The first stop for this #museumhopping campaign is Fort San Pedro, which is considered the oldest and smallest fort in the Philippines.
The troop that day was composed of yours truly, Ate Joy, my mother Maria who will be referred as “Lala” from hereon, Uncle Hendrix, the three mutants and their first cousin, Manoy Bootcheek.
Before embarking on your museum hopping mission with your children, be ready with food, water and cleaning materials. It is going to be messy. There’s a lot of running, walking and er, climbing involved. I always suggest a 1:1 adult-child ratio. If you do 2:1, then you are officially superhuman. I did that a lot of times in China and the USA and just last Sunday when I took the twins out for a quick shopping. Uhm, never again.
Now back to the Fort San Pedro adventure…
My mother has never been inside Fort San Pedro so she was as excited as her grandchildren to be inside a 279-year-old fort.
Entrance fee is Php 30.00 for adults. They charge Php 20 (or was it Php 10?) for children seven to 12 years old. Manoy Bootcheek and the three mutants’ ages were below six years old so they got in for fee. I paid Php 120.00 for four adults.
The twins officially graduated from potty training so the restroom became my most favorite part of the Fort. Its design blended with the entire look and ambiance of the site.
I failed to take the obligatory entrance photo because: (1) There were too many Korean and Chinese tourist groups outside; and (2) I was too lazy to engage in a waiting game on who’s turn is it to have their picture taken. But Uncle Hendrix did manage to take this:
We visited on a Saturday so this historical site was full of people. I suggest going there on weekday with your children if and when your schedule permits.
I learned in 2011, when I volunteered as a tour guide for a children’s group, that the Fort was a military defense structure in Cebu which was built upon the orders of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. It is triangular in shape which my son Nicholas pretty much figured out after walking and running around the fort a million times. Two sides are facing the sea and one side is facing Plaza Independencia, which has a story of its own. Check out my Inquirer story of Plaza Independencia here.
Nicholas was the most interested child about the Fort. He was accompanied by Manoy Bootcheek, who told me that he discovered each corner has a bastion. We later learned, after closer inspection, that these bastions were dedicated to Ignacio de Loyola, La Concepcion and San Miguel to honor them and invoke their help and protection from the “unrelenting guerrilla attacks inflicted on them by the native Cebuanos.”
Looking through the small window Bastion San Miguel, Nicholas asked: “How do you sleep here Mom?”
Nicholas made the cannons as his platforms to view what was happening on the other side. My son did not have any ide what the cannons are and stared back at me when I told him what the cannons were used for.
You will learn in due time, Dodong.
I spent a thousand pesos for food enough to feed an army of hungry hippos. We had apples, bananas, biscuits, hopia, water, juice, chocolate chip cookies, donuts… name it. I would rather have a lot of leftovers than be short on food. Jeff Junior alone eats like there is no tomorrow so we had to stock on food.
We dined by the playground near the Fort and Plaza Independencia as the children played with their Uncle Hendrix. We stayed for around two hours wishing that a green space like that park was near Liloan so I can just take the mutants there.
The weather was perfect that afternoon. It rained in the morning so the grass was still wet and certain areas had puddles of water. Antoinette had the time of her life… dirty, muddy feet and big smiles on her face.
There was no shortage of laughter and food that afternoon. From Fort San Pedro, we went to Lala’s place in Lapu-Lapu City where we had dinner. We visited some relatives before going home that night.
Casa Ruffolo Uno was dark when we got home except for the dining table where an emergency lamp provided us the much needed light. Apparently that part of Liloan had a blackout. Our neighbors, Rey and Noreen, were kind to lend Jeff their spare emergency lights while we were out.
All three children were out as well. All that running, laughing and eating zapped their energies.
This first stop in our #museumhopping campaign taught me to work on my logistical preparations and involve more people so we can learn together. I initially thought that the experience could have been more enriching if we had a tour guide. I don’t know if that would work with three toddlers in tow.
Will they get bored and ran away?
What do you think?
Next stop: October 28 at Museo Sugbo. Perhaps we can try out a tour guide on this leg?