What’s in an airforce museum?

I’d been promising my son for years that we would visit the Philippine Air Force (PAF) museum to look at the old planes that can be seen when driving through Nichols (or Andrews road).

The perfect opportunity came during his birthday and we wanted a quick stop somewhere before heading for our usual weekend mall destination.

Being in a 3rd world country meant not expecting too much from our museums. So visiting this one not surprisingly revealed a number of dusty old displays and not a very sophisticated ambiance. However, it was still a great pleasure to learn a little bit more about our military history beyond the news I see on TV.

It was originally called the Marcos Museum in the 70s but was later renamed (I’m sure after President Marcos was booted out of office) and is a museum meant to honor airmen and other war heroes. It is located inside the Nichols Air Base.

Inside – we got to appreciate a little bit about the lineage of military generals in our history, for one. In showing the history of generals our history of revolts all the way to the EDSA 2 revolution were shown as well. There was also a display about female officers in the military, which brought some balance to a predominantly male lineup of names.

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A lady officer is featured in the display
A lady officer is featured in the display

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War medals
War medals

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Photo exhibits
Photo exhibits

Then we also got to appreciate the different military uniforms like the mess jackets for formal occasions, the combat uniform, and others.

Different military uniforms
Different military uniforms
Different military uniforms
Different military uniforms

There were also some very old missiles, guns and bombs on display and – oddly enough – a space capsule (though I’m not sure why it was there since this country has no capability for outer space exploration).

A missile on display
A missile on display
Missiles on display
Missiles on display
Old guns on display
Old guns on display
A space capsule on display
A space capsule on display

The main display were the old war planes, some of them suspended from the ceiling (older ones displayed right outside the museum in the Air Park).

War planes on display inside the PAF museum
War planes on display inside the PAF museum
War plane suspended from ceiling
War plane suspended from ceiling
War planes on display
War planes on display
War planes displayed outside the museum
War planes displayed outside the museum
War planes outside the museum
War planes outside the museum

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All in all an interesting quick hour-long visit that kids and adults alike would enjoy, especially if they want to learn something about our local air force.

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