PH: National Museum of Natural History

Last month, I celebrated my birthday and I decided to finally check out the National Museum of Natural History. It is one of the three national museums found in Luneta Park, and its doors only opened last May 18 after a major renovation.

Back to travel posts! Last month, I celebrated my birthday and I decided to finally check out the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY. It is one of the three national museums found in Luneta Park, and its doors only opened last May 18 after a major renovation.

We were expecting the crowd to be just small but lo and behold, there was a field trip even if it was on a Saturday. Also, the free entrance may have enticed more citizens to visit the place so there was a looooong line when we arrived before lunch. (Quick amusing story — a guy asked me about the long wait in line… and turned out that the lady with her is my colleague from our NCL office. Hello Ila!)

If you’re bringing a bag with you, take note that bags bigger than the size of a short bond paper is required to be deposited in their baggage counter.

Upon entering the museum, you will immediately see this iconic DNA Tree of Life structure in the courtyard. It houses an elevator which takes you directly from ground floor to 5th floor and vice-versa.

 

Before I continue with telling what you can see inside the museum, I was lucky enough that in the conference I attended last Sept 13, the organizer invited Architect Dominic Galicia and he gave a talk on “Reinventing the Museum Experience”.

During the whole talk, you can feel his passion for his craft. Some of the things he shared is how they had to search and see the old blueprints such as Toledo “drawings” dating back to 1930s. Even if part of the building may be old or damaged, he firmly believes that it can be reborn. He also mentioned how he wants to be faithful to the story that is why he wants to know the background of the building/s to be renovated.

He suggested to us to do the processional route of taking the elevator all the way to 5th floor then from there, visit each exhibit and go down each level until you return to ground floor… And that’s what my friends and I did!

 

All 5th floor exhibits were still under construction, but pretty interesting because these will be about biodiversity, geology, and life through time. We went down to 4th floor which showcased different types of forests in PH as well as the types of animals that one can find there.

 

 

 

I think it was on the 4th floor where we encountered these familiar names from one of our high school classes:

After going down the ramp that led us to 3rd floor, couldn’t help but capture these awesome details by the arch and one of the front doors of the museum:

In the same corridor where I took the photos above, Tomas Bernardo’s orchid paintings were mounted as a gallery.

A common orchid found throughout PH

 

Theme for 3rd floor seems to be aquatic / marine life — mangroves, beaches, life thousands of meters under the sea (or ocean).

 

Collared Kingfisher

Crown of Thorns — sea star with pungent, poisonous thorns

 

 

When we returned to the courtyard area, near the ramp, we noticed recreation of dinosaur bones!

One of the highlights for us is seeing the skeleton of Lolong, the world’s largest crocodile in captivity.

 

When we finished touring the last floor, we headed for lunch at Bugis Singapore Street Food. Sharing the food pics I took before closing this entry:

 

Aaand, that’s it. A geeky way to celebrate my birthday but I had fun anyway. Cheers to my late 20s time! 🙂

Singapore, Day 3: ArtScience Museum

Being the geeks that we are, K and I went to the ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM where we had a lot of fun thanks to the Future World exhibit (teamLab).

The opening exhibit was called Nature. We went inside a small room for the first part, which depicted birds from Japanese mythology that are believed to be the embodiment of the sun. The digital technology and accompanying music were both captivating, that we decided to watch it for the 2nd time.

APRIL 23, 2017

Being the geeks that we are, K and I went to the ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM where we had a lot of fun thanks to the Future World exhibit (teamLab).

The opening exhibit was called Nature. We went inside a small room for the first part, which depicted birds from Japanese mythology that are believed to be the embodiment of the sun. The digital technology and accompanying music were both captivating, that we decided to watch it for the 2nd time.

The second gallery featured seascape “drawn” in Japanese traditional art. There were bean bags scattered in this area where one could lie down and just watch the moving waves.

The last part was more for kids because it had this interactive slide wherein the path you passed would light up. Can’t remember the names of the other exhibits but they had a lot of interesting activities.

Black Waves depicted the sea in traditional Japanese painting style and the lines were moving to give the effect that the sea was alive.

Light Ball Orchestra occupied a huge space in the exhibit – lots of big balls on the ground wherein touching a ball would change the color and sound. You can push, toss, bounce, or roll the balls to create a unique composition. We weren’t able to try this interactive activity because all the balls were being used by kids. (/ω\)

We had fun instead in stacking colored cubes…

…and with this digital game which seems to be heat-sensitive? We weren’t sure how this one worked so hula na lang.

 

The last part of the exhibit was called Space, which featured teamLab’s “monumental installation” called Crystal Universe. The artwork used 178,200 LED lights to mimic starts moving in space. We would walk a short path that allowed us to experience the “universe” as we were surrounded by the thousands of lights blinking and changing colors.

The only thing we did not like here is that the staff kept on asking visitors who would stop to keep on walking. That would be okay if the walking path was long but since this was the last part, a lot of people were reluctant to follow. Anyway, I still managed to take some of these photos…

Thanks propphi! Blurred nga lang, haha!

