Who would have thought there’s a hidden gem resting in the heart of the busy streets of Manila? Cloaked by nature and masked by traffic smoke, no one would ever suspect that there’s a sanctuary lying right beside the University of the Philippines Manila.
It’s a sanctuary because once you’re inside, it’s as if you’re in a different world. You no longer question its existence, but rather, the world beyond it.
UP Manila’s Museum Of A History Of Ideas is not your typical museum. It doesn’t scream of artifacts or archives.
At first glance, you won’t even think it’s a museum at all. Unless, of course, you’re reading the big sign up front. And that’s what makes the Museum Of A History Of Ideas different. It doesn’t just cater to the historians or the curious, but also to those who are in love with stunning interiors and creative expression. It breathes life into itself and envelops those who dare enter it.
Luckily, it’s not hard to find. And if you’re curious enough, you’ll realize that there’s more to it than the surface.
Once you enter the realm, an image of bacteria causing cholera will greet you in a way that it will take you a second or two to even realize that it is bacteria. And with a color that represents Christmas, you will probably wish it was December again.
The most striking quality of the museum, however, is its breathtaking and impeccable interiors. It doesn’t feel scattered or like it’s trying to be two things at once. And when Daryl Cervantes, the Culture and Arts Officer, said that the museum is open to accommodating events and formal parties, you will have no doubt that it has the capacity to do so because it can be the perfect setting for any occasion.
Looks like they’ve already started the party…
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. Let’s see first how it fares on the museum department.
The moment you enter the museum, you will hear a voice discussing the history of everything that you can find in the museum. Of course, you have the option to watch the video or look around and read for yourself.
The most notable feature of the museum, however, is its creative way of guiding you as you go with the use of numbers printed on the walls. You don’t have to follow a group or anyone but yourself. You can choose whether to stay at one place or to continue on with your discovery.
In short, you will have total control over the time you will spend inside the museum. Likewise, the information you need to know is already written alongside the numbers on the wall, not including the small prints you will find beside important artifacts and archives. Safe to say, you will go out there with some idea about the past and everything in-between as long as you take the time to read.
Another remarkable quality of the museum is its open space. Whether or not the designers had this in mind, you will notice how easy and effortless it is to move around the museum without bumping into anyone. Be it a group of three or a crowd as big as a classroom, everyone will have their own room to breathe as they go around the Museum of a History of Ideas.
Then, you have the atrium -perfect for the nature lovers who want bask in the warmth of the sun. The museum can get chilly at some point, after all, so you will have the liberty to either get out of the museum or experience another luxury within its walls.
Personally, I’d choose the atrium because there’s just something wonderful about nature in the midst of towering buildings and civilization. It’s like your own wonderland.
And just like Alice, I’m glad to have fallen down this rabbit hole.
UP Manila’s Museum Of A History Of Ideas
Museum Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays – 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Contact Number: (+632) 904 0122 / Mobile: (+63) 927 842 0400