The National Museum of The Philippines is another interesting place to visit in Manila. It houses a large collection of the Philippine arts and historical objects. The museum is housed in the majestic former Congress building constructed in the beginning of the 20th century and runs adjacent the old Ministry of finance building. The former congress building features the arts and natural science collection, while the anthropology and archaeology sections are shown in the former Finance building.
Completed in 1884, The Spoliarium (Latin for morgue) by Juan Luna, is one of the most well-known Philippine paintings and is displayed right in the room beside the lobby of the main building. It almost fills the complete room and is placed in a large wooden frame. It depicts the dying gladiators being dragged away to an arena’s morgue. The Spoliarium won the golden medal at the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884 in Madrid and was bought by the city of Barcelona. In 1956, it was given to the National Museum.
Other famous works include the Assassination of Governor Bustamante by Félix Resurrección Hidalgo and paintings from Pablo Amorsolo and the modern art painter Hernando R. Ocampo.
Aside from paintings and sculptures the national museum also houses some interesting archaeological artifacts including the Tabon man, found in a cave in Palawan and estimated to be over 26.000 years old. Another section of the museum is dedicated to coins, pottery and ceramics mostly recovered from the sunken Spanish Galleon, the San Diego.
The National Museum of The Philippines is located on P. Burgos Ave a walking distance from Rizal Park. Opening hours are from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5 pm. Admission is free on Sundays and P100 during other days.