Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Our Manila Ocean Park Adventure

We visited the newly opened Manila Ocean Park located behind the Quirino Grandstand at the Rizal Park on my birthday last March 8, a Saturday with my husband Samuel, my son Lorenzo and my Mom. We have been waiting for the chance to visit the park since last year. The Park which was supposed to open December last year was finally opened last February 29. As a Filipino I am very happy and proud that finally we have our own Oceanarium in the country that showcases our rich marine life.

Since it was a Saturday the Ocean Park was full of visitors, we spent almost an hour waiting in line due to heavy crowds mostly groups of families just as eager to get in. There are food stalls in the lobby of the park where you can eat before you get in the oceanarium proper. It’s a good advice to eat before entering the oceanarium for it takes 2 hours to fully tour it and food and beverages are not allowed inside.

Some Information about the Manila Ocean Park I got from its website:

The Manila Ocean Park’s Oceanarium promises a "deeper experience" as it features an assortment of colorful fishes and invertebrates indigenous to the Philippines and Southeast Asia contained in 12,000 cubic meters of seawater.
The Oceanarium journey is divided into six sections and each section will carry a Filipino name: "Agos"; "Bahura"; "Buhay na Karagatan"; "Pating"; "Ang Kailaliman"; and "Laot".

It replicates the water flow from a fresh water source that eventually leads to the open ocean, creating a model of interconnectedness between land and sea. It then takes one through the different depths of the sea showcasing each area’s beautiful and natural inhabitants

Its main attraction is a 25-meter long, 220 degree curved acrylic walkway tunnel. Visitors will be exploring the secrets of the ocean and surrounded by such underwater wonders without actually getting wet.

Other attractions we saw
The Park’s other attraction includes a multimedia exhibit/activity hall where children can participate in art/craft activities that aims to educate them in the importance to taking care of our marine environment. There are also a shark and an octopus mascots to keep the kids entertained.

The fish spa – another attraction on the park is this latest spa craze. On the second floor of the park you get to soak you feet in a pool filled with “doctor fish”, these fish feeds on dead skins cells of your feet and the whole process is pain free although you might feel a tingling sensation when they “feed on” you. My son and I tried it out and we enjoyed every minute of it. Although it costs P100/person is a great way of relaxing your tired feet from all that walking plus it’s educational and a great bonding experience for me and Lorenzo.

There is also a souvenir shop at the end of the tour. Other sections of the park are still under construction like the mall and the hotel that is said to open late this year.

My Oceanarium experience:
The experience was awesome! We got to hold a real live starfish, watch the sharks and fish being fed, saw a big spider crab and imagine playing with dozens of fish under the sea. To tell you the truth I am afraid of the sea but I love watching marine life(I have a 30 gal aquarium) so, going to the oceanarium is a great experience for me and my family and I have it all on video! (I’m still trying to edit them so I can upload it on You Tube.

As we leave the park I just hoped that it will be well maintained for I see myself visiting it over and over again.

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