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!

Thank You Miss World, Miss Philippines is the New Miss Universe

Yey! Miss Universe 2018 is Philippines!  First of all, I want to say congratulations to everyone in my country.  Catriona Gray, our representative in this year’s edition of Miss Universe was crowned the queen! 

got this photo from catriona;s instagram

Catriona Gray was amazing throughout the Miss Universe pageant show.  She set a new standard of beauty pageant “walk” because of her now viral and infamous slow-mo twirl.  And her red fire gown during the finals night reminded me of Katniss Everdeen in the book Hunger Games!  She was the clear winner and she was indeed a cut above the rest! 

Since joining the elite beauty pageant world, Catriona has been amazing.  She has always been the girl to beat.  She did us proud when she landed top 5 in Ms. World a couple of years ago.  I thought during that contest, she should have won because aside from being so stunning, she gave the best answer.  But though she was robbed in that contest, I am now thankful that she was because she obviously is up for bigger and better things.

The Ms. World organizers must now be scratching their dense and dimwitted heads. So thank you Ms. World for letting us down during that time because otherwise, my country would have not clinched the most coveted pageant title in the universe for the fourth time.

In the past week, I got the chance to view YouTube videos of Catriona’s journey in Ms. Universe.  Her approach was really different as compared to other equally amazing Ms. Philippines representatives in the past.  Catriona chose to put meaning and representations in almost all elements of her joining the Ms. Universe pageant.  She is so in love with the culture and colors of the Philippines, that she made sure these are included in her presentations. 

fun art on catriona;s national costume. got this too from catriona’s instagram

After watching those videos, you would just know how much effort, time, dedication and heart was poured by Catriona in reaching for her ultimate goal of being crowned as the new Miss Universe. Equipped with beauty, charm, sharp thinking and excellent communication skills, Catriona Gray truly deserves to win!

Congratulations Catriona.  Congratulations Philippines!

Pinektusan ang Unibers!

Bitter Gourd Monologues is so Me

It’s been uncounted number of years since the time I last finished reading a book written in my native language, Filipino.  This long streak of non-sense convention is finally over.  And I am glad to announce that the Filipino-language book I finished is sooo me.  Its entitled Ampalaya Monologues written by “spoken word” genius, Mark Ghosn.

Ampalaya Monologues is so me!  Ampalaya for those who don’t know is Bitter Gourd in the Filipino language or metaphorically defined as “bitter”.  There are 27 characters in the book that features varying idiosyncrasies of heartaches, heartbreaks, eccentric longing, quirky hopes, emotional struggles and of course romanticized bitterness.

This I guess would be the very first book written in Filipino that made me cry and laugh out loud at the same time.  I literally was laughing at a lot of lines and thoughts in this book for I am so bitter, I can totally relate. Here’s the top six monologues I loved and totally enjoyed!   

 

I haven’t see or talked to the writer yet Ampalaya Monologues seem to have entered into my realm.  It was as if Mark Ghosn has entered my cranium and cerebral cortex and wrote what he has seen inside.

According to some write ups, Ampalaya Monologues (like The Vagina Monologues popularized in the past in the western side of the planet) are actually staged and performed by actors in front of big audiences.  But I guess reading the book would be a totally different experience.  It was as if the character was merely talking to the reader and no one else like in a big crowd.  Thus, reading the book I guess would be more intense and can definitely hit you right at your very core.

I love every piece of the chapters/monologues yet the last part was actually the most fitting for it makes you realize that for every tear, every heartache and bitterness a reader felt and experienced in the past, such sufferings will eventually make a person fervently mature and emotionally stronger.  I believe in the ultimate message of the book and that is for bitter people like us, there is still a chance to move on and some freaking flicker of hope is awaiting for all of us. 

Ang sabi nga sa libro, mas mabuting maging bitter kesa fake!

First Filipino Christmas of Arziolo

It’s September and Finding Tom basically said everything I want to say about Christmas here in the Philippines.  Watch this…. 

To add to what Tom Finding said in his video, I would like to say that Christmas in the Philippines is also for the children.  Though it is also for the children, I however, could no longer recall when was the last time I bought a Christmas present intended for a child. 

