Want to learn more about Philippine art, culture, and history? The National Museum offers all of it and you don't have to pay a single centavo to get in! The National Museum consist of the National Museum of the Filipino People, the National Art Gallery, and the National Planetarium. All three buildings are located within walking distance in Manila. The National Museum also operates regional museums all over the Philippines.
For a long time, the history of Manila was shaped by foreign powers. In fact, few cities in the world have such a long history of colonization. Here is a brief overview of the city's and the country's checkered past.
The old center of Metro Manila breathes history: churches and old universities built during the Spanish era, neoclassical government buildings and wide boulevards from the American Commonwealth period, and monuments for the national heroes of a finally independent Philippines.
The museum Casa Manila gives a detailed impression of upper-class life and style back in Spanish colonial times. However, the house is not an authentic relic, but a replica built in the 1980s.
The fortified city of Intramuros was built during Spanish colonial times to protect the seat of government. Located along Manila Bay near the southern bend of the Pasig River, Intramuros’ location was very strategic for trade and for defense. Today, museums and old buildings bring centuries of Philippine history back to live, making Intramuros one of the top tourist spots.
Noli Me Tangere is arguably the most important novel of the Philippines. The much-praised operatic adaption is now coming to Manila, telling a story of forbidden love and colonial repression with passionate songs in Tagalog.
The Lopez Museum covers more than 600 years of Philippine Arts & Letters, featuring famous Philippine artists, historic maps, colonial-time drawings and pictures, and a library with over 20,000 titles.