The Grade 7 Trip to the Pag-asa Observatory and National Museum

15 September 2023

As a Grade 7 teacher, I have read how important it is to bring to 13-year olds or so the elements of "wish, wonder, and surprise." I realize that it was also a great gift to me to be able to experience these elements as well in my experience with my students. It was once my class' "wish" to travel far for their class trip. Since these children also longed, in the depths of their souls, to explore the world, I paused and thought long and hard about this "wish".

And so, with the help and support of parents, this "wish" was granted.

In culmination of our Astronomy and History blocks, our class embarked on a trip to Metro Manila. The itinerary included stops at the Department of Science & Technology Pag-asa Observatory and Planetarium, National Museum of the Philippines, Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center, and the Manila Waldorf School. They also witnessed the musical concert of Kolisko Waldorf School. It was the first time for most of my students to explore these places and also experience Metro Manila through train rides and the public transport (not to mention dakpanay in the UP Sunken Garden, University of the Philippines Diliman). 

There was so much sense of "wonder" in me as I witnessed these young souls meeting strangers in a very unfamiliar place. With this way of meeting the world, I have always been amazed to observe the kind of human beings that they are. The "surprise"? A lot. Spontaneous, honest, fruit of curiosity remarks, thoughts and opinions, and questions - these surprises I wouldn't have heard or known inside the classroom. These are blurted out, or expressed randomly during rest time and bonding time, with no mobile phones in their hands, just pieces of bread or a glass of water, when they were simply enjoying each other's company. 

Their personal views are still vivid in my mind right now. I know that in those moments, they felt safe with me. I am surprised to realize that simple moments like these actually became the ones I treasured the most from the entire trip. Daghan kaayong salamat! I am glad that I felt the intensity of their "wish" to travel, because I, too, was able to experience the "wonder" and "surprise" that their age is calling for them to experience.

- Ms. Carol Anne Bonjibon, Class 7 Mangga Teacher