Manila Ocean Park: Your All Season Holiday Destination


It's been quite a while that my only destination has just been office-house and house-office. This is not doing me any good. I have to go to other place despite the interchanging of super hot - super wet weather that Philippines is experiencing. The extreme hot weather condition and/or the strong rains really makes me lazy to plan on an out of town trip. So, I am looking for a spot inside the Metro and here's where Google takes place.

After searching on the net and several Tabs of Google Chrome, I finally picked the spot for my Metro Manila getaway and I chose The Manila Ocean Park.

How to get there?
Manila Ocean Park is facing the Quirino Grand Stand and behind the park will be Manila Bay. Having said that, this is one of those places which requires a taxi/cab to be able to reach if you are not a fan of walking. But for those whose having a long walk is not a problem, here's my suggestion: You can take an LRT 1 going to Taft. You may drop off at United Nations station since this is the nearest station to Manila Ocean Park. From UN station, walk towards TM Kalaw going to Manila Bay. You'll know you're in the right route if you passed by the National Library, the huge Lapu Lapu statue and Rizal Park. Facing Rizal Park is the Quirino Grandstand. Walk towards it. Behind it is where Manila Ocean Park. The key here is to ask people there for directions since this is a long walk.

Manila Ocean Park is the first Oceanarium in the country and it is the largest aquarium facility with a floor area of 8,000 sq. ft.. It is a marine life themed park in which visitors will witness a large varieties of marine creatures like fishes, sharks, rays, etc. The park is proud of its 25-meter long underwater tunnel full of creatures mentioned earlier. Aside from this, the place is very educational. Children and children-alike will surely learn and enjoy during a stay in this place.

The Manila Ocean Park has lots of attractions to offer to its visitors. There are customized packages to choose from to save time on picking which place to try and also to save money. I recommend to get packages instead of buying tickets individually.

Below are some of the list of attractions and packages that Manila Ocean Park offers:

There's more to this (Photo from MOP's website)
The package we took is worth 700 PhP which includes: Oceanarium, Trails to Antarctica, Jellies Exhibit, Fish Spa, Marine Life Show, and the Musical Fountain Show. It was half a day adventure and in which our time management skills were put into test. Haha... Ok! Lets have a tour inside the Manila Ocean Park!

Note: The following photos were taken using camera phone #sigh 

The Marine Life Show (Reg Price 150PhP)

These sea lions are adorable
Located next to the ticket counters, our adventure starts with the Marine Life Show where 2 sea lions are the main attraction along with their trainers. Everyone watching the show really adore watching these two sea lions as they dance, act and speak (dont take this literally). They know how to make people smile with their simple gestures and tricks. It was fun to watch and if I had a chance, I would like to volunteer to have an up-close and personal interaction with them in the stage.

Oceanarium (Reg Price 400PhP)

Next off is the Oceanarium. I believe it occupies the largest portion of Manila Ocean Park as this holds the largest marine aquarium in country. It is divided into 5 sections, namely: the Agos, the Bahura, the Laot, the Buhay na Karagatan, and the Ang Kalaliman. Five sections with 5 different environment.

Agos is rain forest themed with tanks of freshwater fishes like Giant Arapaima, Alligator Gar, Arowanas, Giant Gourami, Catfishes and more. The area is not air-conditioned but because of the hanging vines and the trees and plants around it, it made the place cooler.

Bahura showcases different colorful and unique types of fishes. This place is very fascinating because you've got to see in person fishes with different characteristics. For example is the tank where Reef Stonefishes are contained. They are labeled like that because of their abilities to hide/camouflaged as a rock. We also got to see Nemo's family which are the clown fishes in this area.

Laot also known as the fishing ground. Characterized by huge tanks, Laot is filled with large fishes like Largetooth Sawfish, Two-spot Red Snapper, and Giant Tuna.

Moment at the "Laot" 
Buhay na Karagatan is what I considered to be the highlight of the Oceanarium. It is a 25-meter long underwater walk way tunnel full of different types of fishes including sting rays and sharks. We also got to witness how they feed them by having one of their staff dive into the aquarium full of big creatures to feed and interact with them. This is the most crowded part of the section and I understands why.

This is not Hongkong Ocean Park :]
Ang Kalaliman is the last stop of Oceanarium. It holds creatures living in the deepest part of the sea.This where people got to clearly see how sharks behave when they're down there.

Fish Spa (Reg Price 120PhP)

My "Happy" feet
This is my favorite Manila Ocean Park experience (Well, my girlfriend couldn't say the same. Lol). It is a foot spa with a twist. One will need to dip his/her feet into a water full of small fishes. After a matter of seconds, fishes will start kissing your toes. It was tickling at first but as it come along, it became manageable (still not applicable on my girlfriend). The spa lasts for 10 minutes.

Trails to Antarctica (Reg Price 300PhP)

This section brings visitors to the coldest part area of the Earth. It is a walk through exhibit to learn more about the frozen continent. Trails to Antarctica is divided into 3 parts. It has the Slide O'Fun, Penguin Exhibit and Snow Village. We didn't try the ice slide called Slide O'Fun but we've got to see the penguins at Penguin Exhibit. We have also experience to feed these "Happy Feet" which costs us extra 500 peso because the feeding activity is not included in the package. It is an inclusive of photo op with the penguins and a take home CD of our photos. 

Feeding Time!
Snow village is a small room with a very low temperature which makes you feels like you're actually in Antarctica and it has a winter Christmas theme. Jackets will be distributed before entering the said room. Just be careful inside because the floor is slippery ice. It got me sliding several times.

Jellies Exhibit (Reg Price 150PhP)

Their like glowing in the dark! (Photo from MOP's website)

This area is filled with tanks full of different species of jelly fish. It is dark inside and the only light you'll see are the one that is lighting the tanks. Tanks lighting are changing and it feels like those jellies we're glowing. It was very relaxing watching them like their dancing. I never thought I would be hook into this creature of the sea. 

Musical Fountain Show (Reg Price 300 PhP)

Very entertaining (Photo from MOP's website)

As to end our Manila Ocean Park experience that day, we watched the Musical Fountain Show. It is an animated water fountain entertainment, a laser light with music choreography, and a live performance combined into one show!

At the end of this adventure... me and my girlfriend were both tired and happy. It was indeed a great tour. Also, an educating one. What I mentioned above are just some of the attractions that can be experienced at Manila Ocean Park (I missed 1 adventure, the Aquanaut but there will always be a next time). Come and visit them at Manila Ocean Park, Luneta, Manila (behind Quirino Grandstand).

Dry Encounter (Reg Price 300 PhP)

By the way, I also avail their Dry Encounter experience wherein I've got to see and touch a rays. It was also educational because facilitators tried to explain to me the different types of rays they have and how to identify them. At the end of this experience. 1 printed copy of my photo during my Dry Encounter was given.

Breakdown of Expenses: 
Ultimate Adventure Package - 700 PhP x 2 = 1,400 PhP
  • Attractions: Oceanarium, Trails to Antarctica, Jellies Exhibit, Fish Spa, Marine Life Show, and the Musical Fountain Show
Dry Encounter - 300 PhP
Penguin Feeding - 500 PhP
Transportation - **.**
Food - **.**

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