April 20, 2019

Nova Shell Museum in Panglao, Bohol: One of the Biggest Shell Collections in the World

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  • Nova Shell Museum in Panglao boasts an amazing collection of seashells that come from different parts of the world, not just in the seas of the Philippines.

    Panglao’s Nova Shell Museum holds one of the biggest shell collections in the world

    Panglao Island, according to scientists who have been to Bohol, has the biggest variety of shells in the South Pacific. Most of the shells that you can find on the island are displayed in the museum.

    The collection was founded by Mr. Quirino Hora who, in the pursuit of his passion for collecting shells, has two shells named after him. The shells in his collection are worth decades of exploration. He also does trading with other shell collectors.

    A collection of shells put on display at the museum

    The Nova Shell Museum is one of the biggest shell collections in the world where you can find the world’s smallest seashell, Rotaovula Hirohitoi. The shell was named after Emperor Hirohito of Japan.  The shell itself is so small that the use of a magnifying glass is recommended to see the shell in its glory.

    The Rotaovula Hirohitoi, the world’s smallest shell

    They also have three big clams on display. According to the guide, these clams are thousands of years old as you can count the age of clams in denominations of centuries.

    The giant clams on display at the museum are thousands of years old

    The museum offers guided tours where the guides will give guests a run through of the collection before taking them to the souvenir shop.  Upon arrival at the shop, the tour guide will briefly explain how real pearls can be determined from the fake ones.

    The shop has a wide array of products made from shells such as lamps, wind chimes, accessories, and even miniature figures.

    The items at the souvenir shop are made from shells and are the perfect souvenirs to take home!

    There are so many things to do on Panglao Island, so why not add the Nova Shell Museum in your itinerary and learn something new about the shells that you can fund not just in the country, but also those from foreign seas.

    How to get here:

    • By private car: From the new Bohol Panglao International Airport, head to the Dauis-Panglao Road and follow along the road. Make a right at the street just before the Petron Gas Station. The museum should be on the right side of the road. Alternatively, you can also arrange to go to the museum as a part of your day tour, just inform your travel agency beforehand. 
    • By public transport: You can also arrange for a third party tricycle to take you to the museum. Just coordinate with the front desk of your hotel. A ride going to the museum costs around Php 300 – Php 400.

    General Information

    Address: Poblacion Proper, Poblacion, Panglao Island, Bohol
    Operating hours: 8 am to 5 pm
    Ticket Information: Php 50 for adults, children are free admission

    For tours around Bohol, you can contact Bohol Tours and Nature’s Wonder Travel & Tours, they are a Tagbilaran City-based travel agency who can assist you in your adventures on the island. You may contact them through boholtourismphilippines@gmail.com, you may also visit their website at boholtourism.com.ph. You may also contact them at 038-422-8321 / 0926-750-4755.


    This first appeared in Philippine Primer’s Japanese Magazine April 2019 issue.
    Written by Feliz Grace Bueno

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