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Check Out These Museums That You Can Visit for FREE in Celebration of International Museum Day!

May 19, 2023

May 19, 2023
It’s time to immerse yourself in history, art, and culture—all under one roof.

Living in a city whose heartbeat is so quick, sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and examine how far we have come. By looking back at the past, we gain valuable insights, lessons, and perspectives that guide our journey toward the future. Hence the importance of history and museum visits.

With such a rich tapestry of woven indigenous roots, colonial influences, and a spirit of resilience, visiting museums is an enriching adventure that transports Filipinos through time—equipping them with the wisdom to make more informed decisions, avoid repeating mistakes, and envision a brighter tomorrow, as shaped by the collective wisdom of those who came before them.

This International Museum Day, Visit These Museums in Metro Manila for Free!

Every May 18, the world celebrates International Museum Day to recognize and honor the role of these historical learning institutions in playing a major role in preserving the collective heritage, fostering cultural understanding, and inspiring lifelong learning. Coordinated by the International Council of Museums, the event highlights specific themes that change annually depending on the relevant events and issues faced by museums internationally.

This May, step into the world where Philippine history comes alive, art speaks volumes, and culture weaves its mesmerizing tapestry. In commemoration of International Museum Day, themed “Museums, Sustainability, and Wellbeing,” museums across Metro Manila extend the gesture of free admission to visitors, inviting them to explore and experience the enriching world of art, culture, and history.

  1. Ayala Museum

This May 20, the Ayala Museum will open its doors to the public for free in celebration of International Museum Day 2023. Run privately by the Ayala Foundation, the museum offers open access to its nine exhibits: Ayala Museum: In Microcosm, Ceramics and Cultural Currency: Exchanges of Pottery and Prestige; Globe Digital Gallery; Gold of Ancestors: Pre-colonial Treasures in the Philippines; Project Klima; Skeins of Knowledge, Threads of Wisdom; and Diorama Experience of Philippine History.

To avail yourself of free entrance, you must register on their official website on May 19 at 3 p.m., when the register button appears. Reservations are limited to two per person. Once done, you will get an email notification of your response.

  1. Manila Clock Tower Museum

Well, not only during International Museum Day, but the Manila Clock Tower Museum is now permanently free to all those who get to know deeper the city’s most iconic landmark: the Manila City Hall.

Designed by architect Antonio Toledo in the 1930s, the enigmatic Manila Clock Tower rises nearly 100 feet (30 meters) in elevation, proudly holding the distinction of being the country’s tallest clock tower. With the damages incurred during the World War, the Clock Tower, including the Manila City Hall, has undergone meticulous reconstruction over the years: standing as a resilient symbol of the city’s enduring spirit.

At present, the Manila Clock Tower Museum offers an immersive and multi-sensory experience with its video presentations and 3D installations made by Ohm David and Elba Cruz. In celebration of International Museum Day, a visual exhibit titled Suli will run until June 2.

  1. Yungchengco Museum

Made open to the public since 2005 to foster a greater appreciation of art through the finest international (including local, historical, cultural, and design) exhibits and programs, Yuchengco Museum waives its P100 admission not only on May 19 but until May 21!

Though created to house the art collection of Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco, the museum does not only feature artworks but also serves as an interactive space to exchange ideas, debate, and learn. On May 20, speakers Karen Ocampo Flores and Lara Acuin will hold a public program on Woman: Thesis and Anti-Thesis exhibit at 3 p.m.

  1. National Museum of the Philippines

Of course, as the country’s premier museum institution that serves as custodian and promoter of the nation’s rich cultural and natural heritage, the National Museum of the Philippines welcomes the entire Filipino people and friends around the world on this International Museum Day.

Open from Tuesday to Sunday, admission is free for the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Anthropology, and the National Museum of Natural History. On May 18, visitors can have the exciting opportunity to participate in a captivating and educational scavenger hunt, delving into the vast collections of the museum while unraveling clues to solve a thrilling puzzle. To secure a spot, be sure to register starting May 12, as slots are expected to fill up quickly.

Indeed, embarking on a journey through the halls of a museum is a delightful voyage of discovery, where the wonders of the past intertwine with the present. Each artifact, artwork, and exhibit hold a story waiting to be unveiled, inviting us to learn, reflect, and be inspired. So, let curiosity guide you, and let the magic of museums transport you to extraordinary realms of knowledge, beauty, and imagination.

Visit the museums near you!
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