AGOS: A Reflection on the Sea by Joebelle Ramirez

Today's guest writer is Joebelle Ramirez, a volunteer for the AGOS (A Glass of the Sea) traveling exhibition in Marquee Mall (Angeles, Pampanga). Joebelle is currently a science high school teacher at Living Stone International School, and has degrees in Nursing and Secondary Education (majoring in Biological Sciences) from Holy Angel University.

Alive. I am not a fan of the sea. I am not a good swimmer, and I am scared to be carried by the waves to the deepest part of the sea. Nevertheless, I do like the breathtaking and awesome view of the endless body of water. This triggered me to volunteer for the A Glass of the Sea exhibition of The Mind Museum.

The sea is definitely one vague world to explore and preserve. I may not be able to dive in the deepest part of the sea, but here comes an exhibit that will bring what I want to see down under! With few doubts about the schedule of training and volunteer hours, which was eventually overwhelmed by the rush of excitement in my veins, I still sent my intentions to The Mind Museum.

Goal-oriented. The Mind Museum that is well known for its tagline, "Where Science Comes Alive!" brought the story of the sea to Marquee Mall, Angeles City. A Glass of the Sea is a traveling exhibit that aims to unveil the exquisite and diverse ecosystem of the Verde Island Passage, which is the "center of the center of marine biodiversity". It definitely appeals for awareness and understanding for everyone since the Verde Island Passage is located in the Coral Triangle, which extends to certain countries that include the Philippines.

Well, Pampanga may not be too close to deep blue waters (though the name Pampanga was derived from Kapampangan words pangpang ilog meaning "river side"), but there is no excuse not to motivate the youth to learn more about the science and how to protect the Coral Triangle. I think this is an effective and efficient way to tap everyone to pause from their busy lives in the city, and take time to listen and appreciate the story of the sea.

Feeling privileged, I attended the training with my friends and did dry runs of the activities that we needed to facilitate for the guests. The games and activities certainly sound fun and exciting - definitely, there's no turning back. It was only two days since the exhibit opened when I was able to volunteer because of my work (I am a High School Science teacher in a nearby school). I was impressed with how they were able to squeeze an informative exhibit like this in a crowded place like Marquee Mall.

There was a space where guests could play games such as Sustainable Seafood Market, Net Escape, and Garbage Catch. After the game, they were asked to pledge to protect the oceans by posing for a starfish-selfie picture. Another area allotted was called the Creature Library, where guests can view and learn about the newly discovered marine creatures from the marine expeditions done in Verde Island Passage, courtesy of the California Academy of Sciences.

Shadow sculptures were also a must see, as it is an artwork made out of garbage displaying silhouettes depicting our role in the sea. Aside from the informative presentations, guests were also asked to try games and activities like Marine Protected Areas, Make Your Own Sea Creature, Fighting for Fish, How Well Do You Know the Sea, and Habitat Hotspot. 

                                                                                          [Photo credit: Jena Parlade]

Opportunity. I usually do the announcement of the exhibit to welcome and call for onlookers; invite students or groups of friends who want to try the games and activities available in the exhibit. But what I enjoyed the most was when I was tasked to guide preschoolers to tour the exhibit.

It was a challenge because I need to explain concepts of social responsibility and awareness to kids! That experience made me realize that one can never be too young or too old to embrace the plea for being ONE with the sea.

This exhibit is absolutely an ideal break for me as a Science teacher - it is not just for me to practice my work and communication skills, but particularly to share my knowledge and encourage more individuals to commit themselves for the preservation and protection of the sea. I'm sure that the people of Pampanga are grateful for this event since it brought consciousness about the story of the sea to Kapampangans. 

[Photo credit: Jena Parlade]

Spirited. This event has showered me with a lot of experiences: from the interesting guests, enthusiastic co-volunteers that I've met and most importantly, to the shared knowledge and values that will linger in my existence.

More than a science exhibit, A Glass of the Sea is an anchor of hope - a spectacle that throws everyone into the story of the sea and attaches every soul to be committed to our roles in protecting the sea. Besides, when one looks at the sea, one sees a reflection of himself.

From my involvement in the exhibit A Glass of the Sea, I offer these thoughts written in Kapampangan (the local language in Pampanga):

Did her experience inspire you to want to volunteer for The Mind Museum's events and programs? For volunteer opportunities, email us at

Also stay tuned for volunteer opportunities with the AGOS exhibition as it travels to the Visayas and Mindanao region soon!

To learn more about the Mind Museum's upcoming and regular activities, visit our website, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1 comment:

  1. Nakaka-inspire naman ang post na ito. Sana madami pang matututo at mga kabataang pumunta diyan. Will suggest this din sa friend ko na mahilig mag volunteer ng mga ganitong events. :)

    People need to add this on their list of where to go in Pampanga.