Quite unlike other museums, where visitors are advised to avoid touching anything, Museo Pambata goes in the opposite direction by encouraging kids to explore with their hands. With nary a "Do not touch!" sign in the museum, it isn't hard to understand why Museo Pambata has remained a fun place for kids. Established in 1994 by the mother-daughter tandem of the late Estefania Aldaba-Lim (former Department of Social Welfare and Development secretary) and Nina Lim-Yuson, the country's premier hands-on museum has welcomed thousands of visitors at the historic Elks Club Building in Manila. The museum has taken learning outside the walls of the classroom by explaining supposedly complex ideas through the various theme rooms.
Kids can get a quick history lesson by visiting the Maynila Noon/Old Manila room; with its cobblestone floors, and replicas of a tranvia, a church, a stone house, and a galleon, the theme room transports visitors to the Spanish times.
Young science buffs can visit the Tuklas!/Science Through Discovery room, which showcases simple experiments to explain science concepts. By January, the theme room will unveil new exhibits that will tackle climate change. Coinciding with the room improvements is the launch of the book A Reference on Climate Change and Saving My Planet Earth, which is a joint effort with the Motorola Foundation. Other science-related rooms are the Kalikasan/Environment room, which features an imitation of a natural rainforest, and the Ang Katawan Ko/My Body Works, which focuses on anatomy (and where kids can crawl down Ms. Big Mouth's throat).
While the museum tackles academic ideas, kids are also given practical lessons. The Pamilihang Bayan/Marketplace room--with its market stalls, barbershop, and fire truck--teaches kids about money and entrepreneurship. At the Children in the Global Village room, kids can play various musical instruments and see dolls from all over the world.
Young visitors are given ideas about different careers through the Paglaki Ko/Career Options room, whose exhibits change every few years. Right now, the room highlights the careers of illustrators and writers for children. The museum also schools kids about their rights through the Karapatan Hall.
Museo Pambata stimulates learning not only through its hands-on exhibits, but also through engaging activities. On weekends, kids can look forward to arts and crafts projects, storytelling sessions, dance performances and shadowplays.
While there is a children's library in the building, Museo Pambata goes a step further by bringing its mobile library (a van filled with books) to various underserved communities. Through such activities, the museum strengthens its advocacy on educating underprivileged children. With such a commitment to stimulating young minds, Museo Pambata can look forward to welcoming more happy visitors in the years to come.
Museo Pambata is along Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive in Manila. Entrance to the museum is P100/head.†
Tuesday to Saturday
8:00 AM-5:00 PM (August to March)
9:00 AM-5:00 PM (April to July)
1:00 PM-5:00 PM
*The museum is closed on Mondays and other official holidays.
For inquiries, you may contact Museo Pambata at (02) 523-1797 to 98, (02) 536-0595, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit their site at www.museopambata.org.