“Lakbay” means “to take a trip”. The Philippines is made up of thousands of islands that are waiting to be explored. I’ve been to a few places around the country, and each location we’ve been to have something unique to offer. For example, Bicol has the majestic Mayon Volcano, while Bohol has the breathtaking Chocolate Hills. Furthermore, Laoag has an exciting Paoay Sand Dunes while Bukidnon has a stunning countryside.
The last we traveled domestic was four years ago. I told myself that someday, once Olive gets older (and willing to walk long distances), we’d resume traveling again.
But for the meantime, we can hop from one amazing place in the Philippines to another in less than two hours. We actually did that in Lakbay Museo.
Where is Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo recently opened last July 2019. I was able to find out about this two months ago through an Instagram post. After which, I immediately booked the three of us tickets.
Lakbay Museo is located at the ground level of S Maison Mall in Conrad Manila, Mall of Asia. The museum is not hard to miss because of its very colorful, bright, and lively façade that seems to lure everyone to come inside and party.
The museum is open from 10 AM to 10 PM daily.
Their online rate is 699 pesos, but you can purchase a ticket at 599 pesos at Klook.com. I think they also have promotional rates in MetroDeal from time to time. Inclusive with the ticket are ten tokens per head, which you could use to “buy” or “sample” stuffs inside the museum.
What’s Inside Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo has 11 sections:
- National Capital Region
- Ilocos Region
- Cagayan Valley Region
- Central Luzon Region
- Southern Tagalog Region
- Bicol Region
- Western Visayas
- Central Visayas
- Eastern Visayas
- Cordillera Administrative Region
At the entrance lobby, you’d be able to see three transportation representations on how to get around the country: airplane, jeepney, and vinta boat.
We were also encouraged to wear pieces of authentic native costumes for a full immersive experience. I loved the shawl I got to wear from Mindanao. We need to return it after the tour, though.
Majority chose to enter the museum via “airplane”. It’d require you to go up a ladder and slide down to get to the other side. Obviously, my daughter chose this path, because of her love of the slide.
Once inside, the interior is unlike any other museum you’ve been into. It’s not the usual quiet and cold place with dimmed lighting. You’d be greeted with a kaleidoscope of bright, colorful lights and happy noise! It’s like you’ve been teleported into a world of celebration.
National Capital Region
To be honest, I was overwhelmed with all the eye candy I see around, so, I got sort of lost as to what National Capital Region has. All I remember is that it has a full line up of sari-sari stores and stalls you’d typically see in a marketplace.
You’d get to love all of the replicas and the details. Even the smallest piece of article is very life like.
I particularly loved the “Tusok-tusok” section wherein it has replicas of every street food on stick that Filipinos love: barbeque, isaw, fish ball, and banana-cue.
Luzon is the largest island of the Philippines. Therefore, it is obvious that a big portion of the museum’s exhibits are related to this.
Lakbay Museo was able to capture Calle Crisologo, Vigan’s most famous street. It basically covers what the region has to offer: the famous empanada, longganisa, Ilocano dishes, burnay making and various souvenirs that can be exclusively found in Ilocos.
The most famous place in Region 2 is the Batanes Island. The well-known representation of this is the Ivatan house. We experienced wearing the “vakul”. It is a headgear that could protect the locals from rain and sun. And, boy, they were really heavy.
The highlight of this region is the Barasoain Church found in Bulacan. Since it is almost Christmas season, it is adorned with a full holiday knickknacks complete with parols, bibingka and puto bumbong. The food are of course, replicas only. But you can use your token to sample a bite of the “kakanin”.
The centerpiece of this region is in Lucban, Quezon province, during the celebration of Pahiyas. It is basically their colorful and lively version of harvest festival. The exhibit samples a typical house decorated with flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Bicol was the last place I went to before I gave birth. I fell in love with the majestic Mayon Volcano. I’d still go back there if given the time and chance. In Lakbay Museo, they also have a replica of the famous volcano, together with Cagsawa Ruins, as well as all the spicy and yummy Bicolano dishes. Don’t miss going under the volcano.
Visayas is composed of many groups of islands, each with amazing tourist destinations.
Lakbay Museo highlighted this section with the Magellan’s Cross, sweet Philippine mangoes, more yummy dishes and of course, the sinfully delicious Cebu lechon.
Western and Eastern Visayas
Visayas has a lot of gorgeous beaches. But the hidden beauty of it all is the marine life.
Lakbay Museo was able to put together a stunning marine life made of recyclable materials like plastic bottles. This section also aims to educate everyone about marine life preservation.
Mindanao is usually misunderstood and often associated with conflicts and hostilities. But, it is a beautiful paradox once you get inside this section devoted to everything Mindanao. My daughter was amazed to hear the kulintang being played. She actually kept saying “Wow!”
There are other relevant and equally note worthy things to discover in Lakbay Museo.
Panagbenga Festival and Others
This has a carabao adorned with flowers. You can actually sit on the carabao to have your picture taken. You can also wear as many layers of palayok as you can (only made of rubber) on your head. We didn’t get to do this part though.
Rice and Coffee
There’s a section wherein they get to showcase different types of rice and coffee grown here in the country.
My “a-ha” moment on this part is that we have a lot of rice species! I never knew that there is Malunggay Rice and Violet Rice! It is indeed Filipino’s staple food.
Same is the case with coffee. We have corn coffee, ladies and gentlemen! I wonder how it taste like…
Philippine Handcrafted Textiles
Lakbay Museo lets us touch and feel the beauty of authentic native fabrics. It’s a shame that we don’t mass produce these beautiful cloths.
Philippines has a lot of festivals, each distinctive per region. Lakbay Museo showcases various festival costumes like the Pintados, Masskara, Penafrancia, and Ati-Atihan to name a few.
Apart from our love with rice, Filipinos also have a love affair with pancit. We love our pancit in several types: pancit guisado, pancit sotanghon, pancit palabok etc. Now, I am officially hungry.
Museum “tourists” can watch a live cultural performance showcasing our various exuberant folk dances. It adds up to the celebratory feeling you have upon entering the museum.
Our Lakbay Museo Experience
Lakbay Museo is an interactive museum which perfectly hits the spot of Filipinos’ love of taking “touristy” photographs. Everything is eye candy and “Instagrammable”.
Moreover, Lakbay Museo echoes the Filipinos’ love of food and celebration.
My only dilemma about this place is that it’s not spacious enough! It felt “bitin”, especially for Visayas and Mindanao. We need to showcase more what our country can offer!
My daughter may not yet comprehend what she’s seeing, but, I think she enjoyed it. She thought she’s inside a playground. She kept coming back to the airplane slide.
Tips When Inside Lakbay Museo
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. It’s a two-hour “travel” after all.
- Take your time and absorb everything. Read every trivia and go to every nook and cranny, because there’s something to discover in every corner.
- Take your own photos (and lots of them). Lakbay Museo has in-house photographers, but you have to pay for it if you want a copy.
- Handle everything with care. You are free to touch and hold the props, but, take good care of them for posterity.
Amazing 5 Stars
Lakbay Museo provides an awesome glimpse of our country. It offers an easy access to places you’ve never been before. Likewise, it motivates us to pack our bags, see, taste, and experience the real thing. More importantly, it reignites our adoration and pride for our dear country.
It’s worth another visit, maybe, with friends or in later years, with my family again, once Olive has gotten older. Or better yet, an actual trip to each places as inspired by our Lakbay Museo experience.