Yesterday I was one of the parent chaperones for my kindergarten son’s field trip to the Shedd Aquarium. Amazingly, this is their fourth field trip and three more to go before the schoolyear ends. This was our, me and Evan, second time to go there. The first time was when Evan was only 18 months old when my friend Carlo came for a visit.
I wasn’t looking forward to it because the last time I chaperoned, it was exhausting. The bus was noisy of screaming pre-schoolers, bus ride bumpy and stuffy. Yesterday was so much an improvement, the bus seats were cushioned and with the weather cool and sunny, it was comfortable. Kindergarterners are so much better listeners too (aside from Evan I was tasked to watch over 2 sweet girls) and their fascinated reaction to sea animals was a delight to witness. I actually had fun and wasn’t stressed out despite my lack of sleep the night before because of a bad cough. Like the kids I enjoyed the impressive belugas, baby sharks, playful dolphins, giant spider crabs, eels, giant turtles… it’s hard to pick a favorite.
There are many nooks and crannies to Shedd Aquarium and apparently we missed the Wild Reef when we went there during our initial visit years before. I knew that there were displays of Philippine marine life at the Shedd, but I wasn’t expecting a WHOLE basement of it. In fact, it was Wild Reef itself. In fact, at the entrance of Wild Reef says “Welcome to the Philippines”.
Here is my funny story. I was so proud and excited about the whole thing, I made sure to let Evan know that the drawing of the islands by the entrance wall was the Philippines. When we came into another room, there was another different drawing of a Philippine map but this time with a nipa hut sitting in Luzon. “Look, look Evan! This is the bahay kubo!”
My son has recently learned to sing Bahay Kubo a few weeks ago and would sing it out of the blue from time to time. He had asked me what a bahay kubo is and I had told him that it is a small house made of wood and coconut leaves for a roof.
Evan rushes towards where I was standing and looked up at the drawing with much interest. He then turns to me and asked, “so where’s Dandansoy?” Dandansoy is also another filipino song he knows. It is a song of a lover bidding farewell her male sweetheart, Dandansoy (a monicker). I should have pointed to Evan Negros island, where the song originated, but the question was so unexpected and funny that it slipped my mind.