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Wednesday, June 21, 2017


THE YAPPY BUNCH are celebrating the INDEPENDENCE DAY and like what we do every year, we want it to be something educational for the little lords. I actually had something else planned but it did not push through because of distance and traffic matters. We then decided to just go somewhere which has already been like a "comfort venue" for us because I always trust that we will all have a great time for the full day's activities.

And that place is MANILA.

Artikulo Uno!!!! (Wrong caption I know but I cannot help it sorry.)


Yes. We take our holidays SERIOUSLY.

We woke up extra early that Saturday morning because we wanted to get an early start!

We love going to Manila on our "educational days" because you'll find there many museums and venues that showcase the "old Philippines". Besides giving the little lords an outing that would be pocket-friendly for us practical parents, the experience would be much more memorable because they will also be learning about significant Philippine historical events.

Now ain't that perfektow mundo for the Independence Day???

There is indeed nothing like having a field trip with the family!!!!!

Our first stop was THE PLANETARIUM!!!!

We were not really supposed to go here because it's not so "Independence Day-y" but we were not successful with our last trip here (the lines were horrible!!!!!!!!) that Andrei really pushed for it knowing that we'll be in Manila today.

Oh well! It's a Philippine-made museum that has been with us for a looooooong time. So I guess it warrants to something nationalistic for us. He he he he! 

Like I said, the last time we were here, the lines were like a thousand miles long because they offered free admission to celebrate the launch of its full dome Planetarium projector. 

I'm glad that we went today instead because there were only about 20 of us to watch the show.

Maluwag pa para magpapogi!


The fee is only for those who want to watch the dome show. If you just want to go around the museum, there is no charge for that.

The schedule for today!

Normally, the Planetarium is closed on Mondays, but since it's the Independence Day, they opened to the public. 

Thanks for this former first Lady!

Don't forget to read the museum guidelines before going in.

When you go to THE PLANETARIUM, don't forget that you cannot bring bags inside and you would have to leave it with the guard. If you're going to watch the dome show, they strictly prohibit cellphones and cameras too.

It's okay. You'll just take a mental picture of the experience anyway. He he he he he he!

It's too bad I can't take pictures of the projector room. It was newly renovated and just wonderful. Don't expect the show to be as exciting as Star Wars because it's something more like a documentary. Still, it's something the you should experience at least once in your life time.

After the dome show, it's time to go around the museum!

Yep! It all started with a BIG BANG!

Wow! This sign is SO close with the title of series "THE BIG BANG THEORY!" Coincidence???

Come to think of it, COINCIDENCE is like JOINCIDENCE with a C!

Tee hee.

In space, no one could smell your kili kili.... 

The museum goes around the dome. The lights are dimmed and the airconditioning so cold for that "space" effect.

Space ships!

Another space ship!

This is the replica of what Neil Armstrong used.

And no Andrei, it's not a space ship for ants.

He he he he he!

I'm glad the little lords were very interested with what they saw in the PLANETARIUM.

But I would still catch them giggling from time to time.

Of course, boys being boys, they still found something to snicker about.

Now why doesn't this surprise me?

The evolution of stars!

The innards of a planet.

Star formations!

A flattened look of the milky way!


A display about the first men on the moon!

And we're done!!! We all enjoyed our visit to the PLANETARIUM! I'm glad that we made it our first stop for our INDEPENDENCE DAY holiday!

Would like to give my kudos to this PLANETARIUM security guard who was very friendly and really guided us to the available parking inside the premises. He was also accommodating to our questions even if it was not part of his job to be the information guy. He he he he!

Same goes to this guard who was always smiling and nice when we deposited our possessions at the PLANETARIUM lobby. Even if a lot of people were crowding on him to claim their bags, he was still so happy and helpful!!!

For our early lunch, we wanted to go the extra mile of being nationalistic and have the kids try out a carinderia!! Too bad that ALING SOSINGS was closed that day so we just went for this eatery that was close by. I remember that some of my fellow KTG was raving about this before...


We had their famous Bulalo Kansi that was so full with marrow that I might grow an extra bone for this.

I'm not really a bangus girl but I'm loving this one!!!!

Blog post coming soon!

After lunch, we drove back to Manila for part 2 of our INDEPENDENCE DAY holiday!

Now where should we go?

We have been to LUNETA many times thanks to Andrei's RIZAL PARK craze. So maybe we'll pass this up for next year.

For now, we're going to FORT SANTIAGO!!! WOHOO!

While reviewing my timeline, I discovered that THE YAPPY BUNCH were not able to do anything for the Independence Day for 2016. So maybe it's time to do a return here now!

Besides, we would never get tired of FORT SANTIAGO!!

Fees for today.

There was no exemption for the holiday, but it's okay. The fees are affordable and will be for the maintenance for this historical landmark. 

And we're HERE!

I don't know if it's my imagination but I think FORT SANTIAGO got renovated!

They removed some of the display for the aviary and that got Andrei a bit sad.

"What happened to the birds?"

It just meant though that we'll have more time to where we're really going to that day.


I just love the stone facade of FORT SANTIAGO. There's just something so sentimentally old time about it. 

Being the annoying Mommy that I am, I asked the guys to take a break from reading the description for a picture.


Mati and Andrei pushing the decades old stone wall!

This may not be the Colosseo or the Pantheon but there is just something so majestic about the entrance to Fort Santiago.

Even if we already had a picture here, I can't resist having more everytime we're here!

