Monday, August 6, 2012

Rediscovering Luneta Park

Daughter T took this photo using her iPod Touch.

It was one wet weekend, thanks to Typhoon Ferdie. The tribe felt a bit glum. The heavy rains meant cancelling our "adventurous" plan to check out Luneta Park. However, when Sunday morning came, bearing the tiniest bit of sunlight, we immediately made the tribal decision to push through with our Luneta plans. Staying at home on a weekend is akin to an exile order. We had gotten used to going somewhere and discover low-cost but high-ROI weekend activities that our tribe loves so much!

So, as Typhoon Ferdie made people choose to stay indoors, our tribe braved the rains to rediscover Luneta Park. Not as a school Field Trip, not as a Business activity for visiting colleagues, but as a Sunday adventure for the tribe. The rains stopped for a while when we got to the almost empty park, long enough for us to get settled at a park bench to enjoy our spaghetti and fried chicken picnic lunch. Of course, the lunch drew park "inhabitants" who helped make sure we didn't go home with too much leftovers.

My son J gives a salute in front of
our National Hero's monument.

Wearing our rain gear, our tribe then set off to explore the park grounds. It felt wonderful rediscovering Luneta Park with the kids, pointing out areas of interest, and recapitulating childhood stories attached to the park. We giddily took the train and the glee on my son's face as he rang the bell during the ride was worth every centavo of the P50/head train fare. We looked at the shrine of our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, and it was a treat and a challenge explaining the concept of heroism to my son, who at 4, only knows about heroes who come wearing capes and have superpowers. We checked out the statue of La Madre Filipina and I felt so proud hearing my daughter's thoughts on what the statue symbolizes. As an adventurous treat, we boarded a Calesa, a P300 "one-horsepower" ride. The "cuchero" (horse carriage driver) was a funny young man whose sense of humor definitely made up for an observed lack in historical knowledge. I thought it would be nice if all the Calesa drivers in the area wore simple Filipino costume and came armed with interesting historical trivia.

Son J had the time of his life aboard the Luneta Train.

Despite it being a wet Sunday, the day's jaunt made me feel I had been able to instill a renewed love for country in my young tribesmen, in a simple, fun way that I hope they will not forget for a long, long time.

Definitely, Typhoon Ferdie did not succeed in raining on our parade that Sunday.
La Madre Filipina

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