Galleries & Exhibits
The Philipppine Quincentennial Museum can be explored in two ways. First, one may enter through the gallery of the precolonial Philippines. Or, secondly, one may begin their museum experience through the eyes of the Spaniards. Both dimensions lead to one thing: the Tagbo, the encounter of two worlds that took place 500 years ago and changed the course of world history.
The Magellan-Elcano Expedition. This gallery presents the grand agenda of Ferdinand Magellan’s desire to travel to the orient, looking for new routes following the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494 which divided the world into to realms—half belongs to the Spanish Empire, the other, to Portugal. The gallery opens with a map of the route with the Philippine archipelago at the center.
Armada de Maluko. Following the accounts of Antonio Pigafetta, this gallery dissects the details of the fleet that Magellan put together for King Charles I of Spain so that what would turn out to be the historic circumnavigation would succeed. This gallery presents that armada—four naos and one caravel—their respective compositions and fates.
The Philippine Route. This gallery begins with the map that traces the route of the Magellan-Elcano Expedition from the time they first sighted the archipelago until the day they departed from Sarangani. A seven-part series of murals depicting important events that took place along the Philippine route is on display in this gallery.
The Chiefs of These Islands. This gallery features new contemporary rendering—based on Pigafetta’s accounts and recent historical studies—of five of the precolonial chiefs whom Magellan and his men met—Calanao, Humabon, Siaui, Kolambu, and Lapulapu.
The Filipino Before the Philippines. In the shape of the balanghai, this gallery presents the rich and diverse structures of the Philippine precolonial society—from its social and political conditions, external relations, trading and warfare, household, to language, customs and beliefs, music, clothing, and other aspects that manifest that even before the arrival of Magellan, we have long been an advanced and thriving culture.
The Archipelago Beyond Time. Like a ribbon flowing around the balanghai-shaped exhibit on the precolonial Philippines, this gallery of long panels presents the Philippine archipelago long before our written history, from the earliest recorded human activity in the archipelago to the Austronesian expansion that peopled our islands. This gallery also explores the country’s natural resources, highlighted by a mural of representatives of Philippine flora and fauna.