Sto. Niño Shrine (Romuladez Museum)

Often confused with the Sto. Niño church, this 2-story building is located in Real Street in Tacloban City and one of the popular tourist attractions in the province. Not only because it's associated with the Marcoses, but because of the priceless collections inside the museum.

The museum was built in honor of the city’s patron saint, thus the name. However, some locals said it was built for the late President's wife, Imelda Marcos, and that it's one of their 29 rest houses in the country. 
 
What caught my attention right after I entered this museum is the wall. It looks like a handwoven palm leaves or banig, but it's not. It's actually textiles designed like a banig and was installed piece per piece. It's really amazing, giving the place this unique characteristics, very original. 
The museum's main attractions are the paintings of the 14 stations of the Cross done by Filipino artists, wooden bas-relief of the legend of the First Filipino man-woman (Si Malakas at Si Maganda) at the very expansive living room. A collection of original paintings by Fernando Amorsolo and priceless collectibles.
Some of these collections are floor carpets from Argentina, chandeliers from Czech Republic, mirrors from Austria, tiles from Italy, jars from China, an image of  the Holy Child made of Jade, antiques, ceramics, pottery and other priceless collections.
On the ground floor are the chapel with the image of the Sto. Niño as the focal point and the 13 never been used guest rooms. These guest rooms were tastefully decorated of varied Filipino motifs such as Palawan, Ilocos, Mindanao, etc...
It doesn't stop there, because once you go up to the second floor, you will be greeted by a very large starcase, expansive living room and a lot of other priceless collectibles. A very spacious ballroom, dining rooms, and the bed chambers of the former First Family. Most of the designs were very intricate.
Imelda's bedroom is really grand and huge. It's bathroom was luxurious and large, with its own beauty parlor and a big bathtub. The tour guide said these bedrooms were never been used so I suppose these were made just for show.
It’s best to come here in the morning because it tends to get too hot in the afternoon.  It’s also a big place and a lot of great spots to take good pictures so you must have extra time when you come here.
This is an old museum and need renovation, though a must visit if you are curious about history of the town and of course the Marcoses. The first time I visited this museum, I felt it's too quick and I haven't seen enough. So when my other friends and I went back there, I made sure it's included in our itinerary.
The tour on my 2nd visit was quick also but since we complained when we were there, the tour guide just allowed us to linger a little longer.  Then she just came back for us after the other guests left.  She even took pictures of us since she knows what and where are the best angles to take.
Entrance fee at Sto. Niño Shrine is Php290.00 for a group of 4 with just one camera to be used.  If you want to use more than one camera, you have to pay an additional Php60.00 each.
Shoes are to be removed when before the tour, so you have to change into the slippers they provide.
It is open from 8:00am to 4:00pm. A guide tour takes 30 minutes, though it's too short if you want to see more. If you want to stay a little longer, then just ask permission from the tour guide.
Address: Real St, Downtown, Tacloban City, Leyte
Opening Hours: 8:00am - 4:00pm

How to get to Sto. Niño Shrine from Downtown:
  • Take a jeepney going to Real Street and tell the driver to drop you off at the Shrine.  Regular Fare is Php8.00 and it takes less than 15 minutes.
  • You can also take a tricycle and tell the driver to take you to the Shrine.  Regular Fare is Php8.00, special trip is Php60.00.
*All photos were taken before the typhoon Haiyan and with different set of friends

©Joan Badiango & Eugene Perez

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