Travel: Trip to Museo Pambata - Free Entrance because of International Museum Day 2016

18 May 2016

Today is my Mom's 69th birthday.  In her honor, we went to the Museo Pambata (the first hands-on children's interactive museum in the Philippines)  because as an Educator of young minds, my mom absolutely loved museums and the wealth of knowledge that they can impart.  It was incidentally International Museum Day so Museo Pambata's entrance fees were waived for the day which was a blessing too! :)  Read on to see what's inside Museo Pambata :)

We arrived at the Museo Pambata around 1PM.  I figured it was the perfect time since everyone was having lunch and the museum will be empty like it was at the National Museum when we went there.  I was surprised to see that the gates were closed and it turned out, they were closed for Lunch between 12NN and 1PM.  It was no big deal, we only waited a minute or two before they opened and the people, though it seemed a lot on the outside, immediately dispersed inside and were never seen again hahaha

Like the two museums we've been to, you have to register (on the right side) and leave your bulky bags at the package counter on the left side.  After that, you're free to roam around as you please.  The Museo Pambata has 8 Theme Rooms (Environment, Old, Manila, Career Options, I Love My Planet Earth, My Body Works, Marketplace, Global Village, and Karapatan Hall).  There is really no right or wrong path to follow.  Just take note of the Museo Pambata House Rules:

Our first stop was at the Environment/Kalikasan Theme Room.  It teaches about conserving Mother Earth with particular emphasis on the rainforest and the coastal area.

Dana spread her arms, as the exhibit suggested, to show how wide the eagle's wingspan is.

Here, Dana and Dylan figure out the Food Chain.

There's a display of rice and an explanation of the importance of agriculture to our way of life.  

The kids smelled different herbs and plants.  Here, there were samples of Tanglad (Lemon Grass), Sampaguita (Jasmine) and Oregano.  They recognized the oregano because we have them in pots at home :)

An herb garden is also part of the exhibit.

 This section was about how herbs are used and even presents a chart on "hilot" (traditional Filipino massage).  This wall in the picture shows some of the "anting-antings" of local "albularyos".

The next hall presented an interesting compilation of insects and how they're important to nature and the balance of life.

Next, there was a room on ocean life.  Personally, I found this interesting.  These were tactile displays of sea sponge and shark skin.  These displays let kids know what a sea sponge feels like.  For me, I was intrigued and was thinking that the sea sponge will feel like a sponge we used for dishwashing, you know, the Scotch Brite pads?  Well, they did feel like that haha The shark skin I was surprised to find it rough and pebbly.  I thought shark's skin was smooth! You learn something new everyday!! :D

Kids loved being "under the sea" :)

Taking pictures has never been more fun that with these standing cut-outs :)

Oh and I found this cool.  The kids took turns listening to the "Sound of the Sea" :)

There was a corner for resting and reading books.  Dolphin headresses were available to play with :)

The next place we went to was reminiscent of Old, Historic Manila.  The Spanish Influence can be seen in the design and decor of the hallway leading to the "Old Manila" theme room. 

The main hall for this theme room was filled with Old Manila elements, like this Meralco Tranvia that used to ply the main roads of Manila.

There was also a huge replica of the Binondo Church.  When we went inside, we heard religious music playing as well as see a small altar-like vestibule.

There was also a gallery of Filipino heroes on the walls.  When you lift the phones, you can hear them "talking" about themselves - what they've done and what they're known for.  But don't expect to hear the spiel immediately.  If a person picks it up and puts the receiver back without listening to it, the spiel will keep on playing until it finishes and then you can hear from the beginning.

Another highlight was the huge Spanish Galleon.  The kids were familiar with it because they've seen the actual artifacts from the wreck of the Spanish battleship San Diego at the National Museum.

Part of what the Spanish Galleon brought to the country, as part of its trading business, was spices!  You can lift open the jars and smell the different spices that were brought to the country. That was fun! :) Except for the pepper haha that made us sneeze! :)

There was a section called the Puerta del Sol, and it was the premium store during that time.  Here were some of the items they sold.

Opening from the Main Hall of Heroes was the Parian section.  It showed elements of the time when the Chinese were given their own place to live in, which is now known as Chinatown.  The first picture shows medicinal herbs (I think), silk clothes (Chinese were the first to cultivate silkworms to create silk threads), a pen and ink set and coins.

