The coin as currency has been not only used, but frequently misused and mishandled, counterfeited, devalued, stolen, made in an indefinite variety of forms, private or official, legal or criminal, which are indicative of the historical and cultural variations of human life.

A good display of coins is one of the most valuable educational services a Museum could render to its visitors. The UST Museum’s coin collection was started, maintained and developed by the sheer personal interest and sense of value of Dominican professors. The permanent numismatic display in the Museum Hall contains just a sampling of coins with significant cultural value.

The coin collection of the UST Museum is the product of a long-sustained interest in historical and cultural research. It participated in the Regional Exposition of the Philippines as far back as 1895, and also in Hanoi, Philadelphia, Amsterdam, and Paris, wherein the University earned outstanding awards, and some coins of the collection were considered meritorious. The collection has occasionally been lent to other institutions and to important commemorative exhibits.

This excerpt from the article “COINS” by former Museum Director Rev. fr. Jesus Ma. Merino Antolinez, O.P. was condensed from the MUSEUM OF ARTS AND SCIENCES magazine-brochure, edited by Rev. fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P.


Keen and sensitive to the cultural values of the people they were evangelizing, the Dominican missionaries made efforts to collect implements of life which are now displayed in the UST Museum. These collections serve as vivid records interesting for all who wish to have a deeper understanding of Philippine native culture.

While the artifacts of ethnology are classified according to tribal divisions of the Mountain Province, Cagayan Valley, Bataan, Zambales, Sierra Madre, Mindoro, Zamboanga, etc., the visitor could as well view them according to objective groupings: weaponry, kitchen wares, religious paraphernalia, personal decors, and musical instruments.

All who view the weaponry collection can be acquainted with the fighting style of the early Filipinos. Most interesting are the Ifugao headhunters’ arrows and axes, and the different examples of that most Muslim of weapons, the Kris. To top all are the diverse bamboo arms, with ingenious arrowheads, of the Aetas from Nueva Ecija and Zambales.

Not all the times were times of war. The household wares, implements, and basketry give the observer an idea of the times of peace. Reminders of daily chores and domesticity, examples of an aesthetic unique to these tribes, our ancestors. There is a myriad of objects to fascinate, delight and inform. Many of the religious objects used for animistic rituals can be considered belonging to rare collections. The missionaries realized that they were cultural riches headed for extinction. The feather headdresses worn by the priests of the Igorotes, bowls of the Ibalois, the necklaces, anklets, earrings, and other jewels constitute the native religious collections.

The recording of Philippine ethnology will not be complete without mentioning tribal instruments: flutes, strings, drums, and gongs. The wind instruments typify the North while the gongs typify the South; the strings and drums are common to tribes everywhere. There was music for burial, for victory, for courting and for religious celebrations.

This excerpt from the article “ETHNOGRAPHIC ARTIFACTS” by Rev. fr. Vicente Cajilig, O.P., was condensed from the MUSEUM OF ARTS AND SCIENCES magazine-brochure, edited by Rev. fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P.


The word "medal" is the vernacular word for the Latin metallum meaning metal, yet the value of the medal is not in the material of which it is made, but in the concepts, impressions, and memories it conveys for the inspiration of men. The integral part of the medal is the symbol or the representation of a person or a group of persons, a place, an object, or a significant incident held in honorable memory. Around the central element is displayed a legend in letters and numbers that identifies the person, place, occasion, or date of the memorable event. In medals designed as testimonials of eminent social standing, the legend also designates the name of the honor conferred and may include the merits and the qualifications of the awardee, and the occasion of the award as well.

The medal is a sign of an appreciation of value; it proclaims the excellence of a particular person or group of persons for rendering an honorable contribution to the welfare of its fellow men. Awards for religious, civic, military, academic, and social service achievements are naturally expressed in the form of medals. Collecting medals is, therefore, a task of distinction that implies a keen awareness of the values of men. It benefits a museum whose institutional mission is to gather, preserve and display, for understanding and inspiration, the values of humanity.

The collection of medals in the UST Museum is a modest one, and the personal interest and dedication of the Dominican professors who taught at the University was the main factor in its formation and development.The permanent display exhibits: persons – Jesus, Mary, Queen Isabella of Spain, Marco Polo, a series of Roman Pontiffs; events – the first Vatican Council, the Tokyo Olympics of 1964; famous institutions of learning – the University of Vienna in Austria, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; monuments of renown – the Cathedral of Rheims, the Cathedral of Milan; and many more. Memorable events in Philippine history and the life of the University are given due prominence in the display.The UST Museum is keeping to its educational and inspirational mission by making available to interested researchers, guests and students a worthy collection of medals.