Before we left the museum, we took photos of these quotes:

 

We went for one of the popular hotpot restaurants where we waited for about an hour before we got to eat. All I could say is it was worth the wait but I didn’t bring my camera so no photos to share.

Well, that’s it for my short SG trip! 😊

The Mind Museum – A must stop for geeks, nerds, and people who are (madly) in love with science

EDIT: To all those who shared this post via Facebook and/or Twitter, thank you very much! I wish there was a way to trace the people who shared this entry so that I can give my thanks to each one of you. :< Anyway, keep on spreading the link to this entry. If you’re not very busy, try to read my other posts in this blog. I’m sure you’ll like it especially if you looooove food. :>

Finally! The museum I’ve been anticipating since last year is now open to the public. I invited my best friends right away since I know that they will totally looooove this place. What made us more excited to go to this museum is the fact that we only get to pay PhP150 since we are college students from a public university.

The Mind Museum
(leftmost: Kim and Mico; bottom right: Me and Kim)

If it isn’t obvious from the title of this entry and from this picture, the museum is called The Mind Museum. It is located in Bonfiacio Global City, Taguig City (near Deutsche Bank). I still have a hangover from visiting this place so I’ll try my best to give a detailed entry on what’s in store for you. And yes, based on the numerous pictures I have for this entry, picture taking is allowed inside the museum. Perfect!

Meet Aedi (you can actually talk to her!)

We (Kim, Mico, and I) were greeted by a female robot called Aedi. She said that it would take more than one visit to fully enjoy each section in the museum. We would also embark on our own adventure because we are the ones who will choose where would we start. At this point, my best friends and I could not contain our excitement anymore. We wanted to start the tour already. Good thing that Aedi’s speech was just short and upon bidding us goodbye, the people went their own ways.

First stop: Philippine Science Hall

(RIGHT – top to bottom: Kim and the trivia boards; Information on whale shark; Interactive whale shark figure)

This was the section nearest to Aedi’s. There was one part where it was full of trivia related to science organizations. Mico and Kimberly said in a sarcastic tone that the stuff there was not bias since they saw a few answers (i.e. Institute of Physics, Institute of Chemistry, Institute of Mathematics) related to the University of the Philippines. Famous tourist spots in the Philippines, such as Donsol and El Nido, had their own exhibit in the museum. Donsol boasts the abundance of whale sharks (butanding in Filipino) in their province. There were buttons in the whale shark figure which made learning more fun.

Good proof that learning is indeed fun

Before leaving the area, there was a touchscreen TV where you have to drag each animal (except for the rafflesia) to the corresponding Philippine province where they can be found.

Second stop: Universe Gallery – The Majesty of the Universe

At the entrance of the Universe Gallery

We just could not ignore this area because of the star-like lights that illuminate the place. Besides, we just totally love everything related to the universe so we proceeded to this place right away. We were so envious of the people who donated to the museum because they got their own star.

(top: Constellation of my zodiac sign; bottom: Mico, keeper of the stars — because he was the only one who was able to use the touchscreen TV. Daya!)

I saw the constellation of my zodiac sign but I found out that it was already bought. Damn! Someday, I’ll buy the Virgo constellation. Or better yet, the Milky Way galaxy. Haha! There were lots of interactive thingimajig in this section, such as controlling a moon buggy and moving the planets in the solar system. We decided to leave the area by going through the tunnelcraft called “Universe to Earth Corridor.”

Kim controlling the buggy. Oh, and they even used memes for repairing notices. Me gusta!

Something to take note of in this area. They have a planetarium here but, sadly, it can only accommodate a maximum of 40 people. Also, seats are limited slots and the passes are given for the early birds. We arrived at exactly 3PM so goodbye to the chance of visiting the planetarium.

Third stop: Earth Gallery

Meet my new buddy, Stan the T-rex

Got a bit dizzy upon entering this place since we went here via the tunnelcraft with spinning space objects around us. The highlight of this section is the replica of the skeleton of a tyrannosaurus rex (T-rex). I wanted to hug the T-rex after seeing it! Not a lot of people know that I am very interested in dinosaurs. 🙂 Stan, the T-rex, is actually the first thing you’ll spot in this gallery. Another attraction here is a device where you can create a tornado ala-Storm from X-Men.

Fourth stop: —

Fractal Wall

I forgot to look at the name of this section because at this point, I was already too excited to look at each exhibit. Anyway, one of the interesting exhibits here is the Fractal Wall, where you will see the same pattern as you keep on zooming in the image that you see on the screen. Our (Kim’s and mine) favorite pattern was the Spider (Math Equation).

We just kept on zooming and zooming until the image said that the computer is already out of memory.