One wall, in keeping with the theme of "Old Manila" showed "Then and Now" pictures.

There was also a "Bahay na Bato" showcase complete with furniture and clothing that are free to try on.

The Facade of the Bahay na Bato

The Staircase

The ornate hallway mirror

The next theme room was the "Global Village".  The current exhibit was about Singapore. There was a display on their clothes, their food, shoes and herbal remedies.


Next to this exhibit was an International display of musical instruments, dolls and toys.  The piano was out of tune but was still fun to play with.  There were even gongs that Dylan and Dana tried playing and boy, were they loud! haha Some of the kids actually couldn't resist hitting them over and over it was a miracle the glasses in these display cases didn't break :) 

Next door was the Karapatan Hall which deals with the rights of Children.  The kids and I discussed this and Dana couldn't help but point out one interesting thing - "Right to rest, leisure, cultural and artistic activities" which was exactly what we were doing today :)

Now, we're done with the ground floor displays.  Admittedly, these were serious topics for kids so parents need to guide and assist them.  On to the 2nd Floor!  This piece was displayed at the landing leading to the 2nd Floor.  It was made by Salvador Juban in 1994, entitled "Mga Laro ng Batang Pilipino" and it exemplified exactly what is on the 2nd Floor.

The kids couldn't wait to get into the "My Body Works" theme room.  Who wouldn't especially with a mouth serving as the entrance?! :) The mouth leads to a tunnel (the esophagus, of course) into the room.  

 There was a station for listening to different rhythms of the heartbeat and a section on bones and x-rays.

There was also a wide wall for wall climbing.  There were huge cushioned mats on the floor for protection.  I think there were helmets too but some kids were wearing them while running around the room :)

This room was where the kids pose to take their picture, except that they leave their shadows behind as proof :)  I should have taken off the Flash in the camera when I took the shot, but I hope you get the picture :)

Leaving the airconditioned rooms, we went next to the "Marketplace" section of the museum. Here, the kids saw what a typical neighborhood market looks and feels like.  Funny, this was the first time they saw a "bunot", a coconut husk used for polishing the floor and a "palo-palo", an implement for laundry. There was also a barber shop, a meat shop, a shoe repair shop in addition to the stores you see here.  Patrick looked so at home in his picture.  I was actually surprised to see him there, I thought he was part of the display hahaha

The kids had fun playing firefighters on this fire truck.  They immediately put on the jackets and hard hats and pretended to be firefighters :)

They were excited to enter the library.  There were a number of books to choose from and it was very comfortable with the cool air and sufficient lighting.  They wondered if it was possible to just come here to read.  I have to check on that :)

Next stop was the "Career Options" theme room.  This time, they were showcasing authors and illustrators of children's books, which was perfect timing for Dana is a budding writer!  There was a station where you can dress up and be your favorite book characters, which the kids tried and loved :)  The gallery contained samples of their illustrations and advice on how to persevere in this profession. I hope that Dana got ideas :)

The final theme room we came to was the "I Love My Planet Earth" section.  It deals with conservationism and environmental issues. 

Disaster Preparedness Kit

I think they have to update this and change it to LED lights :)

 Outdoors, the museum also has a playground but it was too hot to stick around.

Outside, when we were done, we stood on the sidewalk to take this picture, never mind that people along Roxas Boulevard can see us :)

I didn't know that Dolphy, our King of Comedy, was a patron of the Museo Pambata.  Now, I know :) 

Okay, so that was a rather long post but there were so many things to see and do at the Museo Pambata. It actually took us 2 hours to finish our run and we could've stayed longer but we got hungry.  Everyone should be able to bring their kids to this highly interactive and highly educational destination.  Actually, not only kids can benefit but adults too!  So GO! :)

Museo Pambata details:
Location:  Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive, Manila, Philippines
Hours: Tuesday to Sat - 8AM to 5PM (September to February), 9AM to 5PM (March to August)
           Sunday - 1AM to 5PM
Fees:  Children (2 years old & Above) and Adults - PhP250
           Manila residents with valid ID's are Free on Tuesdays and get 50% off on other days