This excerpt from the article “MEDALS” by former UST Museum Director Rev. fr. Jesus Ma. Merino Antolinez, O.P. was condensed from the MUSEUM OF ARTS AND SCIENCES magazine-brochure, edited by Rev. fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P.


In its history of almost four hundred years, the University has lived through many vicissitudes. Through its classrooms have passed prominent and ordinary men who have shaped the face of the nation. Some of them left their imprint on the University, others were marked by it – saints and presidents, heroes and soldiers.

Here you can still see the bell which called the students to or from the classroom, and the dry seal whose stamp testified to the official recognition of their qualifications; the maces that opened the procession in the day of their graduation or in the solemn inauguration of the school year; the silver tray where their grades were cast by the tribunal of examinations, and other silent witnesses to a life started over 300 years ago.

One of the silver maces belonging to the Office of the Rector
Bronze, 1889. Designed by Tony Noel, originally located at the Intramuros campus of UST and transferred to its current location in front of the Plaza Mayor at the Sampaloc campus after World War II.

Other classic examples of memorabilia around the campus are the Benavides Monument, created as a tribute to the University’s founder, Msgr. Fr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P., third Archbishop of Manila. There are also the statues on pedestals at the 4th floor of the Main Building. Made by the late Italian sculptor and former Head of the UST Department of Sculpture, Francesco Monti, the statues were erected during the rectoral term of Fr. Angel de Blas, O.P. 1949-1953) to symbolize the spiritual and intellectual aspirations of the University.

This excerpt from the article MEMORABILIA” was written by former UST Museum Director Rev. fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P. and condensed from the MUSEUM OF ARTS AND SCIENCES magazine-brochure.


The section on Natural History is popular among the visitors to the Museum, especially the students. Here, scientifically presented, are specimens of Philippine fauna. The section’s highlight is the diorama of Philippine fauna, containing stuffed specimens of animals indigenous to the Philippines. Many of the University’s specimens are either endangered or already extinct, rendering the collection very valuable not only to naturalists and students, but to anyone interested in the natural treasures of this country.

The Philippines has been called the "Paradise of Shell Collectors" because in our seas live practically every kind of mollusk. The University is in possession of an immense collection covering practically the entire world of shells, gathered through many years of field work and research.

The internees of the UST Campus during the Japanese occupation were given access to the collection to recheck and complete its taxonomic classification. The system followed was very simple yet proved to be very efficient, and it is according to this classification (Gastropoda, Land Shells, Bivalves) that they are displayed in the Museum.

This excerpt from the articles NATURAL HISTORY” and "SHELLS" by A. Abad was condensed from the MUSEUM OF ARTS AND SCIENCES magazine-brochure, edited by Rev. fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P.


The collection includes paintings from the 16th to the 20th century and is loosely divided into three main groups.

The first group includes paintings with religious subjects done by early Spanish and Filipino artists through the 16th and 17th centuries. Some of these were presumably brought by Spanish missionaries to visually complement and reinforce their religious teaching and to foster and enhance worship and devotion.

The second group consists mostly of portraits of early Popes and Bishops, of UST Rectors and other Dominicans. Most impressive and inspiring of these works, however, are a number of old and timeworn paintings of Dominican missionaries, who were martyred in Asia from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

The third group includes paintings that with a great variety of subjects, and except for a number of works by foreign artists, showcase the period of Philippine painting from the later years of the 19th century to the present. There are works by Juan Luna, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, Manuel Zaragosa, Simeon Flores, Fabian de la Rosa, Fernando Amorsolo and his brother Pablo, Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Galo B. Ocampo, Vicente Manansala, Anita Magsaysay-Ho, and many others. Francisco Goya, Cirio Fanigiulio and Romualdo Locatelli lead the foreign artists.


The images come from provinces like Ilocos, Pangasinan, Laguna and the Visayas. They were sought and obtained for their importance in forging Filipino religiosity. The collection can now be considered one of the more valuable and well-admired in the country.

Late 16th to 17th century ivory figure of the Crucified Christ. It is the second largest ivory sculpture of its kind in the world. Photo credit: Assoc. Prof. Ana Bautista, former UST Museum Assistant Director