San Agustin Museum is located in Intramuros, Manila, adjacent to San Agustin Church. It used to be a monastery but in the 1970’s it was turned into a place that holds sacred artefacts. The two-storey building is breathtaking in itself, but the thousands of objects it houses make it all the more intriguing. I visited the museum for the first time four years ago because San Agustin Church was part of Visita Iglesia. All the rooms did not have air condition at that time, but when I revisited it last week, several of them have air condition and the rest are under renovation. I digress a little. Anyway, during my first visit, I was awestruck by the collection of vestments, paintings, books and crosses. There was an entire wing devoted for crosses! The ginormous bell that welcomed the visitors of the museum was not in its place anymore, it was moved to San Agustin Church.
There is a no photos rule inside the exhibit areas, but fret not because the images, paintings and posters displayed in the hallways more than make up for it.
The library of San Agustin Museum has an extensive collection of books, a lot of them are in Spanish. Some of the titles on display are Vida y Novena de San Roque (unknown author, 1882), El Infierno Abierto (Con ang Infierno nga Bucas nga Hinuad sa Binisaya nga Pulong) (by Fr. Juan Sanchez, 1886), and Parrocho de Indios (by Fr. Casimiro Dias, OSA, 1745). Some books are in local languages, for example, Novena ni San Agustin (by Fr. Raymundo Lozano, OSA) , Casaysayan nang manga Cababalaghan at Milagros (by Fr. Vicente Garcia, OSA), Catecismo na Pinagpapalamnan (by Fr. Luis de Amezquita, OSA, 1890). There is also a dictionary, Diccionario de la Lengua Bisaya, Hilingueina y Haraya (by Fr. Alonso de Mentrida, OSA, 1841). This one is the thickest book on display and it is about the languages I know – bisaya, hiligaynon and karay-a. 🙂
Where: San Agustin Museum, General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila
When: San Agustin Museum is open daily, from 8am to 12noon and from 1pm to 6pm.
How much: Adults: P100.00 (US $2.27). Children and Senior Citizens pay discounted prices.
How to get there: Take the LRT-1 to Carriedo Station. Board a jeepney going to Pier. Alight from the jeepney once you see Palacio del Gobernador. Manila Cathedral is perpendicular to Palacio del Gobernador.
From Manila Cathedral, turn left. Walk until you reach Gen. Luna Street, and then turn left. Walk straight until you see San Agustin Church. Enter the compound and go directly to the entrance near the door of the church.