Are you a book lover and history lover? Then the Book Museum cum Ethnology Center in Marikina City is a must visit for you. The place is amazing because all (We mean ALL) collection stored inside are very interesting.
One thing that will greet you inside the compound is a coffee shop that is James Dean inspired. You can be confused as to why James Dean is included in a book museum. But it is explained to us that the actor was the favorite of the owner of the museum, Mr. Dominador Buhain, one of the owners of the leading and one of the largest book publishing companies in the Philippines, REX Bookstore.
Mr. Buhain founded the Book Museum in May 2013. His advocacy is to revive the reading awareness of the Filipino people. Mr. Buhain wants to share his bulk of collections which he gathered from 76 provinces in the Philippines and from 215 different places around the globe. Wherever he goes, he makes sure to pick up some books, magazines and even brochures as a token of remembrance. Of course, he also read them because he is a true bookworm and is in the book publishing business.
The design of the book museum is very unique. At the front of the museum, you will see the monuments of Mr. and Mrs. Jovita Fontallera, Atty. Buhain’s parents. Under the monuments are replicas of the numerous shoes of Mr. Juanito Fontallera which he used when he was still alive. At the back of the museum are murals of popular landmarks and symbols of Marikina City like Kapitan Moy, Science Museum, San Roque Church, and Marikit (the fairy godmother of Marikina).
In the walls of the book museum are murals of some personalities who shaped the publishing industry, like Johan Gutenberg of Germany and Tomas Pinpin, the first Filipino printer who printed Doctrina Christiana, said to be the first printed book in the Philippines. The door of the museum is etched with Baybayin words, an old form of Filipino writing.
Many of the collections in the book museum are really priceless. You could find here the smallest book in the world – The Lord’s prayer, measuring 3.3×3.3mm. It also features the smallest tablet which contains a Chinese poem. You need a microscope to see it. Atty. Buhain obtained this when he visited the Youngay Grottoes in Sichra Province in May 2013. You could find also here the mini-books of William Shakespeare. Another mini collection is the smallest calendar made in 1914 purchased in Frankfurt, Germany. You will also see a lot of antique and century-old books.
The museum does not only promote books but the Filipino culture as well. There are statues about Philippine mythology, like Malakas at Maganda and Manananggal with Nuno sa Punso.
We are also amazed when we entered the Cordillera cultural heritage section of the ethnology museum. It was on the first floor of a three-storey building. We learned a lot about the lifestyle and traditions of the Cordillera people from the past. The museum displays stone markers, which were used as a landmark of their house or territory.
We would like to thank the owner of this amazing place. We need this kind of museum as we embrace the tradition of reading printed books. It should not be forgotten even when we are overloaded with information via the internet.
Aside from the guided tour, the Museum also has a reading corner, where visitors can do read books or do research for an additional fee of Php 25.00. They are also open for events.
Book Museum cum Ethnology Center
127 Dao St., Marikina Heights, Marikina City (near C&B Mall and Kapitan Moy Elementary School)
(632) 570 4449
Museum Hours: Mondays to Sundays, 9 AM-11 AM and 1 PM-4 PM
|Php100||General Admission Fee|
*Discounts are offered for tours for school (min. of 50 people) and group of friend/colleagues (min. of 15 people).