Mati asked me to take a picture of him being lost in Fort Santiago. Ha ha ha!

Okay boys, I won't interrupt your reading this time.

My bunsoy getting loads of Vitamin D!

Now let's explore THE FORT!

I showed the boys where Dr. Jose Rizal was held captive before his execution.

Andrei innocently asked if he was really just standing up all the while (meaning no chairs at all).

Honestly Andrei, I really don't know.

We may have been to FORT SANTIAGO many times but we are always curious about the many corners that we could stick ourselves into.

The Yub and I went ahead because the boys were suddenly throwing a hissy fit. When they saw that we were about to leave them, they ran up.

In memoriam...

Andrei learned about the many deaths that occurred during the second world war.

The boys got curious with this guarded opening.


The Baluarte de Santa Barbara!

Woah... I can't imagine this was already here during the 1600s!

I asked the guards if they have seen any ghosties in this area, they said they haven't felt anything. Come to think of it even if it was a prominent structure during the earlier wars and with Dr. Jose Rizal, Fort Santiago doesn't give you that heavy and depressing feeling at all. When you're here, you'll be overwhelmed at how this great place has gone through so much in hundreds of years!

We saw that the dungeons that have piqued my curiosity for so long have been renovated. Now we could enter!!!!

Read and learn!

I'm happy they renovated it. I've been so curious of what their dungeons looked like.

If you get uncomfortable with cramped spaces, this is not for you. The entrance alone would get you squeezing up a bit.

But when you enter...


I didn't expect it to be so big inside....

I wonder where they put the gun powder?

Is this one of the prison cells?

I can't imagine prisoners being cramped here in this state many years ago.

Even if this was a dungeon where many beings met their makers, the place did not feel eerie at all.

In fact, you'll appreciate the mysteriousness of it...

The kiddies didn't get scared at all. They were so curious of this under ground base.

One part was flooded with water.

And then we're out!

A gwardia sibil was guarding the exit. He he he he he!

The exit leads to the port area.

There were other dungeons not connected to the one earlier. I pointed to the boys that prisoners who were kept here were left to die during the high tide.

Master Mati has a new friend!

Later on, we decided to go the Jose Rizal museum.

Admission is free!

The guard inside though will request you to remove your hats and refrain from using flash photography.

See Dr. Jose Rizal?

The boys reading the timeline....

Andrei was very curious with this room and stayed for awhile to study it.

He was so convinced that this room will come to life with the robotics (similar to the Christmas On Display show)  because of how it looked like. That would be such a cool idea though.

Jose Rizal artifacts!

They have on display some of the hero's actual clothes.

They also have a bone from Dr. Rizal's spine on display.

I appreciate how the boys are really reading up on the history of what happened to Dr. Rizal.

I think they got a new-found respect for our National Hero!

The clock depicting the time of Dr. Rizal's execution.

A newspaper article during that time.

The artwork was impressive.

Going up!

Portraits of Philippine heroes.

There was a mini-theatre showing a short documentary of Dr. Jose Rizal's stay in Fort Santiago.

Andrei saw it on the movie and asked about the lamp that the poem Mi Ultimo O Dios was hidden in.

We went back down to the museum again for him to see it.


Here is a replica of an actual picture taken during Jose Rizal's execution.

I can't tell you how much my brain is amazed at trying to imagine the significance of this picture and what went on during that time.

Me thinks that my bunsoy got a new found respect for our National Hero.

In the Dr. Rizal museum, they have interactive activities for the kiddies.

Plus more artifacts on display.


I still remember the P2.00 bill.

Hanging out with some heroes!

Wow! That Rizal Museum visit was very educational.

Now back to our usual explorins!

When in FORT SANTIAGO, you should really take the time to enjoy the different places that you'll discover.

More dungeons!

We cannot enter this one. 

The view is something very impressive too.

Isn't it beautiful?

There is something so relaxing and soothing about the tranquil waters amidst the busy city.

And we're walking again!

Here, we got a top view of Dr. Rizal's cel.

I don't know if I'm just sobrang mababaw ang kaligayahan but this is lovely.

Imagine the soldiers and the prisoners who went through here.

Let's go mommy!

At another balcony, we all took a rest.

It's nice to just sit back and enjoy the cool breeze under the big trees in FORT SANTIAGO.

No need for airconditioning or television, we energized ourselves here.

And now it's time to go.

Mati and Andrei said good bye first to their new idol....

The boys made their way to the exit via the foot route of Dr. Rizal.

Save for a few whines because I took a lot of pictures, the boys seem to enjoy our FORT SANTIAGO trip today. Besides really reading up on the history, they were impressed at the different dungeons and what Dr. Rizal went through during his jail time before his execution.

This was certainly a great visit! 

I'm glad we went here today for the Independence Day celebration.


As we were walking towards our car, Andrei saw a fountain. He loved fountains and could spend a long time just looking at the trickling of waters!

We let him have his time with this fountain.

And it was time to go! Whew!! We were all sweaty, stinky, and a bit darker. But really, we were all so happy with what we did today!

Even if our original plans didn't push through, we were all thankful with our mini-Independence Day celebration. Normally the kiddies would complain and beg to go home but this time, they would really ask me to stop awhile because they were reading something about the history of the area. Besides that, they asked a lot about Dr. Rizal and were in awe at what he did during his last hours.


I think I could safely declare that THAT'S an INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY well spent!!!!!!

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Long live the Filipinos!!!!

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