500px Photo ID: 133312595 - Established in 1976, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila is the first Philippine art institution to offer a bilingual and pedagogical program. It is partially subsidized by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP or the Central Bank of the Philippines). In 1979 the 'Met' was incorporated into a foundation known as the Metropolitan Museum of Manila Foundation, Inc. officially changing the status of the Museum to an independent, private, nonsectarian, non-political and non-profit cultural foundation...The Museum is responsible for the conservation of some of the country's national treasures. The basement gallery showcases pre-Hispanic gold and pottery artifacts--proof of a flourishing pre-colonial Filipino society actively engaged in international trade and showcasing hallmarks of Filipino art and culture from the 8th to 13th centuries.

Danielle Ayag / 500px

Metropolitan Museum of Manila

Top choice in Manila

The 'Met' is a world-class gallery tracing the evolution of Filipino art from the early 20th century to the present. Virtually all great Filipino painters from the last century are represented, while the selection of contemporary and experimental art is second to none in the Philippines. The ground floor has rotating exhibitions, while the wide-ranging permanent collection is on the 2nd floor. Guided tours (P500) can be booked ahead.

There's also an incredible collection of precolonial gold ornaments and pottery in the basement, although it is currently closed indefinitely. A few of the gold armlets and necklaces weigh several kilos. The Central Bank purchased the gold at the height of the Marcos era in the '70s and '80s.