Money Museum of the Central Bank of the Philippines

Philippines’ Central Bank Money Museum — Museo ng Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas — Money Museum of the Central Bank of the Philippines

Philippines, Manila


A. Mabini St. cor. P. Ocampo St.,

Malate Manila, Philippines 1004




Tel:             +632 524 7011

Fax:            +632 708 7701


Web site:




Monday — Friday: 09:00 — 24:00

1:00 — 04:00

Saturday, Sunday: days off


Entrance to the museum: Free


Year of establishment: 1999

Money Museum of the Central Bank of the Philippines

Money Museum of the Central Bank of the Philippines was opened January 3, 1999. The basis of the museum’s collection was taken from the bank’s funds collected since 1974, and donations from private collectors.

This collection of the museum traces the history of changes in the country’s money, from its primitive means of commercial exchange up to the examples of contemporary coins and banknotes. The collection is divided into several periods, which were the most significant in the Philippines’ development.


Coins of the pre-colonial period (pre-Spanish era)

The first Philippine coin — the «Golden Ring of exchange» or Tumbaga, was a circular tube «earring» made of red gold. First appeared in the first century BC and was in use until the XVI century.

Museum of the Central Bank of the Philippines. Coins from the Collection of the Fund.

Philippines’ coin collectors consider the so-called Piloncitos as the earliest coins — tiny beadlike beads of gold in different sizes, which had circulated in the country in the IX-XXII centuries during the pre-colonial kingdom of Ma-yi (Ma-yi). There is not many left, since most of the coins were melted down into jewelry.


Money of the colonial period.


Spanish colonization of the Philippines began in 1565 and lasted for 250 years. During this period, the Spanish fleet actively exported the values from the countries of the Caribbean Sea, and the location of the Philippines made it a shopping center of navigation. Spanish money — Reales (Dos mundos), a series of stamped coins and portraits of silver, as well as Mexican Macuiquina (Cob) Silver Dos mundos, sometimes called Pillar dollars were used as the currency of the country from 1732 to 1772. Today these coins are considered as one of the most beautiful and rare coins in the world.


Due to the acute shortage of coins, Spanish royalty allowed Manila to mint their own coins, and in 1728 the first Filipino Barrillas appeared. There are sources that mention the existence of another coin minted at the Philippines — Calderillo. Made from an alloy of bronze or copper, the coin was in the shape of a parallelogram with jagged edges. There is a registry of its release by the Spanish governor of the naval base in Kative dated 1766 However, the other documents confirming its existence has not been preserved, as well as the coin itself.


In 1852 the first banknotes called Peso fuertes were released in the Philippines, and in 1861 Manila minted the first golden coins with the inscription «Filipinas», that were called Isabelinas and Alfonsinos.


Money of the revolutionary period.


August 23, 1896 the revolution took place at the Philippines and the country was declared the first Philippine Republic. In honor of this event the Army arsenal Malolos minted two types of copper coins two centavos each. But the release was very limited, and now they are rare. The banknotes were released at the same period. The new money had a short life – as the revolutionary movement was suppressed.


Money of the American period.

Museum of the Central Bank of the Philippines. Coins from the Collection of the Fund.

In 1901 the Philippines were occupied by the United States. Soon, the U.S. Congress passed the Coinage Act of the Philippines, allowing the U.S. to release silver coins of the Philippines from 1903 to 1912. Later until 1918, paper Silver certificates were released into circulation and from 1918 to 1935 they were replaced with Treasury Certificates.

In 1920 Manila Mint once again began its work, producing silver coins of the country.


World War II.


During the Japanese occupation in 1941 — 1944 two kinds of banknotes were used in the Philippines — the Japanese invasion money issued by the Government of Japan, and the banknotes of the Resistance (Guerrilla Notes), which were the money of Filipino guerrillas.


Money of the Republican period.


January 3, 1949 the «Law of the Republic» № 265 came into force, the Central Bank of the Philippines (BSP) was founded. The release of the Victory Notes coin with the stamp «The Central Bank of the Philippines» was dedicated to this event. The first official banknotes released by the Central Bank in 1951, had an inscription in English, the inscription in Philippine was added in 1967. The series of Ang Begonga Lipunena was released in 1973, and in 1985 the series of new design.

The coins of the British series of the Central Bank were also released in 1959, with Philippine language — in 1967, and the coins of the series of Ang Begonga Lipunena in 1975. The Flora and Fauna series was introduced into circulation in 1983, its improved version in 1992 In 1998, this series was demonetized.


The exhibition Gallery of the museum is located in the premises of the Central Bank of the Philippines. The entire collection of the museum is owned by the state.





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