Staycation in the Philippines Rose G. Arguil
This mid-summer of 2017, the term staycation prevailed in my thoughts! Staycation is a new catch word for just vacationing in one’s hometown, city, or country. It is a more cost-effective alternative to going abroad. In skipping rigorous itinerary, avoiding expensive, worrisome, stressful vacation, and having no time lost in traveling internationally, we decided to venture on our staycation plan within Metro Manila and some regions of the Philippines. Thus, a long time desire to explore more and newer interesting tourist spots/places here in Metro Manila has lately been undertaken and implemented!
Early this year, some of my OIC friends, OIC Philippines Working Committee members and I have visited popular tourist destinations in other towns and provinces such as Bolinao and Tayug in Pangasinan, Real and Infanta in Quezon, and Davao city in Mindanao which were all worthy, amazing, exciting, and adventure filled escapes.
Still having that traveler or tourist feeling, last week we opted to visit a unique, fun-filled and highly exciting museum that was built and opened only last year to public. This is the Upside Down Museum, located at the CCP Complex, Pasay City. This is one of the newest craze in Metro Manila. It is inspired by the Upside Down Museum found in Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and United States, but this Philippine edition is ten times bigger and the management has added more optical illusions to provide fully the unusual and exhilarating experience for fun-loving Filipinos and foreign tourists here!
The Upside Down Museum feature an expansive upside down house – complete with Living room, dining, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and office installations in topsy-turvy arrangement. An amazing and prominent aspect is the real steel bridge with real SUVs cars – all upside down at the center of the huge hall. It also features optical illusions that are never before seen in the Philippines! The different installations make the guests bring out their best in creating or staging scenes and there is no limitation in their own imagination!
When I called the museum to inquire, the receptionist advised me to be there at the opening time to avoid long queue. We started early with our tour of the museum, so we didn’t have photo bombers as there were just few people then. She also suggested that we should have our cellphones fully charged, in anticipation of the enormous number of pictures we’ll be taking. True enough, we had bulk of photos but we did not encounter low battery problem because we brought our power bank.
Being oldsters, Emy and I availed of a 20% discount of the entrance ticket, while Ray was so happy because he got free ticket as the Museum had a Happy Father’s Day Promo then, (lucky Ray!) Jackey, the younger one among us paid full amount. For inspiration on what poses or actions we needed to do for each installation, I showed photos from their website to my best friend Emy in order that she will have good idea of what we will be doing there inside the museum.
The great challenge to us was to do crazy actions and poses that our marshal asked us to perform in every gallery to portray the essence of that particular installation. Oh boy, we surely had great fun and exciting moments acting out like we were movie stars! Wow! Great Feeling! Such lot of energy that we exerted to have picture perfect outcome of the photos taken by our marshal…stretching our imagination to achieve realistic actions and facial expressions to best depict the situation! Ray was very amusing and comical, he surely was the best in acting out funny actions and gestures. While in there we realized what hard work those real movie actors/actresses do to achieve a good movie. Whoa!
On the same day after our marvelous times at Upside Down Museum, another activity we planned was to have dinner at another trending special café known as Movie Stars Cafe located at the seaside. While waiting for evening time, we have our relaxation at a very popular mall – Mall of Asia. Desiring for something sweet but healthy, we opted to spend time in the Magnum shop where we bought Magnum dark chocolate popsicles with an overlay of bits of fruits and nuts. I chose blue berries, almonds and dried mangoes as my toppings, which satisfied my craving! Delightful feeling!
The Movie Stars Café and Movie Memorabilia Studio is a wholesome, world class entertainment venue! We were surprised that there was no entrance fee, and the café was filled with mostly children (with their parents of course) who were so happy, shrieking, and thrilled being entertained by the performers in their super hero costumes!
They have stage shows every 30 minutes, which we found out to be superior and world class compared to those being held in more popular restaurants! Their talented and professional performers participate in all their extravaganzas on stage. Their outstanding performances are based on the most beloved Hollywood movies and musicals. We found the hero of Naruto to be very charming and super talented and Spiderman to be the most amiable performer! As for the food, we ordered our dinner a la carte which is delicious having that entertaining flavor too, at affordable price considering the world class ambiance, friendly staff and the exceptional entertainment shows.
We experienced a bit of Hollywood while in there, captivated by the authentic film memorabilia and life-size figures from Hollywood’s greatest movies.
Everyone including children, adults and oldsters enjoyed watching their favorite movie characters come alive… singing, dancing and playing their roles just like in a real movie! Everybody was encouraged to go up the stage to have photo shoots or just singing & dancing with those costumed characters, which we did too!
I consider this is a perfect place to celebrate with family and friends, rekindling the fun-loving, child-like spirit in us all! Congratulations to the management for making Hollywood -like movie performances that were truly and highly enjoyable, remarkable and unforgettable! Two Thumbs Up!
What a wonderful day it was! Our latest staycation generated wholesome happiness overload and fantastic times spent exploring our neighboring city with their unique and world class museum and café, and more importantly, we have eliminated travel stress, travel cost and hotel cost! To God be the Glory!
By Rose G. Arguil, Editor-OIC Philippines Writers’ Circle