Discovering museums is one of the best ways to learn more about a place or an event, aside from books and documentaries. Fortunately, our country has a range of immersive historical archives that will help relive history and other significant eras.
In its essence, a living museum brings history to life by meticulously recreating past environments, allowing visitors an immersive experience and exhibits.
While provinces like Batangas and Ilocos have many living museums to visit, you don't have to travel because Manila has some hidden gems that will give you a fascinating glimpse into history without leaving the city.
Go back in time as Casa Manila, a restored mansion within the historic walls of Intramuros, offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of Manila during the Spanish occupation.
The place is a replica of a Spanish colonial mansion that will allow you to relive the lives of wealthy merchants of the era. The three-story house features a patio, bedrooms or dormitories, an office or oficina, a library or biblioteca, and an anteroom or Antesala, which serves as the family's entertainment room.
The entrance fee is P75 for adults and P50 for persons with disabilities. Gates are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week except Monday.
Another museum within Intramuros' walled city is a building known as the Kaisa-Angeli King Heritage Center or Bahay Tsinoy.
Through sculptures, mannequins, and dioramas, the museum explores the impact of the Chinese on Philippine life, from assimilation and family immigration to key historical events. It also displays a variety of records and testimonies that narrate the history of the ethnic Chinese people in the Philippines.
The museum is located at 2 Anda St. cor. Cabildo St. Intramuros, Manila, on Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission fee is P100 and P60 for adults and students, respectively.
You can contact the museum here for group tours of 30 or more.
MiraNila Heritage House & Library
The MiraNila House was constructed in 1929—more than ten years before Quezon City's charter was approved—and continues to be a tribute to the past while beckoning you to enjoy the present.
The elegant Filipino mansion, owned by the family of constitutionalist Conrado Benitez and Philippine Women’s University co-founder Francisca Tirona-Benitez, was declared a heritage house by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in 2011.
It houses the family's collection of "4,000 books, paintings, letters, and art collections along with all the history that goes with it." Likewise, it has an outstanding collection of Filipino architecture that combines Spanish Italian Art Deco.
The establishment is located at 26 Mariposa, Quezon City. Tours are available every Saturday at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m.
On other days, tours can be arranged by appointment for a minimum of 7 people and a maximum of 20, with an admission rate of P400 per person for tours that are approximately 90 minutes long.