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Inside the National Museum of Natural History, plus pro tips for visitors

On International Museum Day, the National Museum of the Philippines celebrated in the grandest way possible as it opened the National Museum of Natural History for the first time to the public. 

Despite the harsh mid-morning heat, people enthusiastically lined up to visit the National Museum of Natural History on Friday, May 18. Only a handful of exhibits were open, but seeing Lolong's replica and the majestic Tree of Life sated most of the guests. 

The National Museum of Natural History lobby offers a refreshing atmosphere, owed to the light streaming in via the glass canopy that serves as the crown of the steel tree designed by architect Dominic Galicia and interior designer Tina Periquet. 

Read: For future Pinoy scientists, a Museum of Natural History.

Be mindful that a lot of people will probably want to take photos with the Tree of Life; it will pay to be an early bird in the future. 

Large fabrics bearing illustrations of iconic Philippine wildlife set the tone for the twelve galleries that the public can soon visit. The galleries are spread over four floors, though the museum has two additional floors for conference room, function halls, and a roof garden. 

Most of the exhibits are still being prepared and what is currently on display only made us more excited for what's to come.

"The Marine Realm" and "Mangroves, Beaches, and Intertidal Zones" will soon be joined by exhibits on Philippine biodiversity and geology, "life through time", as well as galleries focusing on forests and wetlands.

In case you were planning on it, please note that taking "wacky" photos with Lolong is not allowed. Bear in mind, too, that large bags — especially backpacks — will have to be deposited. 

There are certain sections in the museum reserved for seating, which is great for folks who need to rest their knees or feet. 

The vision and legal foundation for this project was laid in 1998, with the help of the National Museum of Act, authored by the late Senator Edgardo J. Angara. Two decades later, the seed he planted has become this grand tree and it has began to bear fruit. 

In addition to the museum opening, the Board of Trustees of the National Museum honors the contributions of the late former senator Angara to the arts.

The National Museum of Natural History is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — GMA News