Thursday, April 10, 2014

College of Education Getaway

This may have been a late entry, but I still wanted to share this very experience with you guys.

Last month, that was March, as we 1st year college students faced the penultimate battles of raining projects and requirements before the final examinations, we had at least a day of escape, in the form of an educational trip. Either way, I just thought, this may have been a good move on the college’s part. We, even them (the college authorities), had at least one day to spare for fun, before we lunged ourselves for heavy study and work in the last days of the semester.

Anyway, so much for the intro. Our trip consisted of five itineraries. Three of which are field immersions, one is a lunch stop and the other one is just, let’s say, a look on the bus windows (but I never had pictures, so we’re even). Ha-ha.

Early morning at 6:00, we left school for our first itinerary: the Barasoain Church. After barely an hour of a sleepy ride, we reached the destination. And on the first look, I am simply awed. It’s wide and imposing patio reminds me of old scenes I see in pictures of the Spanish settlement here in the Philippines. I almost thought it never changed.

This place, which became the seat of the revolutionary government, was also the cradle for the convocation of the Malolos Congress. Later on, the place transformed into what right now is a national landmark and a monument to history.

We took pictures of course, but I’m more of a scenery lover, so my shots consist of what the church looks like and not the way my classmates beam their smiles and pose in front of the camera. You may have to look on my tagged photos in Facebook for that.

Say we move on the next destination? Yes, please.

On our next itinerary, I saw the whole country in a view from the cliff. Nah, I’m just kidding. I just said that because our next destination is the Nayong Pilipino in Clark Expo, Pampanga. As a kid, I’ve never been to Nayong Pilipino. Before, I always hear that the place settles in the heart of Manila at Pasay City, but later on transferred to Pampanga because of some reasons.

When we came here, honestly, I thought the place would bore me. That time, the sun was already up high and the heat is killing me, and my classmates of course. It was like we’re prompted to see the whole Philippines under the raging sun, seriously. Though my thoughts on going under the cool shade were already lingering on me, in that very moment we started the walk through the park, the view drowned those negative thoughts away. And I started to drift away, although we barely heard what tour guide said, ha-ha!

As we walked through the park, I can’t help but to just marvel and be filled by the beautiful scenes. Truly, Nayong Pilipino is the only park that serves as the miniature of the whole country. Throughout the walk, I observed how the place showcased Philippine’s famous landmarks and the rich cultural heritage of the Filipinos. I felt blessed to be a Filipino, really.

As I said earlier, I’m a scene-man, so here are my photos:

Now, the next itinerary is the place I just said earlier as the “look on the bus windows only” - It was the Clark Air Base. I never had the chance to take pictures of the place, our bus driver was not friendly in that part (he went fast and shaky). All throughout the pass, I saw different models of old aircrafts and fighter jets. That moment, I was struck of memories from those times we used to go where my father works before, in the base of the Philippine Air Force. I thought to myself, “Oh, I have never been there lately, I missed the place already”. And this pass made me long for it even more.

So much for a look on the bus window.

After that pass, we had our lunch at the Duty Free (yes, they had fast food restaurants there). Nevertheless, that served as our fourth itinerary, considering the endless view of the vast plain and nowhere. And oh, I’m about to forget, I bought here a native bow and a handful of knick knacks for my friends in Manila.

For the last itinerary, which we travelled for about an hour and a half, and in which I slept, never have I ever expected such sight of performances we’ve witnessed later on. It is the Ocean Adventure in Subic.

On the park, we are first escorted to an open auditorium with its stage bannering the words “Balancing Act” – I got curious on spot. Well, I never expected black guys on native get-up doing dangerous handstands on each other. I guess I had, but not like them. They’re absolutely amazing, I almost felt like seeing them flying, seriously.

After that breath taking performance of those guys, we are then walked to the aquariums, in dim lit rooms and caves. I liked the idea of a portion there where you have to look into a makeshift aquarium which was titled “The Most Dangerous Predator”, only to find out that it was a mirror and you are looking exactly on yourself. No one realized that, not until we all looked into ourselves.

Consequently, we are taught how to survive in the forest and we witnessed how nocturnal animals move in the next part of our trip inside the park. Honestly, I’m already worn out that time so I never had the chance to take pictures. I rested throughout the show, to recharge for the next exciting part. Ha-ha.

We then moved on to witness the wise dolphins. In this part, I already knew that taking pictures will not be enough anymore. So, with full effort because I love you guys (I really wanted you to see this), I took videos of them with my phone, compiled them in my editor and uploaded them on my Youtube account. Here they are:

They’re funny, wise and very energetic. I never thought to myself before that I would see real dolphins do those tricks not just on TV. But, here they are! In front of my eyes, and they’re just simply wonderful. Well, that is how I see them, you may have other thoughts but you know, I chose to enjoy what I saw.

Last but not the least, we encountered seals and sea lions. And again, I can’t help but to lose myself with the crowd as they amused us with their wonderful tricks. I have a video again, enjoy:

With all that shout and cheers we gave, we ignored whatever sore throat we had days after that trip.

All in all, the day intended for simple fun resulted significantly in great joy and purposeful learning. Although we had a bit of a glitch on the trip home when someone got attacked by her “asthma” and ah … (this story was never worth telling at all), I still revel on the fact that I had one of the best field trips in my entire student life. Maybe college wasn’t that bad at all, it’s just on how you look at things. And maybe this field trip wasn’t part of an escape, but a side trip of the journey we students are still taking to learn about the thing we all call ‘life’.