Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Weekend Getaway: Marvelous Marinduque

Marinduque, an island tucked in the geographic center of the Philippines, was a fascinating discovery for me. I didn't do much research before going there so I was awestruck to see old and charming Spanish houses lined in its laid-back town and posed against a backdrop of its flawless sea and mountain views. Secured, undisturbed, untamed, raw. This island province is promising, indeed. 

After spending a beautiful weekend there, I can say that there are more than enough reasons to visit this heart-shaped island besides attending the Moriones Festival, which it is known for. There's no need to wait for the Lenten season since this province offers year-round attractions that are often left out in the tourist trail. 

A boat parked on a silent beach at Gaspar Island

Anchi and I arrived in Marinduque on a crisp February morning. It was Valentine’s weekend and instead of heading to the lovers-filled mega malls in Manila, we opted to go off-beat and somewhere near Manila. We were the only tourists when we got there, exactly the kind of place that I was hoping to see -- peaceful and quiet.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sweet and Short Dumaguete Stopover

"So hindi kayo married?"
"Hindi po. Pero friends kami."
"Nasa policy kasi namin na hindi mag-accept ng hindi mag-asawa sa dorm."
"Ahhh, ok. Let's go."

*Exited the Alumni Hall -- stupefied, tired.*

They found themselves sitting on a concrete bench infront Siliman Hall near the Anthropology Museum. The early afternoon sun was tickling their skin, but the freshly mowed verdant grass offer some sort of comfort to their exhausted feet.

Siliman Hall

They couldn't get over the fact that they've just been booted out of a dorm, thinking how two legit travelling friends could not be allowed in. But after giving it some thought, they caved in to the idea that a policy is a policy. And that has to be respected.

Finding a place to stay in Dumaguete City was the least of their worries. They were on the look out for anything affordable and comfortable; a roof and a bed to settle their restless bones.

He was the stranger who joined her supposed solo sojourn.  They ended up in Siquijor, and this overnight stay in Dumaguete was the final leg of that surreal weekend in Visayas.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Top Museums in Metro Manila for Kids

My nine-year old sister, Carina, had to forgo her summer classes so she could visit us here in Manila. And while staying with me, I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to let her explore what the city could offer. Since she loves both History and Science, I thought of bringing her to some of the best museums around the metro. Along with Angel, we spent two Saturday afternoons digging on the wealth of information at The Mind Museum, Museo Pambata (Children’s Museum), and the National Museum. 

Besides  the National Museum, it was my first time visiting the other two so I was as excited as she was.  I've always wanted to do museum-hopping, and there was no better way to do it than tagging along my ever-inquisitive little sister.  It turned out to be a good bonding time for us!

The Mind Museum

Carina raved over the many science-based exhibits inside the museum - from the hair-raising static ball,  the large table of elements, the planets and constellations shown on 3D movies, the giant T-Rex, human evolution, and  even the outdoor playground.  

We had full three hours exploring the museum. Upon entrance, we were welcomed by a robot named Aedi. I wasn't quite impressed at first, but he was good. The museum has almost 250 interactive exhibits in their five galleries: Life, Atom, Earth, Universe, and Technology, and we spent a good deal of time in each. I especially liked the 3D film shown in the Space Shell, a dome where the story of the universe is shown and the film was narrated by no less than Robert Redford! Also in the Earth Gallery and a must-see is the “Ang Simula,” a Filipino-made film depicting the history of the universe and relating it to our own Filipino history.

What I liked most about this museum is that it’s very interactive and cool. We got to touch and even got our hands “dirty” trying out some of the exhibits. Angel got his taste of the first printing press invented by Johannes Gutenberg (1440). He placed a piece of paper, pressed it in the wooden form, and rolled an ink over the block of letters. And wooooop, we got our own Gutenberg print! 

We also enjoyed the educational outdoor playground called Science in the Park. It has the usual playground facilities, just with the touch of science in it.

Although the entrance fees come in hefty price, overall the experience inside this world-class science museum was worth it. 

Just a heads up to all children going, don’t leave your school IDs, otherwise you will have to pay the full price (just like what we did for Carina).

Museum Hours:
Tuesdays- Sundays (closed Mondays)
Additional time slots on Saturdays 6pm-9pm

Entrance Fees:
Adults -P600
*Children and Students (up to college)-P450
Public School students (up to college) -P150
Teachers -P150
All Day Pass (Enter any time, no three-hour maximum)- P750
*2Feet and below are free

Location/Contact Information:
JY Campos Park, 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City
909 –MIND (6463)


Giant Butanding


My monster-like pre-historic image. hehe

The Gutenberg Press

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