The museum houses the historical and cultural treasures of Iloilo. It is located near the provincial capitol complex along Bonifacio Drive in downtown Iloilo. It is said to be the repository of Panay’s significant religious and cultural artifacts as well as an exhibit hall for up and coming local artists.
The museum building is in itself an interesting structure. Built in 1971, it was designed by Sergio Penasales, an Ilonggo architect. On one side of the building, bas reliefs of various churches in Iloilo were placed, among others, the Molo Church and the UNESCO World Heritage listed baroque church of Miag-ao. A couple of old canons were also placed just outside of the building.
Sections of the museo include the permanent exhibit on the history of Panay (prehistoric up to the present), ethno-cultural display of the Ati (local pygmy) and the early waves of Indo-Malayo groups, and the exhibit of religious icons and the detailed retablo.
There are also displays of pre-war photographs of Iloilo and before the modernization period. There is also a collection of books about the province which visitors can browse and read.
I personally liked the exhibit on religious artifacts. There were icons and items in the collection which strongly define Iloilo’s faith and spirituality. Some items in the collection were donated by Ilonggos.
Museo Iloilo is now managed by Iloilo Cultural Research Foundation, Inc.
It is open Mondays to Saturdays (9am-5pm), Sundays (10am-6pm). Admission fee: Php 15.00 for students (present an ID) and Php 50.00 for non-students/adults