Design Overview

The museum as a tool for storytelling- Rather than just making a visual icon, the design aims to become a tool for storytelling; freezing a chapter in history through an assemblage of symbols.

Conceptual Rendition of the external structure of the Freedom Memorial Museum.

The Freedom Memorial Museum is dedicated to honor the lives and sacrifices of victims and survivors who struggled for freedom, democracy, and human rights during the 1972-1986 martial law era in the Philippines. It is the flagship project of the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission. 

To generate the best ideas for the memorial, a design competition was launched with the full support of the United Architects of the Philippines in 2019.  Filipino architects around the world submitted their vision of what the museum should be; in what has been described as the most widely participated architectural design competition in the Philippines in the past decade.

Of the 106 design submissions evaluated by an impeccable jury, 27 became semi-finalists. From this five grand finalists were chosen to develop their concepts and present them.

On August 21, 2019 , a grand recognition and awarding ceremony was held at the National Museum,  and Chairperson Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon of the Commission on Human Rights and Chairperson Dr. Rene Escalante of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines announced that the Board of Trustees  after much deliberation had chosen the young and talented three-man team led by Architect Mark Anthony Pait as the winner.

museum interior image
Conceptual rendition of the museums interior

In order to flesh out and detail this winning design perspective, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines bidded out  the Architectural and Engineering Design  Consultancy which  was won by the reputable Arce Bailen Arce Architectural firm.

The logo represents the flower of remembrance. At the middle of the symbol, is the baybayin script for “alaala,” or memory which is central to the commission’s purpose. It is surrounded by eight branches which have reference to the eight rays of the sun in the Philippine flag. On each of these branches, are petals formed from blood and tears. They represent the memory of all who gave everything, of the fallen who paid the price in their struggle for freedom and democracy during the Marcos Martial Law era. The blue color of the logo is inspired by the color of the United Nations where the commission identifies with the international community for the universal declaration of human rights.



The Freedom Memorial Museum is a museum dedicated to honor the lives and sacrifices of victims and survivors who had struggled for freedom, democracy, and human rights during the 1972-1986 martial law period in the Philippines. It is the flagship project of the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission (HRVVMC).

The final design of the museum was determined through a design competition launched last 05 April 2019 wherein 106 designs were received. Out of all the participants, the winning design was awarded to the 3-man team led by Architect Mark Anthony Pait. 

The Commission’s primary mandate is to:

  • Establish, restore, preserve and conserve a Memorial Museum, Library, Archive and Compendium in honor of the human rights violation victims (HRVVs) during the Marcos regime who are included in the Roll of Human Rights Violations Victims determined by the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB). It is also tasked to display the Roll of Victims in government offices and public places and prepare a compendium of their sacrifices
  • The HRVVMC shall coordinate and collaborate with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) “to ensure that the teaching of Martial Law atrocities, the lives and sacrifices of HRVVs in our history are included in the basic, secondary and tertiary education curricula.”

It is hoped that the current and future generations will learn lessons from our experiences during martial law in order to continue defending human rights and democratic institutions. 

The Memorial Commission shall have an appropriation of at least Five Hundred Million Pesos (P500,000,000.00) from the accrued interest of the Ten Billion Peso (P10,000,000,000.00) -fund which came from Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth in Switzerland and returned to the Philippine government by virtues of the decisions of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

The University of the Philippines entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with HRVVMC last July 24, 2019 to provide a lot area of 14,000 square meters more or less to host the Freedom Memorial Complex in the UP Diliman Campus.

The lot is basically rectangular in shape and is located beside the Fine Arts Gallery Building in the South side and is bordered by C.P. Garcia road on the North side and by an access road perpendicular to C.P Garcia on the West side. From the University Avenue south bound lane to the iconic Oblation Statue of the University, there is a swath of grass land that reaches to the perimeter of the location. This track of land will be a no build zone. On the north side of the property along the C.P. Garcia road is the Department of Information and Communication Technology office.

Currently, the Campus Maintenance Office with its warehouses sits on the lot area but they will be relocated soon to give way for the construction of The Freedom Memorial Museum.

Currently, the winning contractor for the conduct of the architectural and engineering study of the museum was awarded to Arce Bailon Arce Architects, with coordination with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. 

Join Survivors'
Discussion Group

Enter your name and email address