This is the continuation of my recent Sunday afternoon date with Manila’s sunshine…

It was almost noon and Mr. Sun was up, when I rode a train; LRT line 2 from a station near our place in Quezon City and found myself in Recto after 25 minutes of, ofcourse, no traffic! …

I like line 2 than line 1 which made me puke, well almost, when I last took that transport 3 months ago and swear I’d avoid it if I could after experiencing it with all other passengers as we’re in a can of sardines because it was so packed; I just hate that day! LRT line 2 is also more spacious than MRT (which runs through the stretch of EDSA from North EDSA in Quezon City to Taft station in Manila). I so appreciate taking LRT line 2 especially during rush hour-traffic and heavy rains…and my last ride was even better.

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A  less than PhP 15 worth ride will take you to Recto station in a flash. And a PhP 7.OO jeepney ride will take you from JP Rizal Avenue formerly known as Avenida along Recto, Manila to my destination this weekend…

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I got off after Manila City Hall and revisited this building after more than two decades…

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Recognize where I was eleven hours ago ?  Any clue where those beautiful pillars belong to ?


It’s a breather from my usual malling and restaurant hopping or movie watching and arcade time with family.  Not that I got tired from doing those things, I still enjoy them especially with Tina and Gabby but it was so special time to inhale art and culture once again even for few minutes.  It’s just a bit sad that I didn’t go with them for she had to rest for the weekend and my son was preoccupied with, well, practically nothing other than being a four year older.


I thank the good Lord that despite the traffic, pollution, corruption, politics, prostitution, and hassles of living in a third-world -country, there are STILL A LOT of things to be proud of our country. One is giving importance to its culture, arts and heritage.

Perhaps, blame the recent movie my wife and I watched (Angels and Demons), that showed an overdose of Vatican and Roman arts, Renaissance at that! Or I can attribute this weird unusual but special Sunday “trip” to our ultimate dream of experiencing LOUVRE MUSEUM in Paris one day… (sigh!)


The next few photos were taken using my mobile phone with only 2 megapixels, the reception asked me to deposit my bag with my digicam and stuffs, and only to get hold of my wallet and cell phone. As you know cameras are prohibited inside this museum, and FORGIVE me for being insistent on taking pictures. I have only the purest intentions of sharing it with my few readers; that somehow, they also may find time to visit and appreciate the Philippine arts and culture.

If there’s only one reason to visit the PAMBANSANG MUSEO NG PILIPINAS, it would be this….


SPOLIARIVM, JUAN LUNA 1884.  oil on canvas.  422 cm x 767.5 cm

I don’t know with you, but I think every Pinoy, regardless of personal and financial status, should see Juan Luna’s Spoliarium even for once in their lifetime. The Spoliarium is a masterpiece that depicts a scene at the basement of Colesseum in Rome where gladiators fought and died as seen in Luna’s painting, dead bodies of gladiators were dragged by Roman soldiers and on-lookers at its left were hungry to loot the dead men’s helmet and other possessions while an old man holding a lighted candle seen on its right assumed a father figure looking for his child… This scene at the painting remains to be dark but it surely reflects a lion share of our history.


Spoliarium is located at the Hall of Masters, after the lobby of National Museum…

As sourced from The National Art Gallery of the Philippines :

Hall of Masters

 This room is dedicated to the 19th-century Filipino painters Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo who achieved prominence at the 1884 Madrid Exposition. Luna’s Spoliarium received one of the three gold medals and Hidalgo’s Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho (Christian Virgins Presented to the Populace) received one of the fourteen silver medals.

After being lost for words seeing the Luna’s Spoliarium for only second time since my educational field trip when I was in Elementary, I fell in love with another Juan Luna’s masterpiece…


PORTRAIT OF A LADY, JUAN LUNA,  undated,  oil on canvas,   82.5cm x 63cm.

Isn’t she lovely ? well, second best to my wife ofcourse, LOL.

After the Hall of Masters, I went to another room called BELOVED LAND and I found these …

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MANUNGGUL JAR, replica.  890-710 B.C.E.

As sourced from this :

The Mannungul Jar was found in the Tabon Cave in Palawan. It was found by Robert Fox and Miguel Santiago. The faces of the figures and on the prow of the boat have eyes and mouth rendered in the same style as other artifacts of Southeast Asia of that period. Note the depiction of sea-waves on the lid. This style of decoration places this jar in the Sa-huýnh-Kalanay Pottery tradition of Southern Vietnam.

The steersman’s oar is missing its paddle, as is the mast in the center of the boat, against which the steersman would have braced his feet.This symbolizes that they are traveling to the next life.

Then I appreciated these sculpture on the same room…

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Another room was devoted to our religion, it’s labeled as VESSEL OF FAITH…

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A relic of STO NIñO (L) and a RETABLO (a board behind an altar) of DIMIAO CHURCH, BOHOL.

Just when you had an overdose of arts and culture, another floor is devoted in keeping flora and fauna. Since I am not with my family, and just appreciating the museum with a couple of  foreigners from Australia, and another Pinoy family of which the dad appeared to be a professor in a university or something, I didn’t explored much the other rooms and floors, and settled after seing these…


No, that’s not T-rex folks, but bones or fish spines of  SPERM WHALE (Physeter catodon) retrieved from Torrijos, Marinduque.

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Hmmm, did I already mention that National Museum offers FREE ADMISSION on SUNDAYS

For more details on entrance fees and exhibit schedules click this.

Now I’m more ready to watch Ben Stiller’s movie A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM part 2 that my son Gabby is excited to see. LOL.

Have you been to National Museum or any museum ?


9 thoughts on “MANILA EXPLORED PART 2

  1. hay, adventure parati ang aking LRT ride from EDSA to central nung sa uste pa ako. at kapag weekend naman nag tripping kami hanggang monumento, hahaha. at oo, sarap talaga kumain sa binondo, yum!

  2. I don’t think I have visited this place at all! I don’t think it was even there when I was living in Manila. I certainly will make it a point to check out this museum when I visit Pinas – Luna’s Spolarium alone is worth it. In most of the museums I visited here (US) and abroad, photography is allowed as long as you do not use a flash. Thanks for taking those photos and sharing them with us.

    1. @ Sidney & BertN : You have to visit the Pambansang Museo ng Pilipinas whenever possible, it’s all worth it. Thanks for dropping comments.

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