A preview of the National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum marks its 116th anniversary with a one-day preview of the National Museum of Natural History
NATIONAL MUSEUM. The National Museum marks its 116th anniversary with a one-day preview of the new National Museum of Natural History. All photos by Martin San Diego/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – Were you among the lucky ones who visited the new National Museum of Natural History?
On Sunday, October 29, the National Museum marked its 116th anniversary. As part of the celebration, it opened the National Museum of Natural History for a one-day preview to the public.
So what's inside the country's newest museum?
Tree of life
As you enter the museum, a giant helix will welcome you.
Called the "Tree of Life," it's an elevator from the ground floor to the 5th floor of the building attached to the ceiling to mimic a tree.
Museum guides said the elevator is patterned after a DNA helix. The ceiling gives off the vibe of a tree canopy, designed to make use of the light that enters the room – which the guides said saves energy as well.
A huge DNA helix-shaped elevator called the 'Tree of Life' welcomes visitors as they enter the museum's giant hall. Its height spans from the floor to the ceiling. The elevator can take visitors to the 5th floor.
Halls of natural history
The museum is meant to house flora and fauna unique to the Philippines.
During the preview, 3 halls were opened to the public – one of which has a replica of Lolong, the longest crocodile held in captivity.
One of the 3 halls opened during the preview houses a replica of Lolong, the longest crocodile held in captivity.
According to Arvin Diesmos, a resident zoologist in the museum, Lolong's body will be part of the exhibit when it opens to the public by 2018.
"Definitely we need the support of the public. At least we have an alternative place like this where they can spend their time off," he told Rappler.
Another hall showcases plant specimens that can only be found in the Philippines.
One of the halls opened during the preview houses plants and animals unique to the Philippines.
Another hall is meant to show how scientists preserve specimens.
Activities like tracing dried plants were also part of the tour as an additional experience for museum visitors.
INTERACTIVE. Visitors can do activities like tracing plants and see up close butterfly specimens. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler
Open by 2018
For those who missed Sunday's preview, Diesmos said the museum will definitely be ready to officially welcome visitors next year.
He also hopes more scientists and researchers will work in the museum to help with future exhibits and enrich visitors' experience.
The National Museum complex in Manila also houses museums on Fine Arts, Anthropology, and the Planetarium.