Libraries and Museums

Metro Manila offers visitors the opportunity to explore the cultural wealth of the Philippines through art museums, historical museums, and cultural and scientific displays. Three art museums can be found in Malate: the Cultural Center Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, and the Museo ng Sining, which is the largest museum of contemporary art in the Philippines. The San Augustin Museum in Intramuros contains oil paintings, frescoes, and vestments.

The National Museum, located in Rizal Park, contains prehistoric artifacts, as well as pottery, weapons, and costumes. Seven native boats, dating from between 890 and 710 B.C., are also featured. The Ayala Museum in Malate presents a chronological display of Philippine history in over 60 dioramas. The Lopez Museum in Pasig has a collection of over 13,000 Filipino books, some dating back as far as 1524. Its large collection of historical travel literature includes the first printed account of Magellan's journey to the Philippines.

The Rizal Shrine, which honors national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, is located at Fort Santiago in Intramuros. It displays some of his personal belongings, as well as the cell in which he was imprisoned. Casa Manila Museum, also located in Intramuros, is a reproduction of a typical Spanish residence. Another historical residence on display is the former Malacanang Palace, now known as the Museo ng Malacanang. This museum once housed examples of the Marcos's notorious extravagance but now contains mostly photographs of former presidents.

The Nayong Pilipino ("Philippine Village") is a large complex providing a miniaturized version of the entire country, with representative native homes and regional landscapes. It also contains several specialized museums, including the Museum of Philippine Dolls and the Nayong Pilipino Aquarium. The Philippine Museum of Ethnology, also part of the Nayong Pilipino, contains information on the country's cultural minorities, with examples of tools, musical instruments, weapons, and utensils.

The Museo Pambata in Ermita is a children's museum that encourages hands-on exploration of a rainforest, a streetcar, and an old-fashioned fire engine. The Museum of Arts and Sciences at the University of Santo Tomas has a variety of exhibits, as well as an extensive library.

The National Library in Manila has an extensive collection of approximately 1.3 million books. Other libraries may be found in the area colleges and universities and at the International Rice Research Institute.