RC Science High School Juniors Invades Binondo

After their zealous victory in the Sabayang Pagbigkas competition, a show of how creative they can be in interpreting Al Q. Perez’ poem “Pilipino : Saan Patutungo”, the Juniors got to explore another must-see-and-experience side of their Filipino identity : a different view of the famous Binondo and some other parts of and spots in  Manila.

But before the immersion adventure, the Juniors headed to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) for the Career Counseling and Guidance Fair wherein representatives from top universities and colleges of the country entertained questions and inquiries of interested students from different schools. Among the exhibitors were the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, University of Santo Tomas, Adamson University and foreign schools like Australian International School and Southville Foreign University. More than just the game prizes and freebies given, students learned about course offerings and scholarships which can be helpful when they step up to the tertiary level.

Under Professor Jojo A. Raba‘s care and guidance, the Juniors visited Binondo, one of the   settings of Dr. Jose Rizal’s novel, Noli Me Tangere. Sir Jojo yearly proposes this activity and brings his third year students there for them to more clearly visualize and conceptualize Dr. Rizal’s point-of-view/basis of Binundok’s set-up. Historians believed that despite the fact that our national hero was born and raised in Laguna, he had great understanding and idea of Binondo’s streets and scenarios because of two important characters in his life, his mother, Dona Teodora Alonzo, and his best friend, Gen. Antonio Luna who happened to live somewhere in the area.

Significant churches, plazas, and rivers in the story, as well as old establishments like the original    Savory restaurant and Syvels shoe store were pin-pointed.

After minutes of walking, the class rested and had lunch at Café Mezzanine , a Chinese restaurant located at the second floor of the Chinese pasalubong-center named EngBeeTin Chinese Deli in Ongpin. And to their surprise,  Café Mezzanine and EngBeeTin Chinese Deli’s    current owner, Mr. Gerry Chua, more commonly known as Mr. Ube, came and cheerily greeted the Sci High students. Mr. Ube loved this business so much that he took good care of it and tried to help his community by donating portions of the restaurant and pasalubong-center’s  earnings to the local volunteer fire brigade, funds for the purple fire-engines.

When lunch time ended, real adventure started. Supposedly, the Juniors must further walk going to more places, but, unexpectedly, rain poured. Manila’s other face was uncovered; it’s clogged streets and roads on rainy days, water level that deepen gradually.

First time kong mag-jeep nang sobrang lakas nang ulan. Ganito pala, lalo na sa Maynila. Medyo nakakatakot, pero, after all, masaya naman. Parte nga ito ng pagiging Pilipino ko, ika nga ng mga classmates ko [It was my first time to commute by means of a jeepney while raining really hard. And so I learned from actual experience that things happen this way, especially in Manila. Scary, yes, but, after all, it was fun. As my classmates say : This is part of you, being a Filipino],” Patricia Anne Asuncion shared.