Friday, August 10, 2012

Mind Museum

The Mind Museum is thew newest science-oriented museum in the Philippines. Located in Fort Bonifacio district, the museum has five interactive galleries: Story of the Universe (astronomy and cosmology), Story of Earth (geology and paleontology), Story of Life (biology and life sciences), Story of the Atom (physics and chemistry) and Story of Technology.

With more than 250 interactive displays, the museum aims to make learning fun and interesting for the kids.

The highlights: 

A small planetarium can be found in the astronomy section, which shows documentaries about the Solar System, asteroids and comets.

A nearby 3D theater also shows movies that depicts how the islands of the Philippines formed millions of years ago. 

There are also dioramas that show early hominids that later evolved into humans.

The museum is big on robots. In the entrance visitors are greeted by a robot that introduces the galleries and attractions of the museum. 

Inside the physics and chemistry section, another set of robots is found, this time the robotic arms (left) holding a sample of radioactive cesium, which  the visitor can manipulate to bring it near a Geiger counter.

Other mainstays include hair-raising (literally) experience with a van de Graaf generator, a working model of the Gutenberg press, several scale models of spacecraft, and a giant model of the brain

The main attraction, of course, is a full scale cast of a dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus Rex, climbing the stairs (below). In its wake are huge mounds of coprolite, which are fossilized dinosaur poop. 

Useful Info: 

How to get there: The museum is at J.Y.Campos Park in 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. There is no public transportation going to the area so you may have to take a cab to get here.

Tickets: can be purchased online or at the gate (limited number). You may opt for an all-day pass (adults PhP 750) or 3-hr slots (9am-12n, 12n-3pm, 3pm-6pm, and 6pm-9pm on Saturdays and Sundays, adults for P600).  

Monday, August 6, 2012

PSA: Important Info During Disasters

Metro Manila is experiencing unusually heavy rains this week. Red Warning Signal was declared 1:25 PM August 7, 2012 over the metropolis. Update: As of August 8, 8:50PM, PAGASA retains Yellow Warning over MM. Expect moderate to heavy rainfall w/ occasional intense rain in the next 2 hours. Second Update: Alert warning terminated at 12:20 noon, Aug 9, 2012.  

Google People Finder

Here are some important info to remember and take note in case of emergencies:

National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council:

Twitter: @NDRRMC_Open
NDRRMC hotlines: (02) 911-1406, (02) 912-2665, (02) 912-5668; +63917-8916322

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)

Twitter: @MMDA
MMDA metrobase hotline: 136
Flooding control: 882-4177, 882-0925

PAGASA (Weather bureau)
Twitter: @dost_pagasa
PAGASA hotline: (02) 433-8526

Red Cross:
If you need to be rescued, call 143 and 527-0000. Put a white blanket outside your house so that rescuers can easily locate where you are (Philippine Red Cross)

Coast Guard:

Hotline: 0917-PCGDOTC (0917-7243682)

Department of Social Welfare and Development (Relief Efforts)

Twitter: @DSWDserve
Trunkline: Tel. (632)931-81-01 to 07

Google Crisis Response

Philippine Government Portal 

Ninoy Aquino International Airport

PUBLIC AFF DEPT.- 8535998, 8230669, 8230998; or TEXNAIA- 09178396242

Meralco: 16211

Project NOAH web portal is located at

Thursday, July 19, 2012

First Car in the Philippines

The first car to ever travel through the Philippine roads was this 9-horsepower, 2-cylinder 1904 Richard Brasier roadster. It was brought into the country by the trading firm Estrella del Norte in 1904.

The car is on display at the Mind Museum in Taguig, on loan from Pilipinas Shell. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Philippine-Made Aircraft: Defiant 300

The Defiant 300 is a trainer aircraft prototype developed in the late 1980s. The aircraft, constructed from wood and fiberglass, was powered by a 300-horsepower Lycoming engine. The landing gear was taken from a Beech T-34. The development cost about 40 million

Only one prototype was built, in 1986. The two-seater aircraft made its first flight in 1987, flying for about an hour. It was designed by Capt. Panfilo Villaruel, and was built by the Philippine Aircraft Development Corp., the Philippine Air Force and PASF. Later the program was canceled due to lack of support from the government.

Villaruel, who later became the Air Transportation Office head, was shot during an ill-fated takeover of a control tower of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in November 9, 2003. 

[sources 1, 2

First Filipino to Fly

The first Filipino to fly in an airplane was the Igorot chieftain named Gagaban. He flew in a Red Devil biplane piloted by an American pilot named Lee Hammond. The historic flight took place over Luneta Park on February 12, 1912, during the 1912 Manila Carnival.


A Crater Named Balagtas

The surface of the planet Mercury is pock-marked with numerous craters, and the International Astronomical Union names them after famous artists and writers. 

One Philippine writer was immortalized with a crater on Mercury named after him - Francisco Balagtas, which was the pen name of poet Francisco Baltazar. He wrote, among others, the opus Florante at Laura

The Balagtas crater is about 98.82 kilometers in diameter, located at 22.6 ° center latitude and 12.75 ° E longitude. 


Wolfram Alpha

[Pictures are screenshots from USGS (top) and Wolfram Alpha (bottom)]

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Philippine-Made Rockets

A few years ago a cousin of mine told me about the supposedly top-secret project of then President Ferdinand Marcos to develop a rocket or missile indigenously. The name of the rocket is, allegedly, Bongbong 1. I was incredulous when I heard about it (until today) and I did some googling when I remembered the story.

What I unearthed is that there is actually a program, called Santa Barbara Project, and the launching pad of the missiles/rockets was the Caballo Island, which is near Corregidor.

There's a thread at that has some pictures of the launching of the rockets/missiles (pics above). One version of the rocket can be launched by a mobile truck-mounted launcher, and there is also a submerged launcher, like from a submarine probably.

To quote:

"Since 1972 a series of 37 dynamic tests were conducted on the 180-mm rocket. All tests were performed at Caballo Island except for four firings in Fort Magsaysay. Different versions...were used: short version, with fixed fins, long version with fixed fins, long version with folding fins, and the pressure-assisted takeoff type...The launchers were Fixed Open Frame (short), Fixed Open Frame (long), truck-mounted tube launcher, truck-mounted open frame and submerged launcher for underwater firing"

this is Caballo Island, as seen from Corregidor (taken by me last January 2010):

updated Jan. 18, 2012 to add the quotes and to increase the image sizes.