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Throwback Tour: 5 Field Trip Spots Worth Revisiting

by Jelou Galang

You take pride in being a true explorer: collecting tourist guides, persistently searching for travel deals, and constantly planning your next big trip. But have you ever wondered what ignited this wanderlust in you?

We can all agree that our experience with school field trips is a common denominator in our childhood. In retrospect, we were probably too busy talking to our elementary bestie or too caught up with the chaperones barking instructions every minute. We can’t blame ourselves; back then, we were too young to savor the experience to the fullest. But now we know better—that those educational trips played a huge part in sparking our curiosity about the world and all the places we can go.

Whether you had the best, the most boring, or the blurriest of memories, one thing’s for sure: each spot was worth visiting then, and still worth revisiting now. So start taking notes, because who knows—your field trip might be sweeter the second time around.

1. Jose Rizal Shrine

INSTAGRAM: rodabellss

With the goal of most schools to instill both knowledge and values, it is a non-negotiable to get to know our national hero. Books and movies aside, nothing beats the Jose Rizal Shrine in Calamba—the #OG Rizal life-dedicated haven. Filled with Rizal memorabilia, this NCHP (National Historical Commission of the Philippines)-endorsed bahay na bato gives visitors the as-real-as-it-can-get feeling of being a Rizal home resident in the Spanish colonial time. It may not be the exact same ancestral house because of the drastic changes it underwent after confiscation, war, and government claims, but it still does its best as a replica: it has a dining room, library, bedrooms, kitchen, wooden floors, capiz windows, antique beds and sewing machines, and even a nipa hut. These rooms also carry copies of Rizal’s works of art, from writings to drawings.

INSTAGRAM: rodabellss

The Jose Rizal Shrine galleries tell a comprehensive story of Pepe’s life: Kaliwanagan sheds light on his early years as a member of the well-known family; Kapaligiran paints a picture of the Calamba community; Karunungan reveals his academic ventures in Ateneo and UST; Bahay-na-Bato gives the overview of the Rizal home structure; Unang Paglalakbay sa Europa features how he jumped from one country to another while studying and working on Noli Me Tangere; and Pangalawang Paglalakbay sa Europa covers his braver political acts and the era of El Filibusterismo.

Why it’s still worth visiting now: Aside from historical nuggets, it also holds community-binding events. Their recent one, a Poetry Slam, truly brings out what Rizal inspired in us: the power of words.

Jose Rizal Shrine
J. P. Rizal Street, Calamba, Laguna
(049) 834 1599
museonijoserizalcalamba@gmail.com
museonijoserizalcalamba@nhcp.gov.ph
Open daily except Mondays, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
https://www.facebook.com/museonijoserizalcalamba

2. Paradise Adventure Camp & Resort

INSTAGRAM: khione_icicles

Who says an “educational” field trip can’t be about testing your brawns? One of Bulacan’s school trip staples, Paradise Adventure Camp & Resort, definitely lives up to its name. Here, you can experience lush greenery, a spacious landscape, challenging obstacle courses, and gargantuan figures—from cartoon characters to dinosaurs to astronauts—that greet you upon conquering the over 50-step-climb to the entrance.

INSTAGRAM: khione_icicles

It’s an adventure that’s organized, dynamic, and fun from start to finish. With the help of lively and engaging facilitators that conduct group games and obstacles, the venue transforms into a real paradise of land, water, and air. You wouldn’t want to miss Slide for Life, the zipline that will immediately make you sign up for another round. People are usually hyped to try Rappelling for the adrenaline rush, but completing and winning a swimming challenge earns the most bragging rights. Just imagine splashing into the depths of a 6 ft. pool—if you don’t cross from end to end using a rope, that is!

Why it’s still worth visiting now: Indoor-based obstacle courses might be one of the trends now, but nothing beats the fresh breeze and feeling the sweat drip down your back in the presence of nature. It’s the #realest adventure experience.

Paradise Adventure Camp
Paradise Road, Tungkong Mangga
San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan
(0975) 861 6823

3. Factories (Gardenia, Lucky Me!)

INSTAGRAM: imkarenmartinez

We have the province of Laguna to thank for these places. The Gardenia Factory holds free plant tours so guests can witness how approximately 150,000 loaves of bread are produced each day. Those who are IG feed-focused can both learn and enjoy in the photo opportunity areas. Anyone, not just kids, will surely gain a deeper appreciation of bread so much that they’ll crave it after the tour. It’s a good thing Gardenia gives complimentary samples of your favorite treats before you leave!

Meanwhile, the Lucky Me! Factory proves it’s kid-friendly beyond the colorful commercials. Their Noodle Factory is known for their warm staff, interactive rooms, and mascot that looks like a raw noodle pack. The tour of this education playground builds on their commitment to deliver their message on the importance of getting good nutrition and exercise.

