Travelogue Manila: Science And Discovery @ Mind Museum, Bonifacio Global City

Whenever I come to Manila, I make it a point to visit as many museums as possible. I like how much effort is put into maintaining the culture and heritage of the Filipino people, and how well preserved some of the artifacts are.

But while I’ve been to plenty of historical museums and art galleries on my past visits, I’ve never been to a science /discovery centre (besides Manila Ocean Park) – so the Boy and I bought tickets for the Mind Museum in Bonifacio Global City.

20180619_143642

It doesn’t look very large from the outside, but there are plenty of things to keep you occupied for hours. True to its science theme, the museum has a solar reflective exterior as well as natural wind ventilation and rainwater flow drainage.

20180619_150416

Spanning two floors with over 250 exhibits, the museum is divided into several sections, each with its own theme. We start off in the Universe Gallery. No points for guessing what this space is about lol.  Here, visitors will discover the story of the cosmos and how the universe came into being. I really liked the décor they’ve done with the place, especially the glittering tapestry of ‘stars’ on the ceiling.

20180619_151158

You can interact with some of the exhibits, like this one (which I actually forgot what it was supposed to demonstrate lol).

20180619_151412

The evolution of stars exhibit was my favourite because the pieces were so well made and colourful. Visitors press buttons to see how the star ‘evolved’, gradually expanding into a ‘red giant’ which is its dying form. Going out with a bang, amirite?

20180619_151644

We also caught a planetarium show, where you sit in a reclining chair while the projector plays on the dome-like screen above you – kind of like giant VR. The only other time I watched one was in LA, and I fell asleep (because I was fatigued after a 20-hour flight lol), so I was looking forward to this.

Sadly, the show didn’t live up to expectations – mostly because the projections were so dark and out of focus that I couldn’t really see what was going on.

20180619_154557

Moving on, we made our way to the Earth Gallery which houses exhibits on prehistoric life and geology.

20180619_155454

The star of the section was definitely the life-sized T-rex replica! PS: His name is Stan.

20180619_160805

The Life Gallery showcases the rich flora and fauna that once, and some that still, inhabit the Philippine archipelago, such as the beautiful whale shark (above) – commonly found off the waters of Cebu and parts of Luzon. There are also replicas of great apes, a life-sized giraffe and a huge figure of a brain.

20180619_162632

Colourful glass that you can switch the positions on to form different colour combis on the wall. Pretty cool!

20180619_162755

A ‘piano’ staircase that was really popular with the kids. There are motion sensors on the sides, so every time someone walked on the ‘key’, there would be sound.

20180619_163121

Neon rainbow tunnel.

20180619_163855

20180619_170434

The second floor, which is much smaller than the first, has several arcade games like Guitar Hero that visitors can play for free, an X-ray machine that you can pass your bags through to see how it works, fun house mirrors and technological exhibits.

All in all it was a fun and educational experience at the Mind Museum! There are quite a number of interactive exhibits that will make it fun to visit with the kids, and it definitely beats walking through generic malls and enriching capitalist pockets for vanity and self gratification. At least here, you learn stuff.

Tickets can be purchased here. 

**There are all day passes and three-hour slots. I recommend getting the cheaper 3-hour slot because the museum isn’t that big and everything can be covered within that time limit. 

*imho the prices are pretty steep (adults – PHP625 for a three-hour ticket) but I guess that’s how they can maintain the place. 

Mind Museum
JY Campos Park 3rd Avenue
Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City, Philippines 1634

Business hours: 9AM – 6PM Tues-Suns, closed Mon

Cityscapes: Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila

Hey guys!

Work has kept me busy… and uninspired.

I know there’s this idea that ‘the more you write, the better you get’, but it just seems that lately the more I write, the less inspired I am lol. Not just on the articles that I’m writing for work, but also this space, which is supposedly where I can write without inhibition.

Maybe I’m burnt out. I come home from a full 9 – 6 shift writing stories all day, take a quick shower and dinner, then write some more for my part time gig until 10PM. By then I’m too mentally exhausted to even play games or read – two activities I used to enjoy in my spare time. I’m in bed by 11, up by 7, and the whole drudgery repeats itself.

I need more vacations!

In the mean time, enjoy some photos from my recent visit to Bonifacio Global City, an ultra-modern central business district in Metro Manila.

20180619_141749

View from Crossroads, where we had excellent Buffalo Wings at Frankie’s.

20180619_142438

Squeaky clean with well paved roads, BGC’s wide pavements, towering skyscrapers and malls made me feel like I could have been in any metropolitan city in the world – LA, Singapore, Sydney – if not for the occasional Filipino flag fluttering happily from a lamp post. The area’s orderliness is such a stark contrast from the rest of Metro Manila, it’s almost as if one is transported to another country altogether.

