What’s Inside the National Museum’s Second Mobile Museum Box?

Earlier this March, the National Museum of the Philippines reopened to the public but has since closed its doors again as per IATF recommendations. If you’ve been planning to pay them a visit, the good news is they’re bringing the museum closer to you through their virtual Mobile Museum Boxes. There are 12 of these to look out for and they just released their second box.

What’s in the Box?

The second Mobile Museum Box features two of the Rafflesia species from the Visayas region — the Rafflesia Manillana and Rafflesia Speciosa — although there is another species Rafflesia Lobata that can also be found in the region. In the Philippines alone, there are 13 recognized species of these parasitic plants which are considered the world’s largest bloom. But because they quickly wither, the flowering plants can be hard to come by.

What's Inside the National Museum's Second Mobile Museum Box?
Photo: National Museum of the Philippines

What is a Rafflesia?

The Rafflesia is considered parasitic because it feeds off other plants for water and nutrients. They lack leaves, chlorophyll, stems, and roots, but have flowers that give off a horrible smell similar to decaying flesh. These flowers bloom for only three to five days then wither afterward.

Facts about R. Manillana

  • This species is one of the smallest.
  • Its flower spans 15 to 20 centimeters in diameter.
  • First discovered in Basey, Samar in 1838.
  • A rare and endangered species.

Facts about R. Speciosa    

  • This species is a recent discovery.
  • Its flower spans 45 to 56 centimeters in diameter — thrice the size of R. Manillana.
  • First discovered in Panay, Antique in 2002.
  • Locally referred to as “Uruy”.

The Mobile Museum Boxes are brought to you by Western Visayas Association of Museums, Inc., the National Museum of the Philippines, and Forest Foundation Philippines. Its objective is to showcase the rich history and culture of the Visayas islands to remote areas. But due to unforeseen circumstances and travel restrictions, they’ve opted to open these boxes to the online community.

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Photo: National Museum of the Philippines

Stay tuned to the National Museum of the Philippines’ Facebook and Twitter page to learn more about the Rafflesia and for updates on the upcoming boxes.

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