The Homeroom kids surely had a fun, exciting and memorable experience at Museo and would surely come back for more! 🙂
“Where learning begins and fun never ends.” this tagline was so true that what all of us experienced was one of a kind. Formally opened in 1994, they said that the theme rooms are always reconstructed/remodeled in less than 4 years or so and/or whenever there would be special events. This place is the best to go to for kids to learn about Philippine culture and explore it in fun, playful ways… 🙂
It was Saturday, September 29 just before 9AM. We stationed ourselves (Teacher Dolly and I ) at the playground area near the white helicopter while waiting for the others to come. Ali was among the first to arrive. Junie, Gab and Brielle then followed. Some pretended to be driving the helicopter, or simply just getting inside it delighted them already. On the side of it were stairs made of steel going up where it led through a slide. Nico and Gab careful yet enjoyed being up high while everybody else was busy posing having their pictures taken! Looking around you can see a small stage and just near the helicopter was a drawing/pattern on the ground where you can play Hopscotch.
Just before 9:30AM, we decided to proceed to the entrance area. While Teacher Dolly and I were getting tickets from the booth, the others were asked to line up. Our tour guide, named Ate Joy, welcomed us warmly and politely. She shortly briefed us on the museum’s rules and what we’re going to see. She mentioned the rooms we were going to visit and that we are given about 10 minutes for each.
Theme Room #1. The Old Manila Room. (Migo and Peter just caught up with the group). The first thing that captured everybody’s attention was the Spanish Galleon. All aboard! You can climb up and ring the bell from it’s side (which all the kids loved doing!); from it’s other end was a collection of the different spices used (cinnamon, pepper, cloves, star anise—which you can smell), and some food, ornaments used for trading. There was also a “Heroes Hall” where you can hear each Filipino hero’s story from the phone (my daughter was really amazed about it and really took a long time listening to Dr. Jose Rizal again and again! 🙂 We also saw the Tranvia —the transportation used by our great grandparents, a mini – Cathedral (Binondo Church I think) where you can actually go inside and go to the altar! Going around there was a kiddie-sized Philippine Jeepney which explained how it became a part of the Philippine culture. —watch out how Junie tried to fit herself in!!! 🙂 Old typewriters, an old toy sled/seesaw, a old karitela and of course the Bahay na Bato (Stone House) was really beautiful. It’s the typical house of upper/middle class people in the old times. Windows were made of Capiz, (going up the stairs to the bedroom and peeking out from the window to look downstairs was already fun), seeing the bedroom with an old dresser, a real old Baro’t Saya on a fitting form, and a wooden crib.
We passed by the “Aklatan” Room —I’m not sure why it was closed, but then again, may be we can come back next time?
Theme Room #2. Explore Singapore. Walking down the hallway, we saw some gigantic, colorful insects, mostly butterflies (which were giant kites) hanging from the ceiling. Showing different cultures from around the world, first thing that caught the children’s eyes were the Filipino musical instruments. The Homeroom kids tried playing the “Gangsa”, each taking turns to strike it and everyone listening to the sound it made. Another was the “Kulintang”. Foods that belong to the place, a lot of National costumes (in fitting forms), and never seen soooooo much dolls wearing different National costumes coming from different countries. This was also the place where they’ve made the “Karapatan Wall” stating the different rights of a child. Everytime you walk down the hallway were beautiful paintings and wall art. 🙂
Theme Room #3. Under the Sea/Insect Room. We were then brought to a room under the sea, which was really exploratory. You can touch the corals made with fine cottony bristles, the shells hard and a bit pointy, some giant sea shells on the side…—Gab trying to listen to the giant shell… 🙂 — and a Butanding hanging above you and some jellyfishes which glowed a bit, you can even become an octopus yourself! Then came giant ants on the walls and under them were preserved insects up close…going to the other side was what looked like a spider cave. You needed to go climb through a foamy cylindrical hole to explore more of it.
Theme Room #4. Kalikasan Room (Yey! Raffa finally able to catch up!). The first you can see is like a stall (Botika ng Barrio/Local Pharmacy) where you can see different kinds of leaves used as medicines (lavender, oregano,etc.) stored in bottles – Nico liked looking and touching, going to the other side was a Bahay-Kubo, (which surely overwhelmed Raffa! 🙂 ) with a display of the fruits and vegetables included in the song (Ali really did a very good job reading all of it though!) You can even make leaf rubbings! 🙂 Wear a salakot and be in the rice field! There were also some clear glass cubes with dried rice seeds/grains that you can rotate, shaking the grains inside. The place also taught us to be aware of the different causes which brought about the “Disappearing Rainforest”. Teaching us to protect and conserve the environment —Yes, teaching the Homeroom kids to love and care for nature is already a big help…right?
