Surprised by the Museum of Natural History in Manila

Lowering expectation is one simple secret to achieving amazement and happiness.  Setting high expectations tends to result to frustration especially when measuring reality against imagined reality.  High expectations often wrings the joy out of experiencing something for what it is.

This were my exact thoughts when I and a bunch of colleagues decided to have a detour and headed to the Museum of Natural History in Manila before driving back to our office after some brief business meeting in Intramuros.  Knowing Manila being a run down, sullied, traffic-infested and over-populated city, finding something amazing seem next to impossible. 

this hall houses some of the most important artifacts
world-class!
my county’s “under the sea” features is one of the best
biggest croc on record is in the philippines it’s name is “lolong”

But our visit to the Museum of Natural History in Manila was indeed a big surprise!  It is one destination on the City of Manila that definitely deserves a visit! 

What I love most about this museum is that all exhibits – flora, fauna, earth formations, etc. – were of Filipino representations.  Also, segmentations of exhibits were really well thought of.  It’s like being so at home yet you would discover new and amazing natural wonders of the country. 

some fauna with two lucky folks
open up! admission is free!
the old-fashioned “botica”
i love this!
hall full of rocks!

Me and my colleagues were a bunch of pre-millennial species that is why we could really relay and seem so familiar with some of the indigenous exhibits.  Some of us could actually recall childhood encounters with some of the now rare flora and fauna displayed in the museum – dragonflies, beetles, birds, fruit crops, seashells, clams, freshwater crabs, etc.  Too bad, these floras and faunas we played with during childhood has started to become so rare it can now only be found in a museum.

I also like the fact that some of the exhibits are interactive.  I and my colleagues were so surprised, we could not keep ourselves from saying “Wow!” every time we enter a gallery full of amazing collections. Museum of Natural History in Manila was one surprising experience!  I have been to some of the top museums of the world and I can say that Manila’s National Museum of Natural History is world class.  .  It’s truly a fantastic feast for the senses! 

museum of natural history, manila, philippines
…was so impressed!

The National Museum of Natural History in Manila is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Entrance is free.

Ang ganda. Inferness!

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My 2018 Songs

What was your song last year?  What melody, lyrics and tempo fused into one that moved you and can be considered your best representation last year?  What was that tune in 2018 which you would consider your song?

I got two.  One is a song that I personally did not chose until someone told me it’s me.  My sister after we both have watched the concert of Calum Scott in Manila uttered that No Matter What was so me.  “It fits you” she uttered without me asking her.  Those 3 words she said got stuck and will seem to be forever embedded in my wits! 

My 2018 second song is Para Sa Akin.  Fittingly a Tagalog song, which implies a longing for someone, an aspiration and hoping to be lucky that someone will fall, a promise to be good in case someone falls and without tension and strain letting someone’s affectionate heart beats for me.  I am middle aged, yet, finding someone special is still the ultimate thing that I have yet to receive from the heavens.  Thus, Para Sa Akin (translation: For Me) simply befits me. 

 

You what is your 2018 song?

Drama-dramahan ang peg sa post na ‘to… 

Shimmering Soumaya Museum

Modern and present earthlings’ visit and holiday to Mexico City would now no longer be complete without visiting the Soumaya Museum.  Hailed as a new landmark, this weird looking building in the city is a private museum owned by the richest living earthling Carlos Slim. 

Named after the wife of the owner who passed away in 1999, Soumaya Museum building is one of the weirdest-looking modern architecture that I have ever seen!  It is so weird that I could not actually ascertain its geometrical shape.  Add to its weirdness is its being windowless and that the whole building glimmers and sparkles when hit by the rays of the sunshine!

And since the owner is filthy rich, admission inside the museum is free. Only the blind would miss the bronze cast of Rodin’s The Thinker upon entering the open airy lobby.  There’s also a colorful mural (considered to be one of the last works) done by Diego Rivera pointing toward the restrooms.

the lobby!

 

la puerta del infierno (the gates of hell) Ang taray ng title!

look at how tiny the people are at the bottom of this photo

Art collections found inside Soumaya Museum are all so grand and ostentatious.  It is dominated by the great works European artists, including El Greco, Van Gogh, Degas, Matisse and Picasso.  There are also a spectacular section of religious art which includes the Mexican portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Spanish painting of the Virgin of Toledo and surprisingly intricate ivory sculptures of Jesus hanged on the Cross done by Filipino artisans.

And like in any other museum, it has been my tradition of choosing a collection that I am most impressed with.  Soumaya Museum had three amazing collections that enticed, engrossed and charmed my wits.

