The NM Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs Site Museum is the site of the oldest known rock art in the Philippines, the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs.
The rock art is a collection of 127 human and animal-like stick figures engraved on a cave wall. The engraved drawings were distributed horizontally on the rock shelter wall measuring about twenty-five (25) by three (3) meters. Out of the 127 drawings, there are 51 distinct figures, suggesting these were made of different individuals or by generations. The animal-like figures appeared to be of a lizard and a frog.
Archaeological excavations in the site also found fragmented bits of earthenware, 8 pieces of stone tools which consist of 2 pieces of Obsidian flakes, 2 pieces of Stone cherts, 2 pieces of flake stone tool, a piece of stone adze and a piece of stone core. The presence of the artifacts suggest a date prior to the introductions of metal in the country which is late Neolithic age or around at least millennium years before the birth of Christ. The average age of the petroglyphs is 3000 BC.
The Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs was declared a National Cultural Treasure in 1973. It was listed on the World Inventory of Rock Art in 1985. The World Monument Watch included it in the list of top 100 most endangered sites in the world.
Now National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco accidentally discovered the rock art while on a Boy Scout camping trip. While lying down resting on the rock shelter, he noticed some engraved drawings on the wall. Though he thought of the engravings as “primitive” in terms of quality, he knew it could have heritage and cultural values thus reported it to the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP).
The NMP team headed by anthropologist Dr. Jesus Peralta conducted an interdisciplinary study of the site in October and November 1965.
To protect the site from deterioration due to human activities, the NMP built a viewing deck where museum guests can see the petroglyphs without causing damage. This was upon the recommendation of an archaeological conservation expert, Dr. Nicholas Stanley Price, who conducted a preservation and protection study for the site. Price also recommended a heritage buffer zone to protect the area and vicinity of the rock art.
NM Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs Site Museum
Bilibiran, Binangonan, Rizal
Contact Nos.: 0919 077 3104 & 0938 008 7320
FB Page: NM Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs Site Museum