In fact, my youngest twin nephews are in their freshman year in college while my youngest niece is in her senior high.  Though it has always been a blast, there has been no baby around Nengkoy’s house for the past eons of years during Christmas.

But Christmas this year would be a little more special because of this kid…

cuteness overload of Arziolo

Looking forward to seeing the first Christmas celebration of my first grandnephew, Arziolo.

Mas mukhang  eksayted ako kesa sa batang yan!

Getting Lost In The Right Direction

Your unexpected detour could lead to unexpected moments of beauty that otherwise you would have missed” 

This is how I would summarize my thought after I and my friend-colleagues has gone to Laiya, San Juan in the province of Batangas to scout for a venue for our upcoming company’s post-summer outing.

We basically checked-out, visited and inquired almost all of the major sea-side vacation lands in the area but in each of the resorts we visited there seem to be something lacking.  We have gone to seven leading resorts yet we still were not one in deciding which to choose.  This until, we decided to get lost and do a little detour before heading back to Manila.

And here is what we found!      

It really feels good to be lost in the right direction…

Ameysing!

Dear Terrence Romeo

I totally disagree with the pretext, depth and perspectives of your tweet. It is sad to note that a lot of Filipinos agree, liked and shared your unwise tweet.

Translation: To those athletes who express that we were embarrassing, we don’t care whatever you say. My team needs to support one another in the court. We cannot just disregard one another. If we are embarrassing in your viewpoint why can’t you just convert to being Australians?

I love underdogs that is why I was drawn to liking Gilas Philipinas in the past. But it is unfortunate to note that last night’s basketball game (July 2 held at the Philippine Arena against Team Australia), the charismatic underdog Gilas Team seem to have transformed into some confused and rabid mongrel.


Let me then inform you that my being a Filipino and staying as a Filipino is not anchored on how the games of Gilas Pilipinas play its game! The affairs of your team may it be compassionate or rabid towards your opponents is not going to be the fundamental foundation of my staying as a Filipino. Lastly, the size of your prefrontal cortex will not be the basis if I will stay as a Filipino or convert to becoming an Australian.

You being one of the star players of the team, guess what? A simple tweet apologizing to your fans could have been better, more mature and more sportsmanly act as compared to what you tweeted.

Ang hashtag Puso naging hashtag Balunbalunan!

Fast Fantastic Food at Estero

Last Sunday, I woke up wanting to go to Ongpin, the Chinese Capital of the Philippines.  As soon as I opened my eyes after a long and quiet sleep, my katawang lupa (flesh and corporeal being) just suddenly crave for the look, the noise and the smell of Ongpin. 

Thanks to super friend Willie, he accompanied me and made my silly craving a reality.  My longing was really plain and unchallenging.  I just wanted to walk the super busy street of Ongpin, buy a snack and then leave.  But thank goodness I was with itinerant Willie because he knows a very good eatery in this old and hoary part of Manila.

We dined at what is known as Estero.  It is a non-air-conditioned diner that is right beside a creek and a tidal channel used as drainage canal in the overly populated area of Manila. I was at first so tentative and doubtful about the place.  But when the gentle lady manning the eatery approached us and handed the menu, I knew that I was into some exciting gastronomic adventure. 

estero (if I was the owner, i would call it “estuary” para sosyal)

classic yang chow rice and the surprisingly good hototay soup!

joyous version of their mung bean sprouts

buttered chicken is love

happy tummy!

Estero is tagged as a fast food on the internet but it is unlike the usual fast food that items were pre-prepared and placed on a heater display.  Estero food are only cooked upon ordering.  Maybe the reason why it is called fast food is because the kitchen is equipped with high pressure burners and the cooks prepare their dishes so fast.  In a haste, the server was already serving our freshly cooked Hototay and the surprisingly crunchy Stir-Fried Mung Bean Sprouts.

Aside from the very good food, Estero’s price was surprisingly cheap.  Total bill of all the fantastic dishes we ordered was roughly around 8 (US) dollars.

Yam yam!