El Pansador (The Thinker by Auguste Rodin). I need to have a photo with this masterpiece

Joven de Bou-saada (Young Girl of Bou-saada). It looks so real, it scares me!

If art feeds the soul, Soumaya Museum would definitely have you so full! This was indeed a very enriching adventure! 

Hugis ano?

2018 Reflection and 2019 Aspiration

We have now reached the time of the year when we start to reflect on the year that was.  The compilations are starting to come out for the best songs, movies, Facebook and Instagram posts, fashion and all other bests for the year. 

It is also the time for reflection on a personal level: new people we met, new food we have tasted, amazing new sites we’ve visited, new skills we’ve learned, virtues we’ve acquired or maintained as well as the surprising circumstances we have encountered along the way.  It is also the time when we reflect how we’ve been as a human being and what we want to be in the next year.

As for me, I guess all I can do is be the best person that I can be to those who need me.  And to those who don’t need me, just wait and see because sometime next year you would realize that you do crave and long for me.  Hahaha!  I may not have a new set of resolutions but I will definitely do my very best to stay out of the treacherous waters that would be swirling around next year. 

It is the end of the year and it feels like a lot of people are tired and need a break.  I hope that next year would be more peaceful, meaningful and fruitful for everybody.  Let us hope for the best! 

happy new yeaar from sweet nengkoy! 

happy new year! welcome 2019!

Happy New Year and lots of love from me and my mother, Nengkoy!

Yumaman sana tayong lahat!

Castillo De Chapultepec

A castle is the last thing I am expecting to find when I decided to tour and visit Mexico City.  But expect the unexpected because I found Chapultepec Castle or Castillo De Chapultepec which is also unexpectedly located in the middle of a very huge park, the Chapultepec Park.  This park is so big, it is even bigger than the famous Central Park of New York City.    

The funny thing is, while roaming around the castle area, I am reminded by a number of things and I am telling myself that I have seen such place in the past.  And then I realized that this was the place where some scenes were shot in the 1996 movie Romeo & Juliet starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Clare Danes.  It was the set of the Capulet Mansion in that movie! 

The castle has been home for different purposes throughout its long history.  It has been a military academy, a presidential home, of course the royal residence, as well as an observatory.  Now it houses Mexico’s National Museum of History.      

It is the only castle in North America ever actually used as a royal home.  It was the residence of Emperor Maximilian I and his wife Empress Carlota.  And during such time, it was still considered to be in the outskirts of Mexico City.  This emperor then wanted to connect his castle to the main city.  He then ordered the construction of a road so as to link it to the energetic city.  That road now is known as the bustling and affluent Paseo Dela Reforma. 

paseo dela reforma

 The construction of the castle started in 1775 and in 1806 it was purchased by Mexico City’s municipal government.  It was mostly abandoned during the Mexican War of Independence.  But it rose to prominence again with the story that is probably the most famous event that has taken place in that castle, the Niños Heroes (or Hero Children). 

Niños Heroes are six Mexican boys who defended the castle against the U.S. soldiers invasion of the castles in September 13, 1847 during the bloody Mexican-American War.  These boys are now permanently honored throughout the grounds of the castle through massive sculptures, artifact exhibits and a commemorative mural painting.  

Besides the beauty of the castle itself, there are lovely gardens and grounds.  You also got fantastic view of the city and the park’s surroundings.  And since it is now the National Museum of History, there are also historical artifacts, exhibits and furnishings that I really enjoyed seeing.

Chapultepec Castle caught me in such a big surprise, that it is one site that I would recommend seeing when in Mexico City.  It was one lovely and surprisingly enriching visit.

Mapapa-biba Meksiko ka sa ganda!

Christmas 2018 at Nengkoy’s

photo taken by rachelle (nengkoy’s executive housekeeper)

Like any other Christian family, my family every year is at the heart of Christmas.  2018 Christmas celebration is no different from the yearly revelry that occurs at Nengkoy’s abode.  This year though is a little different because there is a little additional member of the family, my 8-month old grandnephew Arziolo.

And as usual, I am the designated person to take photos of the party.  There were so much photos I took last Christmas Eve that I was able to create a short video out from it.  Enjoy watching… 

From Nengkoy and my whole family, let me again greet everybody a very Merry Christmas!  And since this post covers a YouTube video, let me express how vloggers would invite viewers by saying: “Hi guys!!! Don’t forget to press the like button and subscribe in this channel!”  Hahaha!

Mag bayral sana…