Sunday, November 11, 2012

Maia Travels: Rizal Park Tour Part II

The Planetarium

I grew up in a household where Science is revered. We knew how important science is to our life. And I think at some point in my childhood I dreamt of becoming a scientist (I just couldn't remember of what particularly). The geek in me is somehow hoping that the kid will have the same appreciation of science as I did as a child. And I'm thinking we (me and her dad) have a hand at making that happen (a huge one as I see it) since if I relate it with my childhood, my dad was really the one who always challenged me to study and read more on science. 

At this point though, I really have no idea how I can make that dream happen. I'm still torn between just letting the kid be a kid vs introducing her the complicated concepts of science (feel free to rebut if you think otherwise maybe I can learn from you as well). I'm still choosing the former but some days when I remember (a light bulb moment hits for instance) I would try to squeeze in an info or two to maximize the kid's attention while her interest is at it's peak. Although honestly, yes, my creative juices are starting to run out faster than I'd expected. And at the rate I'm going I see my box of tricks emptying out soon. (Gotta find more time to read up and research then)

So anyways, the idea of the solar system (which is something I deeply associate with science) is something that is still alien to the kid. She knows she lives in Earth and she's very much familiar with the Sun, Moon and the stars but she really has yet to understand why they're there and what they really do. In other words, she hasn't gone beyond twinkle, twinkle little star yet and goodnight, moon. 

In our recent visit to Rizal Park, the Planetarium also offered free entrance so I decided to take advantage of that. I thought that even if the kid isn't familiar with the solar system yet, this could be something of interest to my nephew (and yes, I haven't been inside it myself too). So after our brief lunch at the nearby Jollibee store, we headed off towards the Planetarium building. It was just right across what used to be the Orchidarium (it's closed now). We walked but if you have small kids with you, it might be wiser to take a jeepney instead (it's a short ride of 2-3 minutes). It's roughly about a kilometer walk from the Jollibee branch near TM Kalaw St. 

I didn't have any idea what to expect inside. I was a little surprised when we were asked to deposit all of our belongings and was ushered inside a theater-like room. It was only when we were seated that we were told there's going to be a 30-45 minute show. Cameras are not allowed inside. Even our phones were asked to be surrendered (heck they actually asked for our bags to be deposited and were only allowed to bring wipes for the kids).
my nephew happily reported his trip to the 'sun' to his nanay when he got home from vacation
I seriously thought we won't last 10 minutes inside but the kids were so into the simulated outer space trip, the darkness didn't bother them so much. Maia only asked for me to hold her hand every time it turns pitch black. They asked me questions like: "are we back in Earth already?" or would interject in the narrations with statements like: "that's why you should never come near the Sun, it's so hot you will melt". Other than those occasional comments, the kids were well-behaved and it gave me and Ate Lenlen time to breathe (sort of) and regroup. They also surprisingly kept their voices hushed (as if acknowledging the fact that they will disturb others if they go a note higher)

the unique projector inside the planetarium (it projected images of the solar system and made you feel like you are indeed floating in space)
hand in hand while walking around admiring the posters and paintings around the planetarium
I think I was a good decision to bring them here. At least they now have an idea what the planets are. I might have to wait a little while before I really teach the kid about how the universe came about but I'm thinking when that day comes, I will bring her back here for reinforcement.
after the film showing, they let us claim our bags back so I was able to take photos of the exhibits around the building.
here are the kids screaming their hearts our after I told them what's up next on this Rizal Park tour.

National Museum Planetarium  
P.Burgos St., Rizal Park Manila, Philippines 2801 
Tel No. (632) 527-18-30

Schedule of Shows:
9:00 - 10:00 am  
10:30 - 11:30 am  
1:30 - 2:30 pm  
3:30 - 4:30 pm 

Part I: Museum of the Filipino People
Part III: Rizal Park Children's Playground

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