Arts Music Culture

Kidding at Museo Pambata

The great man is he who does not lose his child’s heart – Mencius

With the proliferation of tablets and computer games today, seeing children play tirelessly in backyards and alleys is rarer than it used to be, let alone witness them revel in museums. But unlike most museums where items on display are shelved behind glass only to be admired but not touched, a certain museum at the heart of Manila features hands-on exhibits for children to enjoy. Museo Pambata (children’s museum) encourages children to “explore and discover various concepts while they play” with its eight theme rooms:

1. Old Manila

This section of the museum takes children into a playful dimension of turn-of-the-century Manila. Here, they can put on traditional attire, know some of our courageous heroes, ride the Tranvia (Spanish for tram car), board a Spanish galleon, or step into a miniature cathedral and a “Bahay na Bato” (stone house) replica. For a kid, learning history has never been this fun!

A replica of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon with authentic spices!
A replica of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon with authentic spices!
Hop in the Old Meralco Tranvia!
Hop in the Old Meralco Tranvia!
The Katipunan, a secret organization of our bravest heroes that fought for the country's sovereignty
The Katipunan, a secret organization of our bravest heroes that fought for the country’s sovereignty
Clockwise: (1) An old Binondo church replica where kiddos can go in and out of; (2) Snapshot-ready traditional attires for fun; (3) Inside the Bahay na Bato with pieces of old-style furniture; (4) A traditional sewing machine
Clockwise: (1) An old Binondo church replica where kiddos can go in and out; (2) Snapshot-ready traditional attires for fun; (3) Inside the Bahay na Bato with pieces of old-style furniture; (4) A traditional sewing machine
Incidentally, my outfit matches the Bahay na Bato (
Incidentally, my outfit matches the Bahay na Bato 🙂

2. My Body Works      

Here, kids can do a semi-Jules Verne and take on a journey to the center of the human body, hehe! This room encourages kids to learn about the functions of our organs and how they work in harmony to keep our bodies healthy.

One of the highlights of Museo Pambata is this gigantic replica of the human head with its mouth wide open, welcoming kids to slide down the esophagus. Of course, I had to try, too! :)
One of the highlights of Museo Pambata is this gigantic replica of the human head with its mouth wide open, welcoming kids to slide down the esophagus. Of course, I had to try, too! 🙂
The esophagus tunnel's exteriors
The esophagus tunnel’s exteriors
Clockwise: (1) My favorite feature in the room where pressing body parts produces the sound they make! (2) An interesting way to learn about bones and skeletons; (3) A decent, child-friendly gigantic replica of the human heart; (4) All about our eyes
Clockwise: (1) My favorite feature in the room where pressing body parts produces the sound they make in real life, LOL (2) An interesting way to learn about bones and skeletons; (3) A decent, child-friendly gigantic replica of the human heart; (4) All about our eyes

3. Career Options

Another theme room worth visiting is Career Options where kids are given the opportunity to somewhat explore their future ambitions at a relatively young age. Currently, it features authors and illustrators of various children’s books.

I love this section because it emphasizes the value of reading and the role of writing in it. :-) As a sign suggests:
I love this section because it emphasizes the value of reading and the role of writing in it. 🙂 As a sign suggests: “When I grow up, I want to be a writer or illustrator for children”. What a noble dream!

4. I Love My Planet Earth

Discovering more about Mother Earth is the central theme of this room. Here, children can view exhibits on climate change and other environmental issues, and how we can do our part in saving the planet.

 This room explores the role of man in taking care of the environment through energy conservation and knowing how nature works

This room explores the role of man in taking care of the environment through energy conservation and knowing how nature works 🙂

5. Pamilihang Bayan

This area is one of the most enjoyable rooms to play at. With rows of neighborhood shops, kids can role-play and practice their “entrepreneurial and budgeting skills.”

Pharmacy, wet market, shoe-repair shop. These are just some of the staple stalls in almost every Filipino community.
Pharmacy, wet market, shoe-repair shop. These are just some of the staple stalls in almost every Filipino community.
The Bahay Kubo, the epic tale-favorite pestle-and-mortar, and poso (water pump)
The Bahay Kubo, the poso (water pump), and the staple element in creation myths: the pestle and mortar

Global Village

Dolls in national costumes, displays and items from different countries will spark the interest of kiddos about nationalities and cultures across the globe.

Doll representations of different nationalities in the world showing  ethnic and cultural diversity
Doll representations of different nationalities in the world showing ethnic and cultural diversity
A wooden clog shop of the Philippines
A wooden clog shop of the Philippines
Known locally as
Known locally as “bakya”

Karapatan Hall

Karapatan Hall (Hall of Rights) is dedicated to the rights of the child. This is also where various arts and cultural activities for children are held.

One of the most valued areas of Museo Pambata is this hall enlisting the 10 basic rights of children :-)
One of the most valued areas of Museo Pambata is this hall enlisting the 10 basic rights of children 🙂
Hall full of colorful murals
Hall full of colorful murals
A traditional musical instrument, Kulintang
A traditional musical instrument, Kulintang

Kalikasan        

Outside the building is this compact herbal garden where one can learn more about plants and their various uses (Unfortunately, the raved spot of simulated rainforest and coastal setting was closed at the time of our visit.)

Learn about natural medicine at the Herbal Garden :-)
Learn about natural medicine at the Herbal Garden 🙂
Urban farming and recycling in one ;)
Urban farming and recycling in one 😉

Staying true to its tagline: “Where learning starts and fun never ends”, Museo Pambata  is one of its kind and definitely recommended as a place for children to be educated and have utmost fun! Another good thing about this children’s museum is that it does not have age limit for everyone can be a child at heart (It is even among the favorite pre-nup pictorial venues of quirky couples!). That being said, I have made an oath to bring my niece and nephew to this whimsical world! And no, I am not kidding 😉

This is me and my friend, Rouella. Checkout her inspiring blog at incessantlyinspired.wordpress.com! :-)
This is me and my friend, Rouella. Checkout her inspiring blog at incessantlyinspired.wordpress.com! 🙂

Reference: http://www.museopambata.org/

***

Address: Roxas Boulevard cor. South Drive Manila, Philippines

Admission Hours:
8 AM to 5 PM (Tuesdays to Saturdays)
1 PM to 5 PM (Sundays)

Admission Fees:
Php 150 (for children and adults)
Museum workers and teachers – FREE
Manila residents with valid IDs – FREE on Tuesdays and 50% discount on other days (not applicable for group tours)
The museum is closed on Mondays and selected official holidays.

Website: http://www.museopambata.org/

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4 thoughts on “Kidding at Museo Pambata

  1. This is so interesting. I’d love to bring my kids here when I go back to the Philippines. in a year and a half! Thank you for blogging about this!

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