The two pearls are now the main attraction of the museum after an Antiqueño put it on display for everyone to see.
Known as the “Pearls of Tibiao,” they are believed to be the biggest pearls in the world. The first pearl, which was already removed from its shell, weighs 13.75 kilos.
The second pearl, which is still stuck in its shell, weighs 24.75 kilos.
The pearls are said to cost at $100 million each as assessed by the National Museum of the Philippines and declared as “important cultural property” (ICP) of the country.
The Museo de Tibiao is located at Poblacion in the municipality of Tibiao, Antique just beside UCCP Church and near Tibiao Bakery. An entrance fee of Php50 per student and Php150 per adult is collected. Here are some guidelines for museum tours.
- All guests are required to sign in the visitor’s logbook and present a valid ID before viewing the exhibit.
- Group tours shall be booked beforehand. Only groups reserved thru the museum shall be entertained. Group tours are allowed even on weekends.
- Only 20 guests shall be accommodated in intervals of 30 minutes.
- Buses should park at a designated area.
- The head of the group/coordinator shall first pay the entrance fees and fill up the visitor’s logbook before the group is allowed to begin the tour.
- Bags, firearms, food, bottled water, pens and hand-carried items are not allowed inside the museum. Only cameras and mobile phones can be used inside.
- Smoking is prohibited in the museum premises.
- Picture taking is allowed for souvenir purposes only. Taking photos of exhibit items for commercial purposes are strictly prohibited. The use of flash photography is strictly prohibited.
Museo de Tibiao is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily.
(Tibao pearls photos courtesy of Flord Nicson Calawag/Antique Provincial Tourism Office.)
How to Get There
Antique is accessible from major cities of the country through Iloilo City, from where buses leave for San Jose, the province's capital town. Travel time is approximately 2 hours.
From Manila, you can fly to Iloilo (estimated cost of Php3,000++, round trip, one hour). From Iloilo Airport, you can hail a cab and ask to be dropped off at your destination.