Monday, January 25, 2010
Yesterday, I had the privilege of joining the kids and parents from Sunshine Learning Center in their field trip to Subic Freeport in Zambales Province. The trip was serviced by Island Discovery Tours. Aside from the driver, three other personnel from the travel agency joined us in the bus. These were the trip supervisor, the storyteller/entertainer, and the "historian" whom I would learn later to be actually an engineer by profession.
It was not my first time to travel to Subic Freeport but my previous itinerary was limited to the commercial part of the former American navy base. This time I got to see Ocean Adventure and Zoobic Zafari and of course the much-talked-about tropical rainforest where monkeys, bats, and other forest animals abound.
While on the way, Paul, the entertainer, did not fail to amused me and the other passengers, I guessed. A sample of his joke was when he asked the children to mention what they saw on their left side and on their right side. Farms, houses, buildings, trees, street light, sky were all mentioned except one. When the children could not answer, he asked the parents who can't guess either. Then he shouted the "bus window" followed by a loud laugh! (Corny).
Then it was the turn of the "historian". He explained the basis of the number of kilometers which one sees on signposts beside any road. He also informed us about the different places that were being passed by such as Candaba Swamp which is frequented by birds from other countries, the city of San Fernando, how the province of Pampanga got its name, famous places, persons, and cuisine from pampanga. Sensing that he would fail to mention Mt. Arayat, I pointed out to him the famous mountain. (Ay may naitulong din pala ako.)
And then, while we were leaving San Fernando City, I waited for him to mention it as the capital of Pampanga but in vain so I uttered to him in a small voice as I was seated near him. He thanked me. Well, I just can't help but that I felt it was very important for the children to know more about Philippine Geography. Actually he was having fun communicating to the children about a television show which is being shot in Pampanga.
(Photo above shows rice farms in Pampanga which is part of Central Luzon Region, considered as the Rice Granary of the Philippines.
(This photo shows the Tipo Tollgate, the entrance to Subic Freeport Zone which is now connected to the new Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. Tipo Expressway is a short tollway built during the Ramos Administration. It was built in time for the holding of the APEC Summit which was erroneously mentioned by the entertainer from the travel agency as ASEAN Summit.)
By and large, the bus trip was enjoyable as I was also seated with a very shy four-year old kid. From time to time I would strike a conversation with him.
(To be continued...)