The New INC MUSEUM: Splendid, Sublime, Immersive

The New INC MUSEUM:  Splendid, Sublime,  Immersive

Housed in a five-floor building with an expansive facade and lobby, the INC Museum is an architectural wonder designed by Francisco Mañosa, who was recognized as a Philippine National Artist for Architecture in 2018. Integrating historical and thematic exhibits, the museum features well-curated artworks, audio recordings, vernacular materials, original furniture, interior elements, and relics of INC’s humble beginnings.

The INC Museum is the largest private museum in the country and was constructed over a period of two years. The Mañosa Group of Companies’ architectural design reflects and echoes the dynamism of INC’s history, its milestones, and victories garnered around the world.

The immersive and experiential INC Museum tour tells the story of the Iglesia Ni Cristo concurrent with the history of the nation from the 1900s. The museum gives voice to INC’s rich spiritual heritage and faith culture while expressing vibrant aspirations for the future. 

The new 46,098 square meters ecclesiastical museum incorporates the historical timeline of the life and struggles of the Church, Iglesia Ni Cristo, helmed by its first Executive Minister, Brother Felix Y. Manalo (July 27,1914-April 12,1963), fortified and expanded to the Far West by Brother Erano G. Manalo  (April 19, 1963- August 31, 2009) and amplified its religious presence with exponential number of membership and humanitarian services around the world through the dynamic leadership of Brother Eduardo V. Manalo (September 7, 2009- present).

The walls and floors seamlessly juxtapose the historical milestones and timelines listed in world history.

“We tapped experts from different fields in the development of the museum,” states INC Museum director True Santos-Matias; “It took us almost 8 years, from the initial storyboard to realize our vision.” The museum also commissioned Peter Natividad, collections and curatorial management consultant.

While the museum has a modernized infrastructure, it has remained true to the core cultural values of the Church. Undoubtedly, the INC Museum will give visitors an unprecedented museum experience, with people at the heart of its vision, highlighting the divine guidance that propelled the Church to its global stature.

Front and center to the vision of the museum is intergenerational learning– for students of religions, students of history, for school children, and for adults, through its multilayered thematic exhibits, interactivity, and programming. 

“We look forward to sharing the new museum experience with our proud and diverse communities, as well as welcoming international guests,” said Jun Cortez, Assistant Director of the Museum, during the tour. “The INC Museum is meant to teach the next generation of the heritage — what they have to understand about Iglesia Ni Cristo, and also to tell other people how the INC started, and what the Iglesia Ni Cristo is today,” he added.

Photograb from FB, Mañosa Group of Companies

 The expansive lobby exudes tranquillity, as natural light greets the guests and visitors of the most worthwhile historical attraction in the country. 

By architectural standards, round buildings are a challenge to build, but this did not pose a hindrance in bringing this building to life in its gorgeous stature.

Looking up above is the spherical path of glass and steel, in a form transcending the reality of cold stones and steel. 

The second level provides an enigmatic 1900’s-era feel and a transition from Spanish colonialism to resounding independence. It is atmospheric in a sense—exuding old-world design juxtaposed with modern technology which, in effect, offers an immersive plethora of archived information.

By creating awareness of the significance of the INC heritage, it perpetuates the ideals of Brother Felix Y. Manalo’s perseverance and sublime diligence in pursuing his calling.

The building also features the newest technology to ensure the safety and convenience of visitors such as walkalators and a state-of-the-art Building Management System that controls the building’s cooling, ventilation, lighting, electrical, pumps and tanks, system architectures, and door locks.

Expect the depth and substance in the artifacts and original volumes of manuscripts that Brother FYM wrote himself, the grand display of miniature chapels in significant cities of the Philippines and in the US. These are highlighted on the third floor of the museum. 

The spherical interior design of the interior balcony connotes an appealing pattern of history—repetitive, and iterative yet defined stories of INC victories.

 “The museum is open to everyone, not just INC members because we believe that the museum’s exhibits have a beautiful story to tell — one that we want to share with all our countrymen,” said INC General Auditor Glicerio Santos Jr. in a statement.

Museum Director True Santos Matias said the development of the museum took years, “because we wanted to make sure that the museum would integrate the newest technology and innovations utilized in the world’s top museums.”

“All museums are treasure-troves of information, but the excellent ones stand out because they are really engaging and truly immersive. That is what we wanted to achieve here,” the Museum Director added.

“The comfort and safety of our visitors were also taken into consideration when we built the museum. We want to make going around the museum as easy as possible, especially since we expect many guests to be senior citizens and children,” Matias said.

The INC Museum is a non-profit cultural and educational institution owned and operated by the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, the sociocultural and environmental arm of the religious organization.

It is accessible to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. located at 25 Central Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines.

~Marites de Jesus at the INC Museum on September 24, 2019