Event : Popay's Fieldtrip 2008
Date : November 27, 2008
Philippine Science Centrum (Marikina) [link]
Jollibee Commissary (Laguna) [link]
Manila Coconut Palace [link]
Manila Ocean Park (Pasay) [link]
Several weeks ago, Popay (my youngest sibling) asked me to be her chaperon during her field-trip. I was hesitant at first (because the fee was P1,200!!) but since it falls on my day-off, I eventually agreed. Besides, I thought that it would be a great way for me to relieve stress and forget about my problems.
Popay woke me up 10 minutes before 5AM and she was very excited about the whole thing. I only had 5 hours of sleep since I updated some of my websites last night. Groan~ Mom prepared warm water for our bath and she also drove us to FEU-FERN.
We reached FEU-FERN at exactly 6AM, just in time for the roll-call. It's been years since I last stepped inside any campus and it's getting a bit nostalgic and annoying at the same time because it's very noisy. The bus left around 6:45AM and our first stop was the Philippine Science Centrum.
The tour-guide on that bus was "Kuya Rich". I can safely say that he's a lively fellow and he knows how to prevent boredom while waiting for the next pitstop. He played Q&A's with the kids and gave them prizes whenever they give a correct response. Popay got a Disney Princess pencil and an eraser from him. Haha!
En route to PSC, Kuya Rich gave us some facts about the city of Marikina. Well, I am no stranger to that city since I spent my toddler years there. Marikina is known as the "Shoe Capital of the Philippines" [link] since it has a lot of quality shoe factories. My Tita used to work in one during her younger years. Recently, it's also been dubbed as "Little Singapore" [link] since it's the cleanest city in the country today (thanks to Bayani Fernando [link]).
When I was in grade school, we also got to visit PSC but I can no longer remember the venue. PSC has changed a lot and some of the experiments I remember were no longer part of their exhibit. They've been replaced with some electronic contraptions and thingamajigs. One stayed, though.. The classic "Finger Tingler" [link]. LoL! Popay asked me to buy her a rainbow spring and she played with it the whole day! Haha!
The next place we went to was the Jollibee Commissary, which is a large "kitchen" where they cut, grind, process and pack the goods that would be delivered to Jollibee stores across the country and the globe. We gathered in the A.V.R. to watch a presentation of the commissary before they let us view through the "looking glass" how things are done. I have never seen so many patties and buns in my entire life!!! LoL! Too bad they didn't allow cameras within the comissary so I wasn't able to take any shots. This is the most boring part of the field trip.
Since we're late, Kuya Rich told us that we're just gonna take our lunch aboard the bus while we head to the Coconut Palace. I got very worried because the "porcelain goddess" (as Dada coins it) was calling me. My bladder wasn't that strong against long trips. Good thing some guardians needed to buy food so we had a brief stop-over and I was able to relieve the need. GAAAHH!!!
Two of Popay's Korean classmates (Min and Steve) sat beside us and played DJMAX-2. These kids are waaaaaayyyyy better than me! They beat my high score in one of the hard songs! Min shared with us his bento, a Tupperware-full of Korean riceballs he called "yabachuba".
We reached Pasay after another hour and it was raining hard. Good thing there were so many things to look at inside the Coconut Palace so by the time we got out, the rain already stopped. The building was like a huge hotel with different Filipino motifs for each room. The most noticeable designs in the palace are the hexagons and octagons within doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floorings, the swimming pool and even the building itself! I think they got the idea from cut-coconut-shells.
Kuya Rich gave us a trivia about the Cultural Center of the Philippines [link], one of the notable landmarks we saw (aside from Star City [link]), on our way to the Manila Ocean Park. He told us how we'd know if a play is being held either on the main theater or on the mini-theater inside CCP. There are two fountains in CCP, one larger than the other. If the smaller fountain is visible, then there's a play going on in the mini-theater. If it's the larger fountain, then there's a play in the main theater. He also joked that CCP is known as the "Largest toilet bowl in the Philippines" because CCP looks like the porcelain goddess on a bird's eye view. LoL!
We reached MOP at 3:46PM. Kuya Rich gave us our tickets and told us that we can proceed on our own so long as we return to the bus at 5PM. I told Popay to walk slowly since we're not allowed to look back once we enter the Oceanarium.
My trusted P&S digicam (Canon IXUS 850-IS) ran out of battery during the first few minutes of our trip in MOP so I got disappointed and I panicked – A LOT! My options are either to use my N70's main camera or take no pictures at all! I can't afford going home with no souvenir photos! NOOOOOOO!!!! T____T Alas, I decided to use my N70 and hope that I can salvage some shots using ADOBE. it was a really hard task for a novice photographer like me to shoot with so-so equipment (the 2-megapixel main camera of N70), little lighting (FLASH photography is taboo in that area) and models who won't stay put (the sea critters a.k.a. 'fishes'). Since we can't use the flash of the camera and the fishes swim here and there, most of the photos I took are blurry. I had to take 4-6 shots of every aquarium and hope that at least one from each group is good enough for post-processing.
Popay and I bought some souvenirs before we boarded the bus at exactly 5PM. We're the first ones to arrive and it brings back the classic "Filipino-time" attitude. I really hate it when people make me wait! The last guardian-and-student pair arrived 45 minutes later! We could've gone to the fish-spa or did more shopping if we only knew that they'd be super late! Darnit … ¬_¬
We got back in FEU-FERN around 8PM. I called up mom so she could fetch us but she said she couldn't. It turns out that there's another screening of a local tv-drama going on in our neighbor's house and she cannot maneuver her car properly because of the other cars parked on our side of the street. Groan~ We took the trike going home instead.
I began editing some photos and had a chit-chat with Dada before I went to bed.
Sigh, long day… but it was fun!
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