BPI Museum

Four must visit museums in Zamboanga City

The sala of the second floor of the BPI Museum.

The sala of the second floor of the BPI Museum.

Exterior of the heritage structure, that houses also the BPI Museum at the second floor

Exterior of the heritage structure, that houses also the BPI Museum at the second floor

BPI Lifestyle Museum

Valderosa St.
Zamboanga City

When BPI Zamboanga, the bank’s second branch celebrated it’s centenary in February 2012, the second floor of the historic building was converted into a lifestyle museum that showcased the residence that it once was.

Originally a house owned by a wealthy Chinese trader who was Christianized and took on the name of Don Francisco Barrios and which became the residence of Gen. John Pershing.

Original period furniture, as what would have been used during the featured era in Zamboanga can be found here. One can also take a glimpse of how the general and the bank managers who lived there after the general. It’s an interesting view of a lifestyle in the then frontier Moro province.

To visit, an appointment must first be arranged with the BPI bank manager.

The El Museo de Zamboanga

The El Museo de Zamboanga

The history of Zamboanga City is here

The history of Zamboanga City is here

El Museu de Zamboanga

Paseo de Jardin
Pasonanca, Zamboanga City

Located at the higher elevations of Pasonanca, at the Paseo de Jardin and just opposite the Science Museum, El Museu de Zamboanga showcases the history of the city, from its beginnings as a territory of Tedurays, its conquest and reconquest by the Spaniards, the coming of the Americans, the new republic and events leading up to the present.

The museum is circular in form with a central gallery separate from the main exhibit where Zamboanga’s one and only senator, Roseller Tarroza Lim’s memorabilia is exhibited.

The Parque Sciencia de Zamboanga in Paseo del Jardin

The Parque Sciencia de Zamboanga in Paseo del Jardin

Inside the Parque de Sciencia de Zamboanga

Inside the Parque de Sciencia de Zamboanga

Parque de Sciencia de Zamboanga

Paseo de Jardin
Pasonanca, Zamboanga City

This science museum, opposite the El Museu de Zamboanga is interesting, especially for children and their family to discover and learn about the wonders of Science. Although not as high tech as the Mind Museum in Taguig, it still provides interaction with its guests with 56 exbibits. It’s a spacious area, around 650 square meters with many things that can make visitors busy. The regional science museum is considered as the biggest in the country.

The Griffin gallery showcases the finds and information of the 18th century British trading vessel that sunk off Sulu which carried tea and porcelain from China

Interior of the new exhibition of the National Museum, Zamboanga City branch

The newly renovated buildings. The right structure used to be ruins but is now being readied as a new exhibition gallery. The left, Structure D is where the new, 2 section exhibit on the Southern Philippines is showcased

The newly renovated buildings with new exhibits

National Museum (Zamboanga City)

Fort Pilar
Zamboanga City

Housed in the historic, Spanish colonial era structure that is Fort Pilar, this is the best museum in the city to visit. The site is not only historic and ancient: thick walls, weathered surfaces and a wide expanse with the center flanked by buildings that are currently being renovated. Currently, there is an exhibition with two sections that focuses on trading in Southern Philippines.

The first is on the salvaged Griffin, a British trading vessel that sunk off Sulu and was loaded with goods from China, and second, the historic to present trading in this part of the country. There are interesting materials, useful information and a good layout (and lighting). A restored structure will open next year with even more interesting galleries.

READ MORE: Interesting exhibit at the National Museum Zamboanga

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

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