10 Reasons to visit the Bank of the Philippines Islands Museum and Library

By Miong - Saturday, December 08, 2018

Did you know that a person who specializes in collecting coins or paper money is called Numismatist? They are collectors, specialist dealers and scholars who use coins in their researches. If you have the passion of a Numismatist have or simply has the curiosity to learn new things out of History, then the Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) Museum and Library is worth your next visit.

Opened in 2011, the BPI museum and library showcase a rich collection of old coins and bills, the first official currency of the Philippines more than a century ago. Truly a celebration of Filipino culture set on the grounds of the Queen City of the South as home to the bank’s third branch in 1924 and have been part of BPl’s efforts to promote financial education and inclusion for every Filipino. It also highlights BPl’s 167-year history as the first bank in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia.

SO as promise, here are 10 Reasons you should visit the BPI Museum and Library:
  • On display at the museum are gold coins that started circulation in 1861, 10 years after the establishment of El Banco Espahol Filipino de Isabel II, which we know today as BPI

  • The museum also carries the first ever Philippine banknotes issued by BPl on May 1, 1852. These were the first banknotes in the country and even in Southeast Asia. At that time, they could be redeemed for gold or silver Mexican coins.

  • There is a collection of coins of varying denominations from the last 50 years of Spanish rule: 10 cents, 20 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, 5 pesos.
  • There are coins issued during the reign of King Ferdinand Vll counter-stamped with “Y ll” for Isabel ll, his daughter and the only female monarch of Spain in modern times.

  • The museum also has a leather-bound bank journal from 1855. The escribientes or writing clerks who wrote on this journal had to be trained to do the task using the accepted script.
  • There are banknotes from 1904 in six denominations and with the text in Spanish: cinco (5), diez (10), veinte (20), cincuenta (50), cien (100), dos cientos (200).
  • Govemment-issued coins from 1903 to 1908 that were designed by Melecio Figueroa. They were the signature coins of the American colonial period.

  • You‘ll find the book that details the bank’s purchase of the corner lot where the BPl building now stands along Magallanes and P. Burgos streets. The Bank bought the lot from the Augustinian friars for only 65,610 pesos.
  • The library itself is an architectural landmark, a neo-classical building designed by noted architecttuan Arellano. The high ceilings and tall glass windows serve as a repository for shelves of reference books on economics, finance, management, and trade, including a section especially dedicated to Cebu culture and a designated reading area for children.

  • The BPI's Library concept and design were patterned after the Filipinas Heritage Library, with access to the University of San Carlos' vast library system. It has become valuable, unparalleled resource for Cebu's current and future business leaders, and it serves as a venue for regular workshops for topics related to business and finance.
The BPI Library which is at the 3rd Floor of the BPI Building and open to the public from 9AM - 5PM. Appointments are required when visiting the BPI Museum, call the following contacts to get access to the Museum:

Michelle G. Gorduiz
0932 882 2229 or (032) 318-3533

Let us know what's your experience in your visit with BPI Museum and Library!

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