Museo Pambata is the first children’s discovery museum in the Philippines with various programs in support of children’s rights and a broad range of creative and educational services for children and adults involved in children’s welfare.
An inspiration from a previous visit at the Boston Children's Museum led Nina Lim-Yuson to conceptualize the Philippines' first discovery museum for young Filipino children, the Museo Pambata.. With shared enthusiasm, Yuson and former secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Estefania Aldaba-Lim presented the proposal to Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim in March 1993.
Three months after Mayor Lim's approval, the first Board of Trustees meeting was held. The following officers were elected during the first meeting in June 1993: Alfredo Lim (Chairman); Estefania Aldaba-Lim (President); Elizabeth Zobel (Vice-President); Wilfrido Tecson (Treasurer); and Leocadio de Asis (Legal Counsel). The board appointed Nina Lim-Yuson as the executive director and invited former First Lady Amelita Ramos to be the honorary chairperson. Other founding members include popular personalities, cultural advocates, and businessmen such as Zenaida Amador, Betty Go-Belmonte, Doris Ho, Leandro Locsin, Jose Pardo, Teresa Escoda Roxas, and Carlos Roxas.
The conceptualization of themes and design of the museum took almost a year. Architect and stage designer Joselito Tecson translated the concepts into several theme rooms. Scale models of the Museo Pambata were shown to prospective sponsors in order to raise funds and begin the construction. Promotional materials such as brochures and video teaser were produced with the help of McCann Erickson advertising agency and Cheche Lazaro's Probe Productions, respectively.
In December 1993, the City Council of Manila released a memorandum of agreement which provided a house for the Museo Pambata at the Elks Club Building in Manila. The museum was awarded with a 10-year-free-of-lease-use of the building. A recognition dinner was held in March 1994 for the sponsors who donated one million pesos each including Luis H. Lim Foundation, Juan and Lualhati Cojuangco Foundation, A.Y. Foundation, Petron Corporation, Fe S. Panlilio, Emilio T. Yap, Helena Z. Benitez, Security Bank and Trust Company, Landbank, and GSIS.
Museo Pambata finally opened its door to the public in December 21, 1994. Since then, the museum has been receiving an average of 200,000 children and adult visits every year.
The Museo Pambata is a children's interactive museum, the first of its kind in the Philippines. It is in a sense an alternative to the formal classroom environment where learning resembles a one-way street – the teacher imparts knowledge and the students absorb it. In Museo Pambata, children can use their total senses and learn various concepts at their own pace. It excites the minds of the young, inspires them to learn more, and most importantly revitalizes what child learning should be: fun and exciting.
The Museo Pambata has eight theme rooms where children, families and school groups can explore new and exciting learning opportunities by reliving our rich cultural heritage, assuming a pro-active role in caring for the environment, understanding how the human body works, discovering science through play, imagining what they can become someday, and understanding human rights in a global perspective. Educational programs for children and adults enhance Museo Pambata's interactive exhibits.
Other facilities in the museum include a children's library, gift shop, multi-purpose hall, changing exhibits hall, outdoor theater, and a playground.
The museum is located at the former Elks Club Building in Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive, Manila. It is open from 8am to 5pm everyday except on Mondays and official holidays.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees of Museo Pambata is composed of the following individuals:
- Chairman – Alfredo S. Lim
- President and CEO – Nina Lim-Yuson
- Executive Director – Maricel P. Montero
- Board members
- Olivia Campos
- Laura Jimenez-Westfall
- Wilfredo E.J.E. Reyes
- Emily Abrera
- Amelia Alonzo
- Larry Cruz
- Leandro Locsin, Jr.
- Juan Miguel Luz
- Gizela Gonzalez-Montinola
- Alice A. Pañares
- Aleli Villanueva.
- “About Us: Museo Pambata.” Museo Pambata.org. (Accessed on May 16,2008)