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Thursday, April 22, 2010

UPLB Museum of Natural History and IRRI Rice World

It’s been 21 days after the unwanted incident and here we are grounded in Laguna.  Our vacation plans may have been warped, but bitterly dwelling on it won’t help.   We rather make the best out of our present situation and continuously enjoy our days.

Though it surely tears my heart when our older kids utter “Mom, I miss VEG” (that’s how we call our car), and bug me with the question “When can he be fixed?” I have to remain jovial and divert their attention to exciting but realistic plans that my husband and I are able to come up with.

We were able to enjoy a swimming resort in San Pablo City with my brother-in-law hauling people twice from their residence to the resort and back because obviously two families cannot fit in his car to enable just one trip.  Thanks to his patience.  Details and photos pertaining to this activity will be posted in a separate blog.

The recent activity we had was a trip to the Museum of Natural History at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) followed by a visit to the Rice World at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).  Both places can be reached by taking jeepney rides.

Pointing your forefinger up signals the jeepney driver that you want to go up the mountain...I mean to Forestry (UPLB upper campus where the museum is situated).

The jeepney rides we had was a bit inconvenient having four children to carry plus the bag of feeding bottles and extra clothes (thanks to my brother and sister who were available to accompany us), but generally good especially when the jeepney runs continuously having the wind blow at our faces. Zeki often exclaims “Wow the jeepney is air-conditioned!”

We reached the Museum a little past 11 in the morning.  We were greeted by the Director, Dr. Ireneo Lit Jr. who is a fellow Entomologist, a true friend, a brother to me and my husband and Lolo Jun Este Tito Jun to our kids.  Mr. Orly Eusebio guided us to the different sections as we chat about personal to museum matters.  My boys got amazed by the live stick insect specimens available at the entrance while my daughter was startled at the creepiness of the corridor of the bat exhibit.  I brought my children, my siblings and our college scholar, who are all first timers to the Museum. I am not sure if they were able to retain information about our natural history in their memory bank but I am certain that the experience was memorable for everybody. In my case, it was my brief talk with Kuya Jun, Orly and other Museum staff that made the experience more pleasurable.  I promised to come back with my husband who was in a meeting at that time, for a longer talk.

We intended to have a picnic lunch at the Botanical Garden across the Museum after the tour.  Unfortunately, it was closed so we ended eating at the Museum garden where the staffs spend their break time.  The Museum is housed in the Upper UPLB campus, which is part of the Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve.  Being surrounded by tall trees of the mountain, my children felt so free that they talked loudly as they explore the big roots and trunks posing for photo shots.  There were bigger trunks and taller trees in the area but who cares, at that point they just love being close to nature.  For me, it was indeed a feeling of being home again.

After lunch, we took a jeepney to go down to the lower campus to get another jeepney going to IRRI.  This time, we had to point our forefinger to the left to signal jeepney drivers that we want to go to IRRI situated at the western side of the campus. From IRRI gate, we walked about 50 meters to reach Chandler Hall for the Rice World  exhibit, apparently passenger use vehicles are no longer allowed to enter IRRI premises. Incidentally, this is the week that IRRI celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Rice World is an exhibit of rice-related materials, art works, machineries and cultures around the world.  Historical information, basic rice knowledge, rice research, population growth data and other rice-related issues are also on display.  Wide computer screens and touch screens are available to facilitate learning.  Everybody was amazed to see the estimated world population that keeps on changing as new babies is born per second.

As expected, my boys spent so much time exploring the machineries while my older daughter rehearsed her tribal dance steps and pictorial poses. We even had fun taking pictures of ourselves facing a one-way mirror, maybe people on the other side were laughing at us.

This tour culminated at the Carabao Park for our college scholar’s chance to pose by the UPLB’s Flame of Excellence.

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6 comments: on "UPLB Museum of Natural History and IRRI Rice World"

josie said...

Might as well enjoy the best of it. Your such a wonderful positive thinker Papa Sez. :)

Ninja Media said...

that lizard is weird

Shenandoah bed and breakfast said...

Thanks for sharing this stuff. The all pictures which you have shared look really beautiful. Historical sites are always my favorite and during traveling I always prefer to find some historical places. It is really helpful for increasing the knowledge.

Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

may fee po bang papayaran for us to visit this place?

Papa Sez said...

There's a minimal entrance fee for the UPLB Museum of Natural History (discounted for students), but for the IRRI Rice World it's free.

Anonymous said...

Magkano po ang entrance fee. yung regular po.

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