The Book Museum

The Book Museum cum Ethnology Center, located in Marikina Heights is the first of its kind in Marikina City and probably in the entire Asia. Owned by Atty. Dominador D. Buhain, Chairman and President of the REX Group of Companies, one of the leading publishing companies in the Philippines. His fascination with books led him to collect them and some other reading materials as souvenirs from all 200+ countries which he had visited around the globe. Thus on March 2013, he opened the Book Museum cum Ethnology Center to the public so the people can take a peek at some of his beloved private collection.

The James Dean Diner is probably the first thing you are going to see as soon as you enter the museum compound. I have been to this museum once in 2013 and I remember that I was told that they were originally going to use that place as an American diner. Jorzell, the manager later told me that it was eventually converted into James Dean Diner, showcasing memorabilia and paraphernalia highlighting the golden days of the said American cultural icon of the 50's. It also serves as their reception area for guests who visit the museum.

The first building is the Book Museum (photo above in black and white, left-most). Renowned visual artist Leo Aguinaldo from Baguio City painted the facade of the building (topmost image) which tells the story of Atty. Dominador D. Buhain's adventures and travels throughout his life. It houses a book called "The Lord's Prayer" printed in seven languages. With its dimension of 3.3mm x 3.3mm, it is the smallest book in the world! It is letterpress printed from Guttenberg Museum in Germany. They also have the smallest tablet from China, William Shakespeare's miniature book collection and the first edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.

The first floor of the second building contains Cordillera artifacts; traditional coffins with gecko designs, a papier-mâché mummy, a wooden scooter from Mountain Province, wood carvings, Ifugao bulols and a lot more.  I find their Cordillera collection to be quite fascinating. Having the chance to travel and actually live in Sagad, Mountain Province myself for more than three years, the collection surely reminds me of the rich culture and heritage of the Igorot people.

The third and last building we visited was inspired by a Kosovo mosque with two floors and display of the Muslim and other indigenous tribes' artifacts. Seeing their collection is like having a quick trip to the South. The ones that I remember the most are the sword and blade collections with their very intricate designs.  It is a collection that everyone should not miss.

A visit to Marikina City will be never complete without stopping by at the Book Museum cum Ethnology Center. One should include it on their Things to do in Marikina list if they one have a day to enjoy the city. It will be a good experience for both young and old where they can see witness awesome book collections then maybe sit for a while and read some of the books together; just enjoying the moment.

The Book Museum cum Ethnology Center is located at 127 Dao St. Marikina Heights, Marikina City. Admission price is P100. School and group bookings are subject for discount rates. You may contact them for schedules thru the following: (63)(2) 570 4449 | adb.bookmuseum@yahoo.com. You may also contact them thru their Facebook page.  Click here to view their map.