Theme Room #5. My Body Room. I can tell the most favourite of all would be the Ms. Mouth! On the second floor, we had to go though a giant girl’s mouth to be able to get inside the Body Room. All the kids were stunned! Overwhelmed?! Speechless or surprised? But everybody climbed and went in without fear —except for the Ates Lia and Kimi who were actually a bit scared. Going through the mouth led through what looked like a tunnel but was actually the esophagus and the intestine which led to the different organs of the body (yes, you make it in an intestinal exit!) Some just went back and liked being in the tunnel, –I’m not sure if they realized they were inside the intestine though! But Peter loved going about and around it! You can see that the whole room was made of the different organs of our body and how they all work together to be able to keep you well and functioning like they were synchronized. The Circulatory system, where it showed a big, big heart, a part just to listen to heartbeats, the Skeletal system where there is a diagram of all the bones in our body and the Digestive system (the 2’s amazed to see) because it showed where and what will happen to the food after you eat. Ate Joy, our tour guide asked everyone who would want to pull something from the tummy, but the one and only brave kid was Ali!
The place where everyone spent so much time was where the giant sense organs were that created noises. When pressed, the big nose would sneeze, (some kids didn’t like going near it) the butt would fart (which created lots of giggles from the kids), the stomach rumbling/growling, the lips, making a pouting sound! At first, the kids got scared, but eventually thought of them funny and that the sounds were just big and loud! Yep…who could have known that dust was made from old dead skin cells?!
Theme Room #6 Market Place/Pamilihang Bayan. This was also one of our favourites! The first place you see inside was the Barber shop. While Nico pretended to have a hair-cut, the others went to the different play stores/shops. In front of you was a stall of so much bakya/wooden slippers, some old brooms, bilao, salakot, etc. (Brielle even wanted to try one of the bakya!) A rice store, fruit/veggie store, seafood store, meat store, bakery, shoe store, pharmacy. There was even a Karinderia to go to. The kids pretended to be cooking and eating… Ate Joy invited us also to come see Mr. Clayman to watch him create things made from clay. The Ates (Lia and Kimi) and Junie were the only ones watched Mr. Clayman but the others were just too busy exploring and pretending. Migo liked being inside of the Bahay Kubo! Yes just by himself at first, followed by Nico and Ali. Beside it was a water pump which the kids pulled and pressed, climbing up the fire truck and everybody taking turns to drive, wearing fireman’s hat, pressing the button to produce the sound of the siren, riding in front and/or standing at the back of the truck…again the given time passing by shortly, again we were called to go on to the next room.
There was a Souvenir Room where you can buy some coloring books, craft book and drawing books made by Museo. Some were toys, puzzles, and other souvenir items. Surprisingly, even if the room was filled with lots of toys/educational and interesting items to see, the Homeroom kids were just too excited to see what could be in the next room.
Theme Room #7. “Paglaki Ko” Room. Here, children could be writers, illustrators…become what they want to be in the future. There was a part where it was a tree but made like a bookshelf –Migo was quite happy when he could recognize some books of his own— a wall with lots of illustrations/cartoons (like comic-style) different artworks and portraits of artist, painting on the walls what looked like big pages from a book where children are left to fill in their own words to make up stories on their own.
Taking 10 minutes per room was just about right after all…otherwise, the kids wouldn’t have much energy by the time they reach the latter areas. 🙂
This ends our tour and just before we went to the exit, we went back to the Old Manila Room to have our final group picture. So much for trying to get all the kids to settle down by themselves with me and Teacher Dolly! We then called out to the parents to have a happy whole group picture from Homeroom! 🙂
We finished around 11AM and saying our goodbyes to our tour guide, Ate Joy, the excitement continued where we will have our picnic lunch. Next stop, Luneta! 🙂 Though Gab and Junie had to say their goodbyes as well…
Almost everyone had to buy lunch, and walking our way there (because it would take so long just to park)… we saw Migo’s family playing with the group of pigeons on the ground, while Peter and family already passing by riding on a train waving at us! 🙂
We decided to have our picnic at the Japanese garden and while the others followed (Raffa and Brielle), Teacher Dolly and I fetched Ali’s family near the Map area. Slowly it became windy and the clouds got a bit grey, we hurried going back to the garden and luckily, it had a covered area. The rain poured and poured while we were having lunch, and at least just beside us was a group of teenagers practicing a dance and what fun it was to watch! Ali copying and following every move they made! Yes, all throughout… 🙂
Even when it was raining, we still had a very nice view from our place, (the garden with a lagoon and a walkway bridge in the middle, where you can see some fishes swimming and could’ve fed them… :)). We had a very nice, wet, cozy picnic lunch all together, Migo and Raffa leaving early, thinking that the park would be too wet and slippery to explore, we agreed to say our farewells just after but as mommy Clarisse had said, why don’t we take one more group picture while in Luneta…Yes and why not?! J We took our final group picture (with Peter already asleep), we then said our goodbyes, a lot hoping and thinking our trip in Luneta will be saved for another day…all in all, it was one, happy, fun and memorable field trip with the Homeroom Family! 🙂