Our Preschooler’s First School Field Trip, Part Two: Asociacion De Damas Filipinas, Manila Ocean Park
After filling our stomachs and minds in the Gardenia Plant and the Mind Museum, we still looked forward to the other items in the day’s itinerary.
Some kids took their lunch inside the bus on the way to our next stop:
Asociacion De Damas Filipinas (orphanage) in Paco, Manila. I was looking forward to my daughter experiencing interacting with kids in the orphanage (“Annie” is in her most-watched-videos-list so it was easier to explain the situation). The last time I was in this particular orphanage was, I believe, in college – with my blockmates from UP Manila. I am glad to note that it is still around to continue its mission. My daughter joined the game “The ship is sinking” but the adult-guided activity tended to have groups of kids from school together on one hand, and kids from the orphanage together on the other. This was followed by song and dance presentations from both groups, then the gift-giving. Liz felt shy and asked me to come with her. We walked up to a girl who was the only one in her row without a gift still. She broke into a big smile which betrayed the nonchalant stance she was hiding behind just seconds before we approached her. I pray that precious little souls like these would be met with a constant outpour of love and would truly feel and experience God’s love in their lives. May they grow up to be adults who have learned to deal with rejection/loss and who will use their experiences to minister to others. After the gift-giving, her pre-school friends wanted to retire back to the bus so my daughter naturally wanted to go with them. After some time, I was finally able to convince her to go back to the orphanage to say goodbye to the kids. I told her we’d also go see the huge belen right outside the orphanage so she finally agreed to get off the bus.
Our last stop was at Manila Ocean Park in Luneta. For this particular trip, Seri Fantasy World was the destination. This worked out great for me because this section is not included in the discounted package I had earlier bought at a Travel Expo for the Oceanarium, Trails to Antartica, Jellies, Fish Spa, Marine Life Show and Musical Fountain Show (will post about this family field trip in a separate article). For Seri Fantasy World, 3D Cinema Plus was supposed to whet our appetite. However, the film clip that was presented to our batch (mixed schools and ages) was about the hunting season – which naturally upset some of our preschoolers, Liz included.
Next was Kids’ Paradise – a huge indoor play area which is sure to be paradise for any group of kids. My daughter’s particular batch of kids was no exception. Being used to sharing only a pair of each set of swings, slides, and animal “spring rides” in their school, the kids ran and played around to their hearts’ content. Without needing to count to 10 to wait for her turn at the swing, Liz swung away in blissful solitude before checking out the other nooks the Kids’ Paradise had to offer.
Trick Art Museum was up next. While waiting in line for our turn, Liz indicated she was ready to go home already. I decided to stay at the Wendy’s kiosk on the ground floor – near the escalators so we could eat and rest while waiting, and see the group come down on the way back to the bus once everyone’s done. After sitting at for a few minutes, she changed her mind and off we went to check out each art masterpiece “come to life” and connect (literally) with the one appreciating it. You’d have to check it out for yourself to see what I mean 😉 Better make the Trick Art Museum one of your earlier stops so you’d still have enough creative energy to work around the pieces 🙂
She was so exhausted I had to carry her around almost the entire maze – which, as the name suggests, is filled with mirrors. This makes it extra tricky to get out of. If you want to try this out, always remember to keep your hands in front of you so you do not bump into mirrors. If you have kids with you – be extra careful.
After an exhausting day, some co-parents and I decided to treat the kids (and ourselves!!) to dinner at Pancake House located in the ground floor. It took us mommies 3 days (for some, more) to fully “recover” from this intensely physical chaperoning experience.
After the field trip, we went back to Manila Ocean Park as a family. I have barely scratched the surface of this theme park with these posts. In a future article, I will recount our experience on the main attractions – like the Oceanarium, the Sea Lion Show, the Musical Fountain Show.