About the Building
The idea of putting up a modern Planetarium in Manila was conceived in 1970ís by the former National Museum Director Godofredo Alcasid Sr. with the assistance of Mr. Maximo P. Sacro, Jr. of the Philippine Weather bureau (now PAGASA) and one of the founders of the Philippine Astronomical Society (PAS). The Planetarium is located between the Japanese Garden and the Chinese Garden at the Luneta Park.
The project was presented to the former First Lady Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos, then the Chairman of the National Parks and Development Committee (NPDC). As one of her priority projects, Mrs. Marcos requested the Department of Public Works and Highways to prepare the Planetarium in one monthís time and allocate the funds for the construction. Construction of the building began in 1974 and took nine months to complete. It was formally inaugurated on October 8, 1975.
The Presidential Decree No. 804-A, issued on September 30, 1975, affirmed the Planetariumís status. Its primary function is to disseminate astronomical information through planetarium shows, lectures, demonstrations, exhibits and actual celestial observations. The unique feature of the Planetarium is the true-to-life projection of astronomical bodies that captures the interest and tickles the imagination of viewers. The GM-15 Goto Planetarium Projector was acquired through the Japanese Reparation Program in the Philippines.
Through the years, improvements have been made in the Planetarium building through the efforts of its former Directors. In May 2010, Director Jeremy Barns approved the funds for the major repair of the Planetarium Projector which is considered to be the heart and soul of the Planetarium. Efforts to continually develop its facilities are ongoing and the public could expect improvements in 2013.