Why it’s still worth visiting now: Given today’s hustle and bustle, these factories help us develop a sense of inquisitiveness about seemingly mundane things we barely notice—like a loaf of bread or a pack of instant noodles.

Gardenia Factory
Gardenia Center, Star Avenue
Laguna International Industrial Park
Mamplasan, Biñan, Laguna
factorytour@gardenia.com.ph

Lucky Me! Noodle Factory
Monde Nissin Plant, Balibago Road
Balibago, Santa Rosa, Laguna
(02) 754 8297 / (0917) 627 4444
roadhouse_entertainment@yahoo.com

4. Intramuros

INSTAGRAM: thatordinarycouple

A true classic, the Walled City of Intramuros is like an exclusive Manila inside the larger modern Manila, a world frozen in a different time. No school field trip has ever departed Intramuros without passing the moat of Fort Santiago. A stone citadel built in the late 1500s, this famous spot is frequented by visitors on a daily basis, from aspiring historians to families hanging out on weekends to those simply looking for a backdrop for their barkada photoshoot. There’s a lot to take in and discover as you stroll through the compound, with its statues, gardens, bullet hole-detailed abandoned buildings, dungeons, and plazas that tell stories of the past.

INSTAGRAM: mmrria

Intramuros also houses Bahay Tsinoy, a well-maintained museum that explores the Filipino-Chinese culture, where you can take a look at various dioramas and mannequins. A few minutes of walking from there will lead you to another premier spot, the Manila Cathedral, which is filled by hundreds of worshippers in its 8 chapels of Romanesque architecture. Also drop by their stores, The Manila Collectible Co. for some memorabilia, and take a sip of re-energizing coffee at Paper+Cup Café to get you stoked for another walk-a-thon.

Why it’s still worth visiting now: Intramuros curates the coolest events! Keep an eye out for the next Intramuros Ghost Walk schedule, or maybe meet Carlos Celdran during one of his nostalgic Walk This Way tours. Who needs a time machine anyway?

Fort Santiago
Santa Clara St., Intramuros
Open daily, 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Entrance fee: approx. ₱70.00

Bahay Tsinoy
32 Anda St., cor. Cabildo St., Intramuros
(02) 527 6083
info@bahaytsinoy.org
Entrance fee: ₱100.00 for Adults, ₱60.00 for Students
Open daily except for Mondays, 1:00 - 5:00 PM

Manila Cathedral
Cabildo cor. Beaterio St., Intramuros
(02) 527 3093 / (02) 527 1796
mlcathedral@yahoo.com

The Manila Collectible Co.
Gen. Luna St., cor. Sta. Clara St., Fort Santiago, Manila
Open daily except for Mondays, 9:00 - 6:00 PM
(02) 230 9710

Paper+Cup Café
Muralla St., Intramuros
(02) 527 8121
Open from Mondays to Thursdays, 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM;
Fridays at 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Saturdays at 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

5. Zoobic Safari

INSTAGRAM: diannepjrllg

When was the last time you went to a zoo? Labelled as the only tiger safari in the country, Zoobic Safari provides an authentic wildlife experience for all age groups. Imagine being nestled in the middle of a jungle—and having the liberty to interact with animals while you’re at it. Begin your trail at Zoobic Park where you’ll find yourself in the company of animals roaming around; don’t be surprised if you’re suddenly inches away from an ostrich! Experience more animal action in Hip Hop Bunny Hop, where you can hang with the cutest rabbits, or come face to face with fierce reptiles in Croco Loco. Most of all, prepare to be rattled inside your safari vehicle when a tiger leaps on top of it in the Tiger Safari.

INSTAGRAM: necipp61

Just a 2-hour drive from Manila, Zoobic Safari also offers adventures beyond animal encounters. Don’t miss out on the Aetas Trail, where you can witness the tribal dances of the Aetas in their homey village. Take a break from the thrill in the Bone Muzooem and Eggziting Story to discover more about the creatures you mingled with throughout the day.

Why it’s still worth visiting now: Curioser and curioser—that’s what we’re becoming about nature and its wonders. No worries, because Zoobic Safari is keeping up. During the Saturdays of March to May and October to January, you might want to try their Night Safari, a unique experience best shared with your equally adventurous family and friends.

Zoobic Safari
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Ilanin Forest West, Morong, Bataan
(047) 252 2272
Open daily, 8:00 AM - 4:00 AM
Entrance fee: ₱695.00 for Adults, ₱595 for children
(Kids below 3 ft. are free of charge.)

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About Jelou
Jelou Galang is a storyteller who sees herself inside a motion picture. Among her usual habitats include local indie music scene whereabouts and small movie houses, where you can spot her holding a camera on one hand and a glass of milk tea on the other. She dreams to write a book, and become a filmmaker focusing on the marginalized masses. For now, she writes letters at https://tinyletter.com/ajelouishnarration.

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