The Museum is full steam ahead in preparing commemorative activities in line with the National Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (NQC) which will officially start on 27 April 2021, the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan. The NQC also highlights the 500th anniversary of the Philippine part in the first circumnavigation of the world.

In 1522, the Spanish expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan "completed the first circumnavigation of the world and empirically proved that the Earth was indeed round. The said achievement of the expedition advanced our understanding of our home planet vis-à-vis the development of science and technology." (nqc.gov.ph)

According to Museum Director Dr. Marian P. De Leon, "the museum is glad to contribute to the university commemorations led by the UP Vice President for Public Affairs, at the university system level, and the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs, at the constituent university level."

Florante Cruz, Chair of the museum's organizing committee, said that the museum will hold "Ang Pilipinas sa Loob ng Limang Siglo,” a series of online and virtually-delivered events which aims to highlight the timeline of natural history as a field of science and study in the Philippines starting May 17 until September 22, 2021.

With the sub-theme Baliktanaw: Kasaysayan at Kalikasan, the series will attempt to help the public internalize the importance of significant historical events which have ultimately shaped the Philippine’s environment and natural wealth.

"The arrival of the Spanish on our shores, as they completed the first circumnavigation of the world, is a significant point in the scientific documentation of Philippine flora and fauna. But it was also the start of the long-term extraction of the Philippines' natural resources by a colonizing power," Cruz explained.

"While the occupation periods were also full of scientific advancements and discoveries in natural history, it was typically marred by war, conflict, and the accelerated abuse of the Philippines’ environment and resources. However, post-colonial independence has made it possible for Filipino scientists to make a mark in the study of the natural world in the continuing efforts to arrest the rapid decline and destruction of Philippine flora and fauna," he added.

Dr. Marian P. De Leon, Director of the museum, shared that "Ang Pilipinas sa Loob ng Limang Siglo” will not only be a commemoration, but will be also a celebration.

According to her, the museum will showcase the rare beauty and uniqueness of the Philippines in terms of its wonderful species which are mostly one-of-its kind. The series will also highlight the extraordinary lives of people who have contributed to what we are able to know in the field of natural history," she said.

"While looking back at the events that have unfolded which made the Philippines what it is today, we must all continue going forward, with pride and hope as the Filipino has historically done to stand up on its own, to ensure that Philippine biodiversity and the environment will be preserved and conserved and not end up as just facts of history," she added.


Note from the National Quincentennial Commemorations Portal:

In 2021, we will commemorate the Philippine part in the achievement of science and humankind in circumnavigating the planet for the first time. Central in this commemoration is the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan on 27 April 2021. These and more are collectively known as the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines by virtue of Executive Order No. 103 (2020). Know more about the event here: https://nqc.gov.ph/en/about


Planning a visit? Locate us here