Saturday, November 7, 2009

Museo Pambata

Museo Pambata in Manila is a very educational place for children to visit.

We just accidentally stumbled upon it while studying the area from the hotel my daughter and I were billeted for the McDonald's Champion Kid 2008 for the Summer Olympics in China.

Museo Pambata is just located along Roxas Boulevard. From where we were, we crossed the street and enjoyed a whole afternoon of educational fun and learning.

Upon entering, we were automatically whisked back in time when our Philippine heroes of old lived, and died for their country.

Then we tried on for ourselves traditional Filipino costumes, the baro't saya for women and the barong tagalog for men, although the picture below does not depict the correct costume for men. It looks like a revolutionary soldier on barefoot, which is a shame.

This is Museo Pambata's mini version of the Manila Cathedral, a very important landmark of Old Manila.

Another famous icon of the Manila of old is this tram, later replaced by horse-driven calesas or karitelas and motorized vehicles.

The Science section of Museo Pambata is a very educational and exciting portion. It splits into two: your choice of The Human Body and The Science Lab (my title because I forgot what they were really called).

First, we tried The Human Body by entering the mouth of a really big face, as if we were being eaten alive and introduced into the digestive system.

We traveled along the esophagus and into the circuitous path of the digestive track, learning how food is broken down along the way. The picture below shows us running along with the blood in the giantess' veins.

As each person is unique, so are we in this interactive mirror exhibit.

After coming out like happy poops, we proceeded to The Science Lab of Museo Pambata, which reminded us of our trip to Singapore's Science Center. Although the latter was more hi-tech and amusing, still the Philippine version was amazing and educational.

A self-timed camera with a mini stand turned out very helpful when everybody else is busy tinkering with the science exhibits and their respective cameras.

We obviously had a lot of fun in the interactive science exhibit section of Museo Pambata, as in this large piano played by our feet.

Too bad we missed one section that had to be renovated at the time. It was the sports section and it smelled of enamel paint.

We then toured the typical Filipino Community section and tried on smelly firemen costumes...

... pretended to be barbers, rice, fish and meat vendors...

... and went home to our mini bahay kubo complete with kitchen facilities and no bathroom.

We had a fun treat with the traditional Filipino music and dance of Mindanao.

If you think our dance steps are funny, well, we were just following the dance template of the Pangalay (offering), a beautiful traditional offering dance.

This is a mirror with traditionally muslim-designed frame, facing each other to create the illusion of an endless tunnel. As I child, I always wondered what it felt like to be in a hall of mirrors. This one comes closest to my mirror fantasy.

There were many other sections of Museo Pambata that show concern for the environment, such as a typical rainforest scene.

And what it feels like to live in a tree house.

There is also a giant sewer, visually explaining to children where garbage ends up, so that they will have to be more responsible about waste disposal.

At the exit, a real junk helicopter painted in bright colors bid visitors goodbye. Unfortunately, I lost that picture. Perhaps, it's for you to find out when you visit the one place that you should not dare miss with your child when in Manila. I highly recommend Museo Pambata.

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