Museo Iloilo, located along Bonifacio Drive in Iloilo City Proper, is the first gov’t sponsored museum outside Metro Manila. The museum building was designed by Ilonggo architect Sergio Penasales.
The museum houses an impressive collection of Iloilo’s cultural heritage which includes stone age native pottery; fossils; jewelry; burial sites; trade pottery from China , Annam and Siam; era photos. Mementos and war relics; a British sunken ship; Spanish-era Filipino sculpture; and modern art done by Ilonggo artists and craftsmen.
Museo Iloilo’s permanent exhibit covers the cultural history of Western Visayas from prehistory to contemporary history. Inside is the carbon-q4 dated fossils, the swords and spears of the Mondo tribe of Panay, and the permanent exhibit showing an Ati family.
What could surprise any visitor is the santo entiero or the dead Christ with a white hanky around its head. It looks so much like a preserved body of a dead person especially with the shriveled skin at its shoulders.
Other artifacts are statues, reliefs (one of a female saint holding her lopped-off breast), crosses, weapons of the Mondos (descendants of pre-Malay Indonesians), burial urns, blue and white ceramics, prehistoric tools, a tableau of the Last Supper and other things of interest that have made this museum stake a claim on being the best outside Metro Manila.
Museo Iloilo is found in Bonifacio Drive, just beside the Iloilo Provincial Capitol and the Department of Tourism Regional Office.