Friday, May 25, 2018

The Philippines' National Museum of Natural History

What started as a get-together brunch with my real estate broker friends, turned into a magical afternoon as we stepped into the newly-opened National Museum of Natural History

I say "magical" because it really felt just like that. 

It has been under construction for quite a while and I've often wondered how the architecture and interiors would pan out. When we entered the T.M. Kalaw gate (because a friend of ours has a bun in the oven), it looked freshly-painted and new but still so familiar. I thought to myself that this was, perhaps, still the same building I spent countless hours in, doing my college research work some 15 years back. 

BUT... once you see what's in the center of it all, it actually feels like you're instantly transported to the future. Definitely feeling the vibes of Bicentennial Man (remember the hospital where the old 'Little Miss' was confined in?). 

And maybe that's something they want to incorporate in this new museum - a melding of old and new.

Old & New

Our trip to the museum was completely unplanned and honestly just one of the many choices we had. Well, you definitely would want to stroll around after feasting on the lunch buffet at the Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros.

It was really the best decision. Thank you R for recommending it!

Bayleaf Intramuros Roof deck
 Let me tell you, it was soooo worth it! :)

I'm actually really thankful that there's a very nice museum just a few LRT stations away from our house, especially now that Miss Z is in Pre-K! Wooohoo!! :)

[In case you need to know, the nearest LRT station from the museum is U.N. Avenue. Then it's just a stone's throw away...really no need to ride a cab or trike from the station]

At first I didn't get it, "What is Natural History?" "This is the Natural History of what...??" Hahaha..that was what's going through my mind as we walked around and kept our chatters all throughout.

But as we moved along from room to room, hall to hall, eventually we get a sense of what it is all about and why this museum was devoted to nature, as beautifully encapsulated by this paragraph on the wall:

"Nature, the sum total of all physical reality, surrounding us. Nature embraces us day by day. We are part of nature, we are nature." 

This is true, and quite telling. 

Sometimes we just forget, are naive, or plain stupid. Sometimes we feel that nature is something that is external to us (think: trees, plants, land formations). That we will still be okay should something bad happen to nature (primarily due to human negligence). But we are all connected because we are also part of nature. 

A question was posed sometime back: "How long do you think humans would live if all plants are destroyed?" 

Yep, your guess is as good as mine.

So...let us never forget that we are one with nature, that we are nature. Then every good decision will flow from that thought.

Gosh darn that lamp design...I love it! 

Million of years old!

Petrified Wood collection from different regions in the Philippines and also from different countries

I love this! This is actually the dome that you'll see from outside. Once inside, it looks like a giant tree and/or a rocket ship that will blast you off to outer space! 

There is an elevator that can bring you to the topmost part. And then you'll have to go down using the ramp. That's right, the center elevator only carries guests going up. Please keep this in mind if you have differently-abled companions.

P.S. They have not referred another elevator to us. Thankfully our preggy friend did just fine going down the ramp.

Really something about this look..

Kudos for having a lactation / breastfeeding room. I did not enter because baby's not with me. But from outside, it looks like they still have to tidy it up a bit.

An emerald-like art installation. This is really beautiful in person.

Well then that settles it! Hahaha..for all of us who may have been wondering what they meant exactly by "Monkey-eating Eagle". I'm just kidding! :D Either way, it's 100% better to have been named "Philippine Eagle".

How do you imagine heaven to look like? Could it possibly have a ramp like this? And where would the downstairs part go?? Oh I don't want to know! LOL! :D

Oh the beauty of all these lines....

Ah, we really didn't find other displays on the topmost part of the museum. Maybe they're still working on it? Or maybe this is it already. Who knows?

My golly! Ganito na pala kalaki ang large-format printing? Is it really?

Now I actually feel like Rapunzel seeing all those suns/stars. Hahaha :)

Lots of natural light

Probably not for the faint-hearted.

Lolong's replica, from afar

Don't touch daw po hahaha :)

Seriously, don't touch daw talaga, even if it's just a replica.
LOLONG - a replica

You know what, this makes my essential oils-loving self sooooo happy when I saw this replica of a 'botica'. I feel really lucky that we get to try natural based products first. When we get better, that's it! When the symptoms persist, that's when we try the other side. 

Some activities for the kids and kids at heart. You can enjoy the different shapes and leaf patterns by tracing or coloring over them, on paper of course.

So you've seen the replica. Now these are the actual bones of Lolong.
Lolong's actual bones .... since we don't have dinosaurs..

I probably haven't told you but..I have this thing with #FramesAndWindows :)

So serene, grand, majestic, and sad all at the same time..

Right as we were looking for seats, we chanced upon the audio-video presentation room.

Thanks for reading all the to the end! I hope you get to visit this new museum soon and learn new things too! 

Oh last piece of advise, don't bring a very large back because they'll ask you to check it in the counter. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Dance Dreams & Disney - An STC Ballet Recital


We are *beaming with pride* as our eldest daughter joined her first ever ballet recital. We are a homeschooling family and it is a priority of ours to ensure that aside from extended family, our children are able to socialize with children about the same age as they are. 

I initially let Miss Z join gymnastics when she was 2 but it was altogether a very stressful 'outing' for us. Going there we have to travel an hour, sometimes she would not totally cooperate because of her age then, and we found out that time that I was pregnant and was experiencing subchorionic hemorrhage. The gymnastics facilities, teachers and program overall were was just the logistics of it all and my condition then that made it very difficult for us, so we let it go.

 Last year another mom shared in a homeschool group that STC accepts non-enrolled students so we went and inquired. The rest is, as they say, history. On our part, it's an ongoing history hahaha :)

Little Z loves her ballet and looks forward to it every weekend. We have a bit of a drive, just a teeny weeny bit, car parking is usually not a problem. If hubby or I missed breakfast, we could always do a quick tumble to Banawe restaurants or a quick Mcdo drive-thru. Best of all? The teachers are superb and the school itself brings a certain nostalgia to the all-girls' school part of me. I mean, it literally looks like my 90's preschool, well, before they built all the new structures. The ballet studio looks old school too with wooden floors and open windows for ventilation. Too much nostalgia here..

And so it went, a summer of coming and going to STC for 1 month, twice a week as Z joined the Tutu Toddlers class. 'Maman taxi', I almost was! BUT, it was worth it! Seeing how determined she was in doing this, how excited and committed this 4 year old was to dance to "Under the sea" and perform she did! I really am so proud :) Everyone really did a great job here to make a great recital :)

Our immediate and extended family celebrated with a nice dinner in Robinson's Place Manila - Bacolod Chicken Inasal and ended the night with some desserts at Bill's Bear.

Hope you enjoy this video! :)


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