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New National Planetarium to Rise in Rizal Park, Manila

Old National Planetarium in Manila

The National Museum of the Philippines announced the temporary closure of the National Planetarium as an institution and the decommissioning of its building in Rizal Park, Manila, inaugurated in 1975.


There are times in the life of a beloved institution where a long chapter has to be brought to a close in order to start a new one, for a new contemporary world and a new set of generations of Filipinos.


Thus it is, with a measure of sadness, fondness and nostalgia – but also with anticipation and excitement for its future, that we announce the temporary closure of the National Planetarium as an institution and the decommissioning of its 46 year-old premises in the central section of Rizal Park, Manila. 


This is to give way to the development plans of the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) in the central and western sections of Rizal Park, at the same time as the National Museum of the Philippines has taken over the eastern section of Rizal Park – where the National Museum of Anthropology and National Museum of Natural History around Agrifina Circle are located – with development plans of our own in this area for the National Museum Complex (including the adjacent area on which the National Museum of Fine Arts stands) as mandated by our charter, Republic Act No. 11333.


We are sad to retire the old building, which has in its own way been a landmark in Manila and a pillar of the National Museum of the Philippines as a whole, but we are excited and motivated to work to deliver a new facility that will breathe new life into the National Planetarium as a beloved institution.


Stand by for the announcement of our plans, currently in the development stage, for a new National Planetarium truly worthy of the name in our present time, and which will be designed to serve the public well for many more decades to come with the unique experience that only a world-class planetarium can provide.



Nostalgia


National Planetarium to Rise in Rizal Park, Manila


This is really sad news. As a kid, we remember freaking out in the pitch-black darkness as the Planetarium show started, then being totally awed by the wondrous stars projected moving across the sky-ceiling. We were introduced to the magnificent Gustav Holst piece, The Planets, played as soundtrack to the Manila Bay sunset just before the stars rose. 


As a kid, we truly believed that the dome roof opened and a Space Shuttle blasted us off into orbit, so much so that we really tried to figure out how all that was possible upon stepping outside the building after the show.


We have very fond memories with our family and classmates in this place. And the Planetarium played an enormous part in our love affair with the stars and the night sky that has lasted to this day.


So long, Planetarium



What is the National Planetarium in Manila?


What is the National Planetarium in Manila


The National Planetarium (Filipino: Pambansang Planetaryo), also known as the National Museum Planetarium (shortened as NM Planetarium), is a planetarium owned and operated by the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila.


The National Planetarium, also known as the National Museum Planetarium, is a planetarium owned and operated by the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila. It is a 16m dome located in Rizal Park between the Japanese Garden and Chinese Garden on Padre Burgos Avenue in the central district of Ermita.


National Planetarium to Rise in Rizal Park, Manila


It opened on October 8, 1975, and has been in operation since then.HistoryThe building of a space museum in Rizal Park was proposed by Philippine Weather Bureau chief and Philippine Astronomical Society founder Maximo Sacro Jr. to National Museum Director Godofredo Alcasid Sr. in 1970. It was presented to then National Parks and Development Committee chair and First Lady Imelda Marcos who approved the project and immediately instructed the Bureau of Public Works to prepare plans for the building. Construction of the building began in 1974 with help from Japanese engineers.


The planetarium cost US$100,000 to build with funding provided by the Japanese government as part of its war reparation to the Philippines. Presidential Decree No. 804-A was signed by then-President Ferdinand Marcos on September 30, 1975 which formally established the National Planetarium. The building was formally inaugurated on October 8, 1975 with Maximo Sacro Jr. as its first curator. Museum exhibits and facilities National Planetarium is 16m high and has a seating capacity of 310. 


It is equipped with a GM-15-S Goto starball projector acquired since 1975. It features four daily regular shows and a permanent exhibit in the main building featuring paintings of Philippine astronomical myths and beliefs and diorama representations of the Solar System, major constellations and astronomists. 



History of National Planetarium 


The building of a space museum in Rizal Park was proposed by Philippine Weather Bureau chief and Philippine Astronomical Society founder Maximo Sacro Jr. to National Museum Director Godofredo Alcasid Sr. in 1970. It was presented to then National Parks and Development Committee chair and First Lady Imelda Marcos who approved the project and immediately instructed the Bureau of Public Works to prepare plans for the building. Construction of the building began in 1974 with help from Japanese engineers. The planetarium cost US$100,000 to build with funding provided by the Japanese government as part of its war reparation to the Philippines.[2] Presidential Decree No. 804-A was signed by then President Ferdinand Marcos on September 30, 1975 which formally established the National Planetarium.[3] The building was formally inaugurated on October 8, 1975 with Maximo Sacro Jr. as its first curator.


The National Planetarium was closed in late 2018 and was reopened in January 2019 after two months of renovation. It was closed from April 2020 until July 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


What to See at National Planetarium?


What to See at National Planetarium?

Planetarium Shows

  • A Planet for Goldilocks.
  • Hayabusa: Back to the Earth.
  • Journey to a Billion Suns.



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