May 28, 2022
Batangas, Philippines

Date of tour: May 22, 2022
Manila, Philippines

Disclaimer: All views expressed on this blog are my own based on my own experiences and do not represent of any entity with which I have been, are now or will be affiliated

My bff Toby and I decided to visit Manila National Museum and Fort Santiago on a scorching Sunday afternoon in Manila. We were supposed to visit La Mesa Ecopark on a Saturday but I wasn’t feeling well due to booster shot.

Museums provide an insight into the history of humankind. The lessons I can learn from past events, tragedies, wonders are just priceless. Museums invoke thought and conversation about cultures. It allows me to explore cultures and history through paintings, sculptures, photographs, textiles and glass. It also increase my well being, I must say visiting museums expand my mind, see the future in a different lens. I also learn a lot about my friends when I visit museums and I somehow get to know the Philippines a little bit better.

National Museum of Fine Arts
P. Burgos Drive, Rizal Park, Manila

National Museum of Natural History is located in Rizal Park and is part of the National Museum Complex which has 3 more other attractions: the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Anthropology, and the National Planetarium. We visited Fine Arts first. It is filled with a variety of historical treasures, including paintings, prints and sculptures.

National Museum of Fine Arts is free entrance for all – Filipinos, foreigners, students, adults and children. They accept walk-in visitors; advance booking through their website will only be required for 20-30 persons. Their visiting schedule is from Tuesday – Sundays 9:00am – 6pm. You can find more in their Facebook page.

Upon entry in the National Museum, you’d be attracted to a huge canvas painting of the Spoliarium made by Juan Luna. It was huge and has historic significance. I was overcome with emotions by just it’s presence and meaning. The painter, Juan Luna spent 8 months completing the painting and it depicted dying gladiators. It was this painting that inspired our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, to write Noli Me Tangere. This was my favorite part of the tour in this museum.


Fort Santiago
Intramuros, Manila

I can’t believe you can find something so serene and historic in the heart of Manila. I actually told my friend that Intramuros is in fact a great dating zone. It’s so romantic, it housed two of most beautiful churches in the Philippines – San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral and of course Fort Santiago.

Fort Santiago is a beautiful landscape on the bank of Pasig River. This was originally built by the Spaniards in 1590 and today it is sorounded by gardens, plazas, and fountains. The fort includes a re-creation of Dr. Jose Rizal’s cell and the courtroom where his trial was held. Jose Rizal is Philippine’s National hero. Going here felt like being transported to a relaxing place which was also rich in history. I’d go back here every time. One of the places I’d like my friends from different countries to visit.

Raffaele Woodfired Pizza
The Bayleaf Hotel
Php 1,000-Php2,000

After an exhausting day, we have decided to try out one of the restuarants in Bayleaf Hotel, we actually wanted to try their rooftop bar but it was fully booked. Nevertheless, we ordered Wild Mushroom n’ Truffle and Butcher’s Choice Pizza. The pasta is creamy, rich and earthy. It is a decadent treat! I loved every bite of it. The pizza was topped with flavorful meat and with excellent crust. I will come back here again! 🙂

I love going to museums and parks. This may be geeky to some but they really make me feel so happy and thank god Toby exists to be with me on that day and every time I needed a nudge about life. Just like museums, our friendship is rich in history since 2015. I don’t know how to put into words how much I’m really grateful for having him in my life but I can only promise that I will always choose to be the best friend he needs for the rest of his life.

P.S. I’m still finding the right guy for me! hahaha!

Maria, sometimes Niskie