I have made it my personal mission to visit the different museums found in Metro Manila. The Philippine capital is a host to many museums and heritage sites that locals and tourists would surely find interesting. Although I have still a long way to go, I have already been to the cannot-be-missed museums in the metro such as the National Museum, Ayala Museum, Museo Pambata, Rizal Shrine and San Agustin Museum, among others.
As I was looking for another museum to vist, I chanced upon a hidden gem tucked in the gardens of Rizal Park in Manila—a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to the political history of the Philippines. The Museum of Philippine Political History is run by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. “It traces the evolution of the Filipino nation-state—how our system of government emerged from our own democratic traditions— against the background of our struggle for independence,” the NHCP website reads.
While the museum is relatively small when compared to the National Museum, the Museum of Philippine Political History houses important pieces that do not disappoint. Interactive exhibits, light and sound displays, dioramas and historical artifacts depict how much the Philippine political landscape changed from the precolonial era up to the present. Noteworthy display includes the life-size tableau of a precolonial “court system,” a diorama of the town design followed during the Spanish colonial period, historical artifacts including Emilio Aguinaldo’s original rayadillo or uniform as well as an intricately-designed ceremonial chest where the original 1935 constitution was kept, and a hologram display of the first declaration of Philippine independence, among others.
The Museum of Philippine Political History opened is housed in the head office of the NHCP on T.M. Kalaw Avenue. If you are coming from the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park, it is on the right side, just a little past the Rizal Park Visitors’ Center. The best thing about this museum is that there are no entrance fees. Entrance is absolutely free! Guided tours (still for free) are also available even for small groups. You can also see various vintage presidential cars parked outside the NHCP main office.
Museum of Philippine Political History
T. M. Kalaw Avenue, Manila, Philippines [Google Map]
Landmarks: Office of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, near National Library of the Philippines and Rizal Park
Entrance Fee: FREE! (Donations welcome; Guided tours also available for free)
Suggested Length of Visit: ~40 minutes to 1 hour
Rules: No flash photography
Museum Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Contact Numbers: (02) 254-74-82/ (02) 523-1019