Sunday, November 4, 2012

Maia Travels: Rizal Park Tour Part I

I have a confession to make. I have never stepped inside any of the buildings within the Rizal Park compound. All 34 years of my life, yes never. I lived in Manila for 6 months right after graduating from college but yes, it never crossed my mind to check this place out. 

Although I do have fuzzy memories of seeing a well-lighted (festive in fact) Luneta Park on December night from afar when I was younger coming from a family daytrip at Star City.

Thank God for the kids I finally dragged my lazy feet out of the house on the last day of October and took the kid and my nephew to this wonderful place called Rizal Park. In a day, my mind was refueled and my spirit fed with an abundant dose of happiness. The history geek in me was somehow awakened and I started wishing the hubby and I once considered having a date at the Museum of the Filipino People. It would have been an interesting way to get to know each other. I'm sure there's also a geek persona buried deep in him (why did we 'click' in the first place, di ba?)

So enough with the lengthy intro, let me share with you how we wisely spent our day at Rizal Park. 
This was a photo I took of the back side. 
We initially planned to just visit the museum. I thought that alone would already drain my energy reserve dry. But then while walking towards the museum (we were clueless as to where it was exactly located) coming from TM Kalaw St., a calesa driver (aka. mamang kutsero) approached us and offered to tour us around the Park. He told us he's charging a hundred bucks (Php100 = roughly about $2.50) for the tour and well, my instant reaction was "wow cheap" but kept that to myself. Even before I said yes, my nephew was already walking towards the calesa so I didn't think twice and just said yes. I never rode a calesa yet so I might as well do it now. So one by one, we climbed unto the calesa

Top photo: A shot of the Kalesa before we decided to ride one ourselves.
Bottom photo: My nephew playing the kutsero. Bagay ba?
The tour took us about 45 minutes (this is just an approximation as I can't tell exactly how long). We arrived at the Rizal Park at around 10:30am (we wanted to be at the museum at opening hour). We boarded the Kalesa right in front of the Museum of the Filipino People entrance and was back by 11:45am. Mamang Kutsero and I misunderstood each other with regards to the fee as it turned out to be P100/head and not P100 for the entire tour but I didn't complain anymore. Good thing he only charged the adults so I paid P200 in total. We got inside the museum around 12nn after rounding up the kids who were getting a little restless and depositing our bags at the front desk. Bags are not allowed inside the museum but you are allowed to take your camera and valuables with you. No flash photography though so I adjusted my camera settings and managed to take quite a lot of pictures. 

We were lucky to get in for free as they offered free entrance for all 3 buildings: the Planetarium, the Museum of the Filipino People and the Philippine Art Gallery for the entire month of October. On an ordinary day, they would charge P100 for regular patrons and P30 for students. That's big savings already as there were 4 of us that day (kids, me and my nephew's yaya). I was hoping they would extend so the hubs and I can come back and marvel at the museum artifacts. But I got confirmation from the staff that it's really only till the end of October. 

Anyways, sharing with you the highlights of our museum visit. I will have to cut this post into several parts as I have quite a lot (and I mean a lot) of photos to share. I would say this museum visit is all worth it. I would suggest though that you bring school age kids (at least preschoolers) because these kids (in my opinion) have longer attention span and can easily follow directions. I have a very hyperactive nephew and my kid usually takes after him. But before we left the house, I repeatedly told them the museum houses very fragile items and that they are ONLY ALLOWED TO LOOK BUT NOT TOUCH (look but not touch repeat at least 10x). And we are very lucky they took that to heart. My nephew would only stop at things that interest him and tell me "pa-piktyur ako!". 

It took us about 45 minutes to tour all 3 floors. I can already see how tired they were when we got to the last floor which housed preserved flora and fauna. They were taken over my hunger it seemed but had we got in earlier they probably would have enjoyed this part of the museum too. 

learned what an ANCHOR is. And immediately identified it when they saw the miniature galleon ship
Cannons and Cannonballs

they wrote the poetry and carved them unto this piece of bamboo. how cool is that?
some of the preserved insects on the topmost floor (this is the 3rd floor i think)
Till Next Time LAPU-LAPU!!!!
Part II: The Planetarium
Part III: Rizal Park Children's Playground

National Museum of the Philippines 
Padre Burgos Drive, City of Manila, Philippines

Click  here for more details regarding the visiting information on the museum.


Sha said...

I have a confession to make: I'd never been into Rizal Park, as in neveerrr! When I was a kid ayaw akong pasamahin ng Mom ko pag ang field trip destination eh Luneta. Kalerks! Although nadadaanan ko naman ung Luneta, pero never talaga akong nakalibot. As in! Kaloka noh?!

Anyhoo, looks like Maia enjoyed her stay there! And it makes me wanna go there and this time I'll take Cyler with me para parehas naming first time pumunta dun. Hehe

Faye Paras said...

Hey Sha! How old is Cyler? I think tamang-tama lang eto school aged na si Maia nung pumunta kami. Kasi medyo naappreciate na nya yung mga exhibits. Plus yung mga statues ni Lapu-lapu and Rizal parang nag stick na sa mind nya. Naging magandang opportunity din tuloy to briefly introduce these guys to her. Nagka idea na kung bakit may estatwa ni Joe and ni Lapulapu duon

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