A visit to the Planetarium

25 February 2016

I was in 4th grade when I went to the Planetarium for the first time for our school field trip. I remember gazing up at the projected stars inside the dome-theater and being completely in awe of those mischievous twinkling lights. I remember wishing I were an astronaut so I could go to space and see the stars up close. I remember being wildly curious and coming up with a thousand questions about the universe and everything in it. Needless to say, memories of that field trip were etched in my mind and I couldn't wait until I could go back.

When I started going to college, I was thrilled to discover that my university was located on the road across Planetarium! Surely I could come visit during breaks, right? Imagine my disappointment when I saw that it was closed for renovations on my whole first year there.

And on my whole second year there.

And on my whole third year there.

And on my whole fourth year there.

I hoped and hoped I could visit, but it was not to be.

Until today, that is!

The National Museum Planetarium announced on their Facebook page that they would be offering free admission today in celebration of the 30th anniversary of EDSA People Power Revolution. I shared the news to my boyfriend, not really expecting anything as our next supposed day to go out was tomorrow. But he asked if we could go so of course I said yes!

We chose to go early as we were scared a lot of people would go and we wouldn't be able to score slots, but those fears were unfounded as only a handful went. It was quite sad, actually. We had to wait until our batch's headcount came to more than 20 before we could start. I wish they could've done Facebook ads as well so more people would have been aware.

Jasmine and her quick peek 'through an endless diamond sky'
We weren't allowed to bring cameras nor phones to the dome-theater itself so we don't have photos inside, but I did take some photos in the exhibit.

It was fun walking around the exhibit and reading up on all these outer space and astronomy trivia, but I was more pumped up for the show itself! We excitedly went in and settled in our seats the moment we were allowed to do so.

As for the show... Hmm. It wasn't the show I was expecting, and I don't know what to say.

Actually, I do know what to say.

Gone are the portion where thousands of stars are projected on the dome and the narrator would point out the constellations; the portion where the life cycle of a star is shown; the portion where we could just drown in the quiet yet grand beauty that only basking in more than a thousand stars could bring.

Well, there was actually a portion dedicated to that, but it was over too soon before we could appreciate it.

It wasn't the same wondrous show presented to us when we were kids. Instead of the stars, we had to sit through a documentary describing light years and the evolution of human intelligence with which we perceive stars.

Don't get me wrong, I love documentaries, but I love my old Planetarium more.

As for the years-long renovation that was supposed to have taken place, we seriously couldn't tell where it must have happened.

Since it prides itself in being the biggest star-observatory theater here, I think the National Museum Planetarium should allot enough budget to really renovate and modernize the place. I'm sure it would make the museum more inviting to more age groups. More age groups to inspire and unlock interests of, more people to delight and revive their sense of wonder of.

And for the love of starry nights, I really wish they could choose to screen the old shows instead of the documentary we were shown earlier today.

Still, I really enjoyed today's Planetarium date because of who I was with (hashtag cheese). May we never lose our sense of awe and wonder.

And then we went to SM Manila for lunch and Zoolander 2.

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