20180619_142443

20180619_142721

One thing I liked about BGC was the presence of dozens of murals both large and small, peppered throughout the city. Some of these draw themes from local culture and history, such as one featuring local revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio. Visitors will also find numerous sculptures and installations while walking around the streets.

20180619_142757

A large piece called Dating Tagpuan by artist John Paul Antido. 

20180619_143203

20180619_143232

Shiny modern buildings

20180619_143345

Taking a brief respite from the heat as we cut through a well maintained park.

20180619_143434

20180619_143556

An interesting sign at the crossroads leading to the Mind Museum.

20180619_143634

Shangri-la at the Fort Manila

20180619_173837

A park-cum-roundabout lined with trees and an installation made to look like trees. In the evening you’ll see joggers and people walking their doggos.

20180619_174628

Another art piece called Manpower by Kris Abrigo, spanning several stories high

For the full list of murals and their locations, go to bgc.com.ph. 

20180619_174802

More to come!

PS: Feeling a little more inspired after this short post. Hope I can get back in the groove soon!

 

Nadai Fujisoba@ Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

When it comes to Japanese noodles, ramen tends to get more attention – so it’s nice to see a place dedicated to two lesser known (but no less delicious!) counterparts – udon and soba.

Like it’s name, Nadai Fujisoba specialises in soba, or buckwheat, noodles. The chain is popular in Japan, but has also made its way to Bonifacio Global City in Metro Manila. Located along High Street, the small but cosy establishment teems with decor inspired by the land of the Rising Sun, with kanji, art and murals adorning its walls.

20161204_190654-tile

20161204_190703-tile

20161204_191121-tile

The Ebiten Soba (PHP 280) came with two gigantic battered prawns, seaweed and spring onions in a bonito-based broth. The noodles were slightly al-dente, giving it a good bite, and the savoury soup warmed up the belly. Flavours were just right without being overwhelming. Ebi was done well too – not too oily, and juicy on the inside.

20161204_191129-tile

Also tried the Buta Bara Kimuchi Don (small – PHP100). Despite its ‘small’ serving, the portion was quite enough for me! There were thin slices of marinated pork belly, which had a good balance of lean meat and fat. Rice was fluffy and warm. To top it off, sour and spicy kimchi. The pork had too much sauce though which made the rice underneath soggy after some time. But the flavours were right.

Every noodle dish here offers either soba/udon. There’s no ramen ! xD They also have Donburi rice bowls, like the one above.

Nadai Fujisoba 

G/F Building 7, Bonifacio High Street
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Philippines
Phone: +632 830 3333
Opening hours:  10 am to 11pm daily

 

Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila

Bonifacio Global City, also known as The Fort or BGC for short, is a central business district sandwiched between Makati and Taguig. After the hustle and bustle of downtown Manila, stepping into its commercial area, High Street, felt a little surreal. Clean and well-paved streets free from belching jeepneys, people walking their dogs or jogging, skyscrapers and high-end retail/restaurants reminded me more of Singapore than the Philippines.

20161204_172512-tile

High Street was lined with Christmas decorations – trees adorned with Christmas lights, grass blocks trimmed into reindeer shapes, bubbling water features and landscaped gardens.

20161204_172838-tile

The pedestrian-friendly retail center features shops, offices and residential blocks on both sides.

20161204_173119-tile 20161204_173448-tile

During my visit, the Philippine Armed Forces was running an exhibition, with displays of tanks, boats, guns and machinery. Visitors also got to take pictures with army personnel, listen to talks, performances and handle the artillery (not loaded of course!)

20161204_173617-tile 20161204_173812-tile

Communications equipment.

20161204_173850-tile

Members of the public trying on safety vests and helmets.

20161204_174120-tile

Bullets ._.

20161204_174245-tile

Different rifles, submachine guns and guns used by the PAF. Not a big fan of guns, but I know some guys who would probably go ga-ga over these.

20161204_174425-tile

I held the small one. It was surprisingly heavy. I guess that would be my weapon of choice in a zombie apocalypse – I’d much rather use a melee weapon anyway xD

20161204_184216-tile

A giant Christmas tree and more light decorations around the district. There are also lots of nice murals around the city, but since it was night I didn’t get to capture any.

20161204_182220-tile

BGC is a nice neighbourhood and I’m glad I got to visit, but it also highlights the extreme disparity between rich and poor in Manila. Hopefully, with development, there will be more of such places to offer income and opportunities to the less fortunate.