Coping with Depression, Health, Homeschooling, Life, Local Travel

One fine day in SM North and UP Diliman campus

We went out today! Wow, I still can’t believe that there would be one day in my lifetime that going out would be such a big deal. Due to quarantine restrictions, my kids were not able to travel with me even within a kilometer-radius from home for more than year. But yesterday we were outdoors for one whole day, finally!

The first thing my boys requested we do was to visit their favorite book store, play at the arcade and eat at their favorite restaurants in one of the malls near us. It tugged at my heartstrings when I saw their eyes light when they stepped inside the mall. It had been a while the last time they did.

The first thing we did was to update Ian’s book collection which includes this latest Dogman book. Dogman is Ian’s most favorite book in the world! He opened it as soon as we got seated in this pizza place. As for me, I got myself a copy of Yuko Nagayama’s watercolor art book. I’m a fan of her works as well!

After purchasing our books, we headed towards the arcade to play. We went to the mall so early so there were less people in the arcade than it used to be, pre-pandemic. We also made sure that we have alcohol spray in my bag to spray our hands with every after game. Thankfully, the arcade had social distancing imposed and had sanitizers around the machines.

toy grabber  machine
I won a unicorn keychain in the toy grabber machine! I was soo thrilled, I simply had to take a photo of this win.

We had lunch at our favorite restaurant, snack in another. I noticed that some restaurants in SM North strictly impose the “no vaccination cards, no entry” rule. In one of the restaurants we visited, however, the crew didn’t even bother checking. It is best to bring your vaccination cards though if you’re going to the mall. Some security personnel do check if you have been vaccinated or not.

The kids and I decided to visit University of the Philippines Diliman campus after. Pre-pandemic it is our favorite place in the city to hang out and inhale the fresh air. I love how the campus (despite recent constructions) is still the greenest space near us. When we got there, visitors were not yet allowed to go around the academic oval so we chose a spot behind the university theater to admire the trees and rest for a bit. I also also took the opportunity to read and paint en plein air. Spot the unicorn keychain below!

At 4 PM, all campus visitors are already allowed to go around the campus so long as we stay within the academic oval. There are guards around who check that we don’t go astray. We walked around to admire the trees and the art installations near the Carillon Tower, amphitheater, and Quezon Hall.

Quezon Hall UP Diliman campus
The art installation behind Quezon Hall is pretty new. As you can see the weather is so nice for walking and the sky showcased great cloud patterns. I want to paint this one someday soon!
Carillon Tower UP Diliman campus
The Carillion tower’s bell was our clock the entire time we were in the campus. We just count the number of bells.
fountain and Oble at UP Diliman campus
The fountain in front of Quezon Hall and the Oblation was where we stayed the longest. The sound of splashing water and occasional spray towards us because of the strong wind the highlights of our afternoon. We stayed until dark to see the Christmas lights.

We hung around Quezon Hall until dark so that we’d see the Christmas decors in the campus. We were not disappointed. Day or night, the campus will always be the most beautiful spot in my city. Did you also notice the frog? My sons were so amazed that the frog behaved when they approached it to take a photo. Other frogs would jump away, right? Quezon Hall is one of the favorite spots of the campus’ guests it seemed. We saw families hang around the fountain a while; kids who jumped and skated around; a family who flew a kite not far away from us; as well as fitness enthusiasts who did their routines. There were also people who jogged around the oval and stopped near the fountain to rest and possibly to cool down.

Quezon Hall UP Diliman campus
Quezon Hall and amphitheater at night. 🙂

How about you? What’s your favorite spot in your city? 🙂 Do share in the comments section!


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