Toddlers Unlimited

Manila's Premiere Preschool & Toddler Center

An Out of this World Visit

Every child grows up admiring a favored quixotic hero. A person whose goodness or achievements impact young minds’ interests and dreams. Last February 4, 2014, a hero came to visit the children of Toddlers Unlimited at Festival Mall, Alabang. Unlike the comic book heroes the children see on TV, this one was an actual champion who they all enjoyed shaking hands with, listening to and learning from.

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In line with the Nursery and Kinder Classes’ themes on Outer Space, Chino Roque, a space tourist in training, was invited to give a talk to the children. He won the Axe contest and was sent to a Space Camp in the US. He went through astronaut training, completed his requirements, and earned a diploma that was awarded to him by none other than the great Buzz Aldrin. He is officially the first Filipino astronaut! The children, teachers and parents were all so thrilled when he came to school wearing his flight suit with our country’s flag stamped on his sleeve.

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The audience was gathered in one classroom where Chino broke the ice by asking them what they knew about Outer Space. Hands flew up in the air as they little boys and girls took turns trying to impress a real-life astronaut with their knowledge on planets, meteors, the sun and moon. Chino then enthralled the audience with his slide and video presentations that shared his experiences during his training, from photos of himself during his graduation to his videos in a zero-gravity chamber.

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The room was packed with children brimming with questions such as: What will you bring to outer space? Do you have a dog? How heavy is your spaceship? Why do you need to wear a helmet? Do people put flags every time they go to the moon? When is your birthday? As each child came up to the front to ask their question, Chino patiently waited for them to muster up the courage to speak up. He would welcome each child by greeting them by their first name, going down to talk to them at eye level, and with humor and honesty, answer each query.

Chino even went on to talk about how we all should work hard to achieve our dreams. This inspired the children further, especially when he talked about eating and living healthy. Come lunchtime, the teachers were all pleasantly surprised to see students boasting about having vegetables in their plates and actually devouring them.

When it was picture-taking time, Chino gamely posed with the different classes, and even some special requests from parents, grandparents, yayas, and teachers. Even though he had to rush off to teach his Crossfit class at Crossfit Manila Alabang, he gave each photo request his time and cheery smile!

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Chino was truly inspirational. The students of Toddlers Unlimited are undoubtedly going to remember his visit for quite some time. We all wish him the very best as he embarks on his space mission in 2015. To infinity and beyond, Chino!

By Bianca Miciano and Thumby Server

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