Photo taken from D’ Bone Collector Museum Inc. Facebook page

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The D’ Bone Collector museum put up by an American here in the city was among the top five special interest museums in the country during the first Philippine Tourism Industry Awards held in Manila on November 7.

The museum was included in the finalists under the category of the Best in Special Interest Museum chosen by tourism associations including online votes from netizens. The awards night was held at the Okada Manila Hotel in Pasay City.

Darrell Blatchley, owner of D’ Bone Collector Museum described his experience as “humbling” after he was recognized by the City Council for bringing feat to the city.

“It’s not only an honor but makes us want to do even better,” Blatchley said in an interview on Tuesday, November 14.

“Sa Mindanao pa lang there are 101 museums so kung bati nimo 7,000 islands there’s probably an estimated at least 1,000 plus museums diri sa Pilipinas, to make it to the top five list of museums (In Mindanao alone there are 101 museums so if you can see there’s probably more than 1,000 museums in the Philippines to make it to the top five list of museums),” Blatchley said.

The museum, located in a property owned by the Family Circus Children’s Ministry, in Barangay 76-A Bucana was put up in January 2012 and currently houses around 3,000 specimens.

It hosts around 30,000 to 40,000 visitors yearly.

Blatchley, who was conferred with the prestigious Datu Bago Awards in 2015 for his advocacy for the environment, said the museum is under renovation as they plan to add another 3,000 sets of specimens. The museum has been closed from September this year and will open again on January next year.

“The museum continues to expand and we continue to make it better to raise awareness and to promote responsibility among the Filipinos to take care of the environment,” he said.

The Philippine Tourism Awards has 23 categories namely Best Travel Oriented Online Magazine, Best Historical Museum, Best in Special Interest Museum, Major Tour and Transport Operator, Best Theme Park, Best Water Park, Best Festival, Best Farm Tourism Destination, Best Wellness Tourism Destination, Most Innovative Travel Service Provider, Best Travel Oriented TV Show and TV Show Host, Best Cultural and EcoTourism Destination, Unique Destination, Best Resort, Hotel, and Travel Agency, Major Tourist Attraction, Most Outstanding Tour Guide and Lifetime Achievement Award for Accommodation.

This year’s winners of the Best History Museum are the Metropolitan Museum in Manila and the Best Special Interest Museum was awarded to Art in Island in Cubao. (With reports from Robby Joy D. Salveron/

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