I finally had the chance to visit the MOA (Mall of Asia) on Sunday, April 20, 2008~~ a belated birthday treat from a friend for whom I have been doing some writing jobs. We originally planned to go to the Oceanarium, but having gone past the first gate and seeing that we were to negotiate a long queue of people wanting to buy entrance tickets (and there were only two ticket booths!) I suggested we just go to the MOA as I have not yet visited the third largest mall in Asia.
Of course malls are the same however big they are. You see the same commercial names ~~well, yes, there are many other businesses that are in the MOA and not in the smaller malls but whatever, everything is generic. And all of these malls just get you tired walking and walking and walking.
What I liked at the 1st Level of the MOA though, is the SM Science and Discovery Center ~~ the newest place to go to for a taste of tomorrow's technology. One word to describe the ambience at the center is --FUTURISTIC -- It is like stepping into a different timezone that do not yet exist in the real world. It is an awesome display of virtual games and simulation of experiences --such as what they have in the Flight Simulator and the Earthquake Simulator booths. Computer screens are set up on futuristic-looking stands where you can play different games. There are screens where you can play soccer and basketball virtually -- I think this is the exact principle how Wii works. Other computer screens are set up in different areas of the SMSDC where you can browse databases on different cities of the world or send email from a virtual time capsule using a touch pad keyboard and screen. I did send two emails scheduled for delivery in the year 2258 -- two people (err..email addresses) are going to get spam email 250 years from now! This trip to the SMSDC is indeed an encouragement to explore science and technology more - not only for the games but for the technological principles behind those games
The Digistar Planetarium is a far cry from the old Planetarium in Manila~~ well, my remembrance of the last time I ever visited the old planetarium was when I was in high school -- and that was x years ago (guess!) I especially enjoyed the voice of Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford narrating the audio for the hi-tech visuals. It gives you the feeling that you are aboard an underwater seacraft exploring the depths of the sea. The dome screen gives your peripheral view the effect that you are under the sea. Looking up the dome as the film suggested that the seacraft is leaving the ocean floor, it felt so real that the seacraft you were in came up the surface of the water. The sound effects and the surround sound are simply awesome.
Moving away from Planet Earth, the seacraft was transformed to a spaceship that put the rider side by side with the planets -- Mars, Venus, and even the sun. I was myself completely awed by the visual experience that I was not able to digest fully Harrison Ford's narration -- he was talking about hundreds and thousands of planets out there -- not just the nine that everyone knows. Wow that's good news for students --I don't think science teachers would ask students to enumerate them all. (if at all they get to be given names) (reminds me of asteroid b-52 in "the little prince"~~ names will be in the form of serial numbers ^_^
The trip was short but awesome. I hope though that they will show more documentaries in the future. (on second thought, that means paying another Php 330/person--OUCH! You could do only so much while in the center -- you need to make several trips there to fully enjoy everything that they offer.)
Hmmmm.. Next trip~~around Christmas time? Do I get a MOA (memorandum of agreement/Mall of Asia??) for this trip???