GS Explore 2024

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Instead of going to the beach or officially starting summer break when it ended last March 11th, at 6 am the next day, I was back at Xavier School. With about 40 grade 5 students bidding goodbye to our parents, we left for a 2-day trip to Laguna and Cavite for the Explore Philippines journey to learn more about Philippine history during the time of the Katipuneros.

During our adventure, we participated in several school tours, including a visit to Rizal Shrine Laguna, where we explored the stone house where our national hero, Jose Rizal, was born. Rizal’s actual belongings can still be seen in the house. The life-sized statue of Rizal and his dog are on the big lawn, and I noticed I was actually taller than Rizal in real life! It’s a good thing you don’t need height to be a hero.

Other memorable highlights of the day include being guests for the night at the sprawling campus of Xavier School Nuvali, and farming and playing with the animals at Yoki’s Farm, Tagaytay. Xavier School welcomed us with meals and a big air-conditioned room for the night. Xavier Nuvali has big lawns, a beautiful chapel, and an elevator. At Yoki’s Farm, they allowed us get close to so many different animals like the ostrich, capybara, and various birds. We even saw wild animals like zebras running around. They also gave each of us some pasalubong of fresh vegetables from their farm. After lights out at 10 pm, we got some well-deserved rest, and we were up again at 5 am the following day.

We continued our adventure with a visit to the Bonifacio Trial House. Here, we were told about the gruesome execution of another national hero, Andres Bonifacio. We heard the details of his trial and the sad story of how his wife was not informed when he passed. She searched the nearby towns asking about him for over a month until a guardia civil told her that he was already dead. It was truly a sad tale.

Finally, we went to the mansion of Emilio Aguinaldo. This is where they made the first Philippine flag and the national anthem.

The Philippine Explore trip offers invaluable insights into Philippine history for anyone interested in learning more. I am immensely grateful for the patience and care shown by our dedicated teachers throughout the journey, and I’m sure my fellow students feel the same way. As we return home, our hearts are filled with unforgettable memories that will stay with us for years to come.

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