Saturday, August 16, 2008

Spending the Day with Caitlin

Cols and Ethan are in Gen San this whole week because of her grandma's birthday. So I've been playing single dad for Caitlin. I promised to bring her to the Mars exhibition at Mall of Asia since she seem to have a deep interest on planets. Since Caitlin slept at Valle last night (Friday), I attended to my Marikina errands first in the morning then had lunch at Valle.

We left Valle after lunch and passed by Rockwell quickly to bring an extra shirt. We rushed to Mall of Asia to catch the screening of the planets at the SM Science Discovery Center (aka. Planetarium) at 2:40pm. Our car arrived there in the nick of time, but to our disappointment, the Planetarium changed their screening schedule and only showed The Enchanted Reef the whole day. Stranger still, the lady was totally unaware of any exhibition about Mars. I could have sworn I saw in the newspapers that there was a Mars exhibition.

Well, Caitlin couldn't decided whether she wanted to watch The Enchanted Reef or to just come back again next time when the planets movie would be showing. But in the last minute, we decided to go in anyway. Even though it was still early, the lady said the next showing we can watch is at 4pm. So we had to kill time by going around the Science Discovery Center.

The Discovery Center is highly over-rated, in my opinion. There's hardly anything in there. They have a replica of first Philippine solar car. There's a flight simulator game. Smart has some games there housed in their kiosks. There were model images of robots in movies. Lego has its small room there showcasing their product. There's an earthquake simulation room. Overall, very lame as compared to other science museums I've seen abroad. There were a couple of scientist mascots walking around much to Caitlin's fear who suffers from a severe case of mascot-o-phobia (the irrational fear of mascots).

While waiting for the Planetarium to let us in, someone called me. I couldn't recognize his face at first. Had to spend 2 to 3 seconds before I recognized him -- Robenson Cheng, an old classmate from Grace! He's married now also with 2 kids and he was there with his family. His wife works for IBM and there was an IBM excursion where family member of their employees joined.

Caitlin and I watched The Enchanted Reef, an animated movie that is really about the effect of the moon on the tides. The clarity of the projection is not that clear, but it did make good use of the dome screen through interesting angles or points-of-view.

After the show, I took Caitlin to the ice skating rink. Along the way, she had to endure through yet another mascot sighting (this time of a chef mascot walking around the mall). We got 2 free skating tickets actually as part of the Discovery Center entrance. But I still had to rent her gear, hire an instructor for her, and pay for myself to accompany her inside. Total damage still amounted to more than P300 (no wonder SM is very generous is giving away free skating tickets, since you still had to pay for a lot of other things).

Caitlin had a great time skating. At first, I was afraid that she would give up since she was having trouble keeping her balance. But she was very attentive to her teacher and, pretty soon, was slowing moving around on her own. In fact, even after her 30 mins training was up, I though she would call it a day already. But no, she was willing to skate on her without anyone with her!

The ice skating rink of Mall of Asia is supposed to be "olympic-sized". It even had fake snow falling every hour or so. Click on the image below to see more photos of our day together.

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