Arts & Culture

5 Things You Need to Know About the National Museum

Inaugurated in 1926, the present National Museum of Fine Arts used to be the legislative building

Photography: Shutterstock

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will be inaugurated as the 17th president of the Philippines at the National Museum, a historic structure that houses the works of the country's masters and served as the backdrop for big events.

Marcos Jr. will take his oath specifically at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Manila on June 30. To prepare for the inauguration, museum management said the building would be closed from June 6 to July 4. It will reopen on July 5.


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However, the National Museum of Anthropology and National Museum of Natural History, located in the same complex in Manila, will continue regular operations until further notice according to its management.


Here's what you need to know about the National Museum of Fine Arts, the incoming president's venue of choice for his inauguration:

It's a National Historical Landmark.

In 2010, the old Legislative Building was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

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The declaration was meant to honor the building's significance as witness to various historical milestones of the Philippines such as the inauguration of past three presidents.

In 2019, the NHCP unveiled the Philippine Flag Hoisting marker which requires that the country's flag be permanently hoisted and lighted at night at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

It's the old legislative building.

Inaugurated in 1926, the present National Museum of Fine Arts used to be the legislative building.

Designed by American architect Ralph Harrington Doane as the National Library, construction started in 1918 but was delayed due to lack of funds and was later repurposed to serve as the legislative building.


It is also the oldest building among those erected in the National Museum Complex.

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It houses historic artwork. 

The National Museum of Fine Arts houses prestigious artworks of 19th-century Filipino masters, National Artists, sculptors, and printmakers.

Some of the artworks on display in the museum are Juan Luna's The Spoliarium, Felix Resurrección Hidalgo's El asesinato del Gobernador Bustamante (The Assassination of Governor Bustamante), and Botong Francisco's Filipino Struggles Through History.

Based on its website, the National Museum of Fine Arts houses 29 galleries and hallway exhibitions.

It has a distinct old Manila charm.

The National Museum Complex is located near Rizal Park, Intramuros and Chinatown in Binondo.

In 2006, the Filipino-run Miss Earth finals was held at the National Museum grounds while in 2002, singer Regine Velasquez staged a concert on the steps of the National Museum of Anthropology.


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Marcos Jr.'s inauguration will be the fourth inauguration to be held in the historical landmark.

Marcos Jr.'s oath-taking will be the fourth inauguration hosted by the National Museum of Fine Arts. Former presidents who took their oath in the museum are Manuel Quezon, Jose P. Laurel, and Manuel Roxas.


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* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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