In the fungi exhibit, we found different mushrooms that looked like plushies. I wanted to take them home and put them in our living room. 😀

Fifth stop: Life Gallery – The Exuberance of Life

(CCW: Sign of the gallery; Parts of a cell; Sign of an exhibit; Interactive videos for Strange Dear but True Dear; Interactive exhibit for Bernoulli’s principle; Kim and Mico being eaten by a whale shark)

The whale shark was one of the main attractions here and lots of people just can’t help but take a picture in front of it — pretending to be eaten by the whale shark. But of course in reality, it is close to impossible for whale sharks to eat humans since they only feed on plankton. There are lots of interactive stuff here such as the following: learning the different parts of the human cell, exploring the human body (e.g. muscular, skeletal, digestive), understanding how food webs work, and finding out the principle responsible for making birds and airplanes fly. Mico and I played a quiz game related to DNA but there was a technical mishap since the program went back to the 1st question when it was supposed to display the 6th question.

Sixth stop: Inner-Space Track

On one of the walls, there is a video projection about the DNA — its purpose, how it works, the pairs of proteins, and many more.

Seventh stop: Atom Gallery

(LEFT – top to bottom: Organic Molecule exhibit; Visualization of pitch)
(RIGHT – top to bottom: Formula for paracetamol; Static exhibit; Shadow box exhibit)

This was Kim’s area (she’s a Chemical Engineering major!) and we just can’t help but get excited after seeing organic chemistry stuff. There was also an exhibit related to the principle of static. It was funny seeing people whose hair just stood out. Literally. I was not able to try this since my palms were sweaty and I’m sure I would get electrocuted if I tried it. Bummer. Interactive exhibits included “seeing” what a pitch looks like, how whirlpools work, and taking a picture of your shadow.

Eighth stop: The Lightbridge

The Lightbridge and the map

They constructed their map here based on the different light waves that we know of — from gamma rays to radio waves. Definitely cool! Not much of interactive exhibits here but lots of helpful information to store in our brain.

Ninth (and last) stop: Technology Gallery

(TOP LEFT, CW: Mico and I sitting on the toilet; Bag inspection ala-airport; Scent of lavender; Toilet buddies doing a secret technique)

At this point, I was quite tired from walking. Still, not a reason to stop me from enjoying and exploring this place. This is the only gallery in the museum located at the second floor. It was fun smelling stuff like lavender, citrus, cedar, and cinnamon. I definitely loved the scent of the first two.

(TOP: Managed to fit the eleven boxes… with brute force)
(BOTTOM, L-R: Mico plays the binary dance; Kim polishes her drumming skills; My best friends playing the harp with laser thingimajig as strings)

Exhibits with touchscreen stuff included trying out different shoes for an avatar, listening to random songs from different decades (from the 60s up to the 00s), and playing arcade games (from the 60s up to the 00s). We also got to try how security people in airports inspect bags. There were also nerdy games here like playing binary dance ala-Dance Dance Revo and fitting eleven cubes within a limited space.

With my sister that destiny forgot to gave me /propphi/ 🙂

Kim and I just had to take a picture here because the caption above us has a special meaning for us. We call each other “propphi” which is a combination of the words “prop” and “phi.” “Prop” is the prefix used in organic chemistry for the number three while “phi” is magical and perfect number in the entire universe. These are our favorite numbers so we decided to combine them and voila! Propphi is born. How nerdy, huh. 🙂

Trying to get a decent picture of the mirror for measuring body proportions

Speaking of beauty, there is a mirror in this gallery where you get to see if the different proportions in your body are perfect. If they are, then you have the perfect body! Turns out I don’t have it. Height pa lang, bagsak na! Oh well. Can’t do anything about that. Haha!

(Mind Movers who explained how printing worked decades ago; Mico and me holding our souvenirs; Kim with her “printed” souvenir)

We managed to have a free souvenir from The Mind Museum when we checked out the exhibit where the staff will demonstrate how the first printing press worked.

We were about to leave the place when one of the staff stopped us and told us to watch their 3D short film of how the planet Earth and its inhabitants came to be. It was around 15 minutes and it was so coooool! Definitely loved the part where the dinosaurs were the stars in one part of the film.

Turned the Science Demo Area into a studio. LOL.

Being with awesome people in an awesome place makes this day an awesome one. Too much use of the word “awesome.” Haha! By the way, we had the 3-6PM tour and explored the museum on our own. We’re thinking of having a guide next time.

We’re definitely coming back for you, The Mind Museum. 🙂

PS. We went to Market! Market! afterwards and ate at Buddy’s. The restaurant is famous for their Pancit Lucban and I’m glad that Mico and Kim loved it since I’m actually a fan of this dish. Yep, I can’t resist the urge to include food in this post.

My share of Pancit Lucban. Did not manage to get a picture when it was just served. Too hungry to think e.

Note 1: The Mind Museum ticket prices are as follows:

Adults – PhP600 | Private School Students (up to college) – PhP450 | Public School Students (up to college) – PhP150 | Teachers – PhP150

Note 2: Time Slots –> 9AM-12NN | 12NN-3PM | 3PM-6PM | 6PM-9PM (during weekends only)