The National Museum Geological Collection

Interesting rocks, minerals and fossils can be found in outcrops, hills and mountains; at eroded cliffs and valleys; at construction sites; along roadsides; along the banks of streams and rivers; and in the dump piles around mines and quarries.

Two important factors should always be remembered when collecting rocks, minerals and fossils, keeping records of the specimens and the use of proper equipment in retrieving the specimens. Proper equipment consist of rock hammer, steel chisel, magnifying lens, compass, gloves, goggles, plastic and permanent marker, field notebook and guidebook. Records of the collected specimens consist of the name, classification and exact locality of the specimens, and if possible brief description of the place.

Arranging, organizing and storing specimens involve a very careful process. After collecting, the specimens are cleaned by removing the soil with a brush then rinsing them with tap water and drying them in the air. In case of fossil collection, a well trained and experienced technician do the cleaning and restoring if necessary. Collected specimens are arranged by grouping them according to their names and classification. Labeling a specimen is done by putting a spot of white enamel paint on the corner. After drying, write the accession number according to the museum system of accessioning, then covering the number with varnish or nail polish to keep it from flaking off. After cleaning, identifying and labeling, the specimens are kept in drawer boxes with partitions and store them in storage cabinets according to classification.


Rocks are the essential building materials of which the earth is constructed. The architecture of our planet results from the kinds of rocks that are present, the positions or attitudes they assume, and the processes acting upon them. Geologists define rocks as aggregate of two or more individual minerals.

Examples of rocks are:
   Sericite Schist


Minerals are substances naturally formed in the earth. They are not however formed directly by plants, animals or men. Moreover, they have physical properties and are made up of chemical substances. An ore is a mineral or an aggregate of minerals more or less mixed with a gangue (nonvaluable minerals), which from a standpoint of a miner can be won at a profit or from the standpoint of the metallurgist can be treated at a profit.

Examples of minerals are:


Fossils are the remains or traces of once-living organisms (i.e., animals and plants). They are found preserved in rock layers. A fossil may be all or part of an organism such as a shell or a leaf or it could be the trace fossil of an animal. A trace fossil is the marking left on a rock layer, of the activity of an organism.

Fossils that are currently in the possesion of the National Museum include:    Stegodon luzonensis
   Elephas sp.
   Petrified wood
   Rhinoceros philippinensis

This page was last modified Monday, February 10, 2014
National Museum of the Philippines
Padre Burgos Drive, City of Manila, Philippines