National Museum of the Filipino People

Top choice museum in Manila

Image by Dennis Bautista Five Hundred Pixels

Within a resplendent neoclassical building, this superb museum houses a vast and varied collection, including the skullcap of the Philippines’ earliest known inhabitant, Tabon Man (said by some to actually be a woman), who lived around 24,000 BC. A large section of the museum is devoted to the wreck of the San Diego, a Spanish galleon that sank off the coast of Luzon in 1600, with salvaged items such as shell-encrusted swords, coins, porcelain plates and jewellery on display.

Other treasures include a large collection of pre–Hispanic artefacts and musical instruments, and displays on indigenous textiles.