Los Banos Tour - Museum Volunteers of the Philippines
Tour to Los BaΝ
Philippine High School for the Arts
Written By: Petra Eichler
Hello everybody, this is a report about the tour to Los BaΝos on January 20th
guided and laid out by Linda and Gerke our innovative tour-team this year. For
those of you who couldn’t make it this time, for what ever reason, let me tell you,
it was worthwhile going and you should take this trip next time.
We met at the San Antonio Church along McKinley Road, as usual, where a bus was
waiting for us at 8:00 am. We where a crowed of nice and interested tour-goers,
about 30 in total (see the photo of our group at end of article). On our way to Los BaΝos
we stopped in Alabang to pick up some more participants and headed for our
destination. Unfortunately the traffic was bad this morning and we were running
late for our scheduled arrival at the IRRI.
You think you know already a little about rice? Think twice, you may know
something but it is definitely not more then 10% of what you will know after a visit
to the IRRI!
We were welcomed by Ms. Bita Avenda, the Head of the Events and Visitors office
and saw an audiovisual presentation on IRRI’s global work “Rice Science for a
Better World” in the auditorium. After that we walked through the Riceworld
Museum and Learning Center where they show a huge variety of exhibits from
maps over tools for rice farming to “good and bad” insects; show the living
conditions of rice farmers and display lots of products made from rice.
Our next stop was the International
Rice Genebank, the centrepiece of the
IRRI, where they store over 109000 (in
words. One hundred nine thousand)
different rice sorts from all over the
world. They keep them in one room
with 2°C for immediate use and the
same varieties in small cans in a room
with -19°C for a time up to 10 years.
We only got to see the “warm” room;
this was chilly enough for us!
The last visit was to the Grain Quality, Nutrition and Postharvest Center Laboratory,
lead by Dr. Melissa Fitzgerald. She explained to us “what we want in a rice variety”.
After this interesting and almost
too short visit we were scheduled to
everybody was hungry enough to
do so. We headed for the Kamayan
sa Palaisdaan sa Bay restaurant, a
nice place with huts floating on a
pond and had good conversations
over delicious philippine food. One
of the highlights was the bukopie at
the end: the best one I ever had.
Filled with knowledge and food we proceeded to the “Philippine High School for
The Arts” (www.phsa.edu.ph) located in the mystical mountain of Maria Makiling.
The school was founded in 1977 and is a government-run secondary school for
artistically gifted children and adolescents. In this residential high school artisticscholars are educated in 6 disciplines
traditional dance) and of course get
their basic education.
The school is related to the Cultural
Center of the Philippines (CCP) and
they have even some performances
there. But most of there work they
show in their own auditorium in Los BaΝos, a good opportunity to see something
special on a trip to the countryside.
Due to time shortage and not perfect weather conditions (it was a drizzly rain in
the air and clouds above us) we skipped the scheduled visit of the botanical
garden and headed back to Manila.
I would like to encourage everybody to join one of the next tours (it is always
interesting and fun) and thank Linda and Gerke who gave us the opportunity to
explore once more the area around Manila and to learn about Asia’s most
important source of staple: RICE!
Tour Group – Los Banos, Jan 2009