A Taste of Books and Culture: Book Museum cum Ethnology Center

Everytime I open a book, I feel like I am inside a different world. I feel like sinking in. I travel and even time travel. Books give me wisdom; it makes me learn a lot of things. History, health, guides and even the oldest culture. It makes me fantasize and dream of a beautiful and fairy tale like happy ending.

“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”
― Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake

I felt like escaping the real world and living in a book paradise when I was at the Book Museum cum Ethnology Center. The museum is a collection of books and artifacts acquired by Atty. Dominador Buhain thru his adventures to over 221 countries and islands. Atty. Buhain is the President of REX Group of Companies. Familiar? REX Group of Companies owns REX Book Store, Inc which has published over 6,000 books from elementary to collegiate levels. Despite of his achievements on business, Atty. Buhain makes sure to enjoy. He is the 29th most travelled person in Asia as awarded by Most Travelled People Organization (2010).

The Book Museum cum Ethnology Center

The Book Museum cum Ethnology Center is located on a 900 square meter lot in Marikina Heights. The tour is part of Bloggers’ Day Event at Book Museum for bloggers to get to experience Book+Food, a collaboration of the museum, Greg and Sally Restaurant and Bubba Lab Tea.

Upon entering the gate of the museum, you will see two distinct things- The big books and Juanito and Jovita Fontalera’s monuments and the wide facade.

A big golden door will welcome you also It has 3 D’s etched using Baybayin which symbolizes the names Danda (his daughter), Dominador and Don Timothy (his son).

A Taste of Books

Book Museum cum Ethnology Center

I was in awe when we already went inside the museum. Books are displayed in big book shelves which are group per country and island. We were told that Atty. Dominador make sure to gather books, paraphernalias and magazines from the different countries he visited. All of the books are open for reading. You can stay the whole day, slump on chairs and read everything you want. You can also do research here (additional fee applies.)

There are also special and limited edition book collections on the second floor of the museum. You can find the smallest book in the world, first edition of Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire, smallest tablet and a lot more.

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A Taste of Culture
Ethnology Center / Google Photos

The Ethnology Center is a place holding different well preserved artifacts Atty. Dominador obtained while travelling in the Northern and Southern part of the Philippines. Amongst his favorites are the articles he got from the Cordillera region. The curator Professor Ike Picpican helped on giving authenticity on the displays.

There are a lot of artifacts in the 2 buildings holding the Ethnology Center. Some are not allowed to be taken a photo.

Bilaan House Architecture / Google Photos

Tabayag Lime Containers of Cordillera are being kept inside this case. These are containers of lime powder which are essential for the betel nut chewing practice. Tabayag displayed are made of bones and feet of animals, skin and even organs.

Tabayag / Google Photos

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At the back of the museum is another facade that shows things to highlight Marikina. There is also a statue of Marikit. (see the Legend of Marikina)

By the way, I also saw a big printing press. I thought it’s one of Rex Book Store’s old printing press but guess what? It is actually a confiscated printing machine being used on illegal printing before.


In this world dominated by technology, being in a book museum is like a “breathe of fresh air.” I admire Atty. Buhain for putting up a place like this that reminds people of books and preserves culture. I think this should be the place students should visit on their educational field trips.

Have a taste of books and culture at Book Museum cum Ethnology Center.

Get 10% discount at Book Museum cum Ethnology Center when you dine at Greg and Sally and Bubba Lab Tea. This is part of the Book + Food campaign. Promo runs until June 19, 2016.

Visit Book Museum cum Ethnology Center at  127 Dao St. Marikina Heights, Marikina City

Admission: Php100.00

Contact to reserve: adb.bookmuseum@yahoo.com | (02) 570-4449


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  1. Hey, what I noticed is that there are now more museums in Metro Manila and book museum is something that I have never been to. In the last years, I had been reading ebooks but surely, holding a physical book is still better. What if I could see the old books? How would I feel?

  2. I love books and I love museums. But I love reading books more than I love just looking at them. While this is a worthwhile and educational trip, I’d rather spend it in a library and read books.

  3. Hi, Aika. Sorry about the previous comment, I missed that line when you said all books are open for reading. That makes the trip really worth it as it completes the experience. What are books for if you cannot read them, right? This museum is big treasure trove of culture and knowledge.

  4. “Find the smallest book in the world, first edition of Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire, smallest tablet and a lot more” — are these the originals?? This is crazy! Schools should take kids to places like this and learn more about stuff that actually matter!

  5. I love books and I would love to go here! I love to spend time in libraries here just looking through their collections of books and reading them. It is one of my favorite things to do. I can’t imagine seeing all of these cool books like the smallest book in the world. That would be amazing!

  6. This is a great place to visit. For just 100 pesos, there is a lot of things to see and to learn. I also have that happy feeling whenever I get a new book or even just see a whole bunch of books. I don’t know why but they are like chocolates!

  7. Book museum is something new… is this in preparation for the extinction of printed books? Haha! I will visit this place soon, w/ wifey and kids.

  8. It’s awesome to know there are museums here near in Rizal. Are you allowed to touch the old books? It would really be amazing to touch and get a glimpse of these collectibles but I’m assuming they wouldn’t allow it.

    It’s also nice to know that there’s a promo like that Book + Food campaign there. This would hopefully increase museum goers.

  9. fascinating collections! It’s good to read a lot of museum openings around Metro Manila and even to its nearby towns. I would love to taste this books and culture museum too. Hehe

  10. I feel the same way about books! I love to travel, but I’ve fallen in love with many of my travel destinations because of a book. It was especially the travel writer Richard Halliburton who first made me want to be an adventurer. I would love to go to that Book Museum and see a first edition Harry Potter, not to mention the world’s smallest book. I will definitely keep this in mind when I go to the Philippines!

  11. I really like how books bring us to another place just by reading it or how it certainly brings us back time when we allow ourselves to get involved in the story we are reading! I am not really a bookworm. but I do read during my spare hours. And this book museum is a must place to visit not just for educational field trips (which I certainly agree that schools should include this place on their list) but for everyone to know as well that how books play an important role towards our lives. I just can’t wait to visit Manila and when I do, I’ll definitely include this on my list! 😉

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