Welcome to My Blog

This contains snippets of my journeys from the most mundane to the most exciting. This will contain some reviews as well, mostly of hotels and places visited. At times, this could be filled with gripes and frustrations but in all, it will most likely show how truly fascinating life is from my vantage point. My personal mantra, however troubled or distorted things may seem to most, is rooted from the movie "3 Idiots" - - All is Well. Thus, I am a fervent believer of limitless possibilities. Live well. Cheers!

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Manila Ocean Park Encounter

My mom and dad brought our family to the Manila Ocean Park early November 2011 prior the resumption of classes. I wasn't really expecting a lot because I haven't really heard much about this place except for the fact that it is a field trip destination for students.  Upon approaching the theme park, I got surprised because of the long line of people eager to get their tickets to the venue. Because of the so many attractions and promos to see, we settled on viewing the Marine Life Show, the Oceanarium, and Trails to Antartica. As we lined up to get our tickets, I got a bit annoyed because the line was quite unbearable (especially to those who are impatient like myself). There were just two attendants accepting payments for tickets and on top of that, construction was going on above us (welders were putting together steel pipes to form the ceiling of the venue).

When we finally got our tickets, I gave a sigh of relief. First stop was the Marine Life Show that featured South American Sea Lions.  The sea lions were ok I suppose.  They were not really as big as the ones I have seen in Florida's Sea World and Hong Kong's Ocean Park. Maybe they are still young. Furthermore, it was very hot in the venue since the canopy that is supposed to shield us from the heat is not yet constructed.  In addition to that, I did not bring an umbrella or fan so it was really scorching hot. We therefore decided not to finish the show, took a quick lunch, and then proceeded to our next venue, the Oceanarium.

 I probably had the most fun here at this next venue.

It had a rainforest feel at first. Water could be heard flowing and the air was misty/dewy.  I didn't want to leave this place if I were just alone. Unfortunately, there were a lot of local tourists and a few foreigners who were lining up to see the various attractions the place had to offer.

another view of this spectacular place

my mom "Vicky" with my son "Niko"

Fish were here and there as we went to this specific place. The next venue we went to was the main area of the marine life exhibit with more than 5,000 varieties of marine creatures.

 Buhay na Karagatan means ocean (karagatan) that is (na) alive (buhay).  Well at least that is my interpretation of the words. I wonder if the owner of Ocean Park HK  and this one is the same because the features of both places are very similar plus it's not cheap to put together something like this.

I honestly had fun watching this part of the exhibit although I'm not the type who is in the habit of reading the different descriptions in the aquariums, I just loved the feel of the place. It was very calming and serene seeing all the fish in the waters.

My dad "Henry" with my daughter "Sophia"
My hope is for this place to be well taken care of by the organizers and the tourists who visit the different attractions. It would help also if there is still some organized way of viewing the various exhibits to ensure that everything goes on smoothly and hassle-free.

Ang Kalaliman - - The Deep
Makes me want to stare all day...so graceful
The flash of my camera can easily be seen in this aquarium

This is definitely tourist-worthy. The Manila Ocean Park is really a must-see for visitors and guests.

Our last stop was Trails to Antartica. According to its press release, it is the only penguin attraction in the country. Well, the museum looked attractive and there were lots of photo opportunities. However, when we went to the actual site where the penguins were, they were pretty much just situated in a aquarium-like container that was really cold. Nobody was around to explain the lives of these penguins. It seemed pretty drab considering that they should be the highlight of the visit to this site. Instead, the main feature here was really its winter-inspired mini Christmas Village that is super cold. The time we had in the ice/snow was about 5 minutes but the waiting time to actually get there was around 30 to 40 minutes. Basically, we first went to the museum, then went in line to enter the Christmas Village while seeing the penguins on the other side of the line. Others who wanted to glide in this ride that mimicked a sled got to do this as well. This is where I pretty much got annoyed (again!) because not only did we wait so long, I also got ran over by some guy in the second area where we were placed while waiting to enter the Christmas Village since it was so cramped. I actually thought I broke my nose.  The impact was that hard.

Adam looks funny in the photo above. Niko on the other hand wanted to take his picture in almost all the places where there were slots to put your head in. This is one photo where he looked good.

Exhibit on Penguins
Still part of the Exhibit
My mom and Adam in the Christmas Village

The place itself is actually nice. The winter experience is also interesting especially if you haven't gone outside the Philippines to physically see and feel snow. Its just a matter of organizing the attractions in such a way that tourists will not have to wait too long to visit these various places.

In truth, the Manila Ocean Park is actually a very good place to visit. I suppose once this gets more organized, it will be the spot to be.  I just hope it is not one of those places that looks nice only in the beginning. It is no joke to operate and manage such a huge theme park and its definitely comparable to its foreign counterparts.

My two sons enjoying the cold weather
It is a good sign, for me at least, that the Philippines is trying to move forward. With discipline and orderliness to boot, I could see great possibilities here. I am seriously thinking about bringing my family to stay in its hotel in the future. This is because we only got to see 3 places out of the so many attractions at the park. It would probably take at least two days to get to see it all.

I'm very excited to see that our country is improving bit by bit. Of course when I say something negative, I don't mean to bring this theme park down. I just hope that someone somewhere out there would actually get to read this and become instrumental in fixing some organization issues in this awesome place. That wraps it up for my Manila Ocean Park Encounter.

1 comment:

  1. OMG! I knew from the start that you are a good writer, now blogger. Got a bit embarrassed by how I've expressed myself in my blog.
    Good to know you had fun and the kids as well here, we've been there a couple of times, during my kiddos field trips, so far they've been improving a lot, plus the addition of H2O Hotel...