at a time. Join the personal accounts of my adventures and misadventures and random experiences in our big and beautiful classroom-- the world. Share my experiences on spontaneity, excitement, adventure, travel, exploration, gastronomic encounters, and everything in between!

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