Manila Ocean Park

The past few months has allowed me to go through plenty of new experiences. Thanks mostly to my partner-in-crime and favorite person Pao who always makes an effort to take me out on dates. 🙂 Giving myself a moment to be cheesy and stop a tear from falling because seriously, he makes it a point to spend time which really gets to my closet-clingy personality ughhh. Haha!

Taking you back 5 months to our date in Manila Ocean Park. Pao has dropped “You want to go to Manila Ocean Park?” several times and I’d always respond “Mmm pwede” (Yeah sure, we could) with very little enthusiasm hihi. It wasn’t until my sister and her husband went there and returned all abuzz that I really thought of going.

I don’t know why for some reason back then, I didn’t think Manila Ocean Park (MOP) was the shiznit. Because it is! If you haven’t been, GO! Just go! Go to their website – here’s a link https://www.manilaoceanpark.com/ – and book it.

So on a hot March day, we went to MOP. The tickets I bought online were promo tickets of packaged attractions. The ones I got were called the Marine Voyage Promo at around Php 995.00 a head which allows access to most of the attractions already. At the entrance, we got our ticket tags, a map of the place, and a schedule of the attractions. We arrived at the park mid-afternoon already so we hit a tiny bump fitting into the schedule. I think it’s best if you go at around 12 noon if not the whole day to cover the attractions.

First stop for us was the Sharks and Ray Encounter. It was crowded around the edges of the aquarium where the trainer guiding the Manta Rays were. You’d have to wait a bit until someone decides they already had their share of petting the Ray then it’s your turn. But it’s a pretty polite area overall hehe. I thought it would be smelly but it wasn’t! And the aquarium looked pretty clean to me. I also remember asking the trainer about the animals being bred in captivity, I can’t quite recall his response but I remember it being satisfactory – like no animal cruelty of sorts.

IMG_3782

I got to touch a Manta Ray! Its skin felt of smooth leather. The Manta Ray is a peaceful specie, sans (for me) the flapping of its fins which when it happens I am reminded of Steve Irwin. 😦 The only sharks were nurse sharks… I don’t know what I was expecting haha! We spent around 15-30 minutes in Sharks and Rays Encounter before exiting.

Our next stop was the Oceanarium. This was my favorite! 🙂 So many fishes!!! I’ve never been so amused by them! Except for the shark, of which I’ve had some level of fascination. It also helped that (as I discovered that day) Pao was a geek on the topic. He doesn’t even look at the signs to know what kind of fish is in the aquarium. He was like a walking Childcraft, carrying his own info on Barracudas or Blue Tangs ahaha!

IMG_3801

The following are few of my favorites in my favorite attraction hehe. Sadly, I don’t remember what most were called. 😦

IMG_3790

This tank full of ancient looking fishes. I swear an episode of The Wild Thornberries illustrated that big one right there

IMG_3802

These fishes which look like worms sticking out of the sand. I thought there must have been a mistake but my walking encyclopedia told me they were fishes.

IMG_3812

Sharks in their embryos. Freaking cool!

IMG_3817

This angry-looking fish who’s too cute to be taken seriously.

IMG_3821

This area inside the Oceanarium which I didn’t even get to take proper pictures of but which I thought was breathtaking. You enter the area and you’ll see wide-glassed aquariums, around 3 of them! It was really nice.

7

And this part. This picture I got online, credits to the owner. It was so cool to walk through it!

IMG_3826

One of the divers inside took time to say hello! 🙂 I was so annoyed at one park-goer who was screaming at the diver to take a picture with her after we took a picture as if he was an attraction. What a rude weirdo lol!

After the Oceanarium we caught the Sea Lion Show which was very entertaining! The seals were too cute and they really put on a show for us. We stayed after the show to get our picture taken with the seal.

IMG_3857

I used to think it was a waste of money to spend on photo souvenirs but Pao changed me to think differently – he likes memories and values ways to keep them tangible. You should see our growing collection of printed photos from Timezone booths to Taipei 101 shots.

The other areas we visited were the World of Creepy Crawlies where I squirmed and where we got told off (albeit nicely) after flashing the light on the scorpions accidentally (oops), and the Jellies Exhibit which wasn’t as interesting but was nice all the same.

We also went to visit the Penguins thinking we could touch and feed them but you can only look. And we said no to the Fish Spa ahahaha!

We ended our trip to Manila Ocean Park with a lights and sounds show free for all goers. Unfortunately can’t locate my videos, or maybe I took them via IG stories but the show was good! There were some parts that were a bit weird like singing hologram bugs but the My Heart Will Go On part, and I’m a Celine Dion AND Titanic fan, is more than enough!

After MOP, Pao treated me to dinner at Bayleaf Intramuros where we had a buffet feast with the Manila skyline as our backdrop. We ended our very long day with tired legs but full stomachs and even very fuller hearts.

IMG_3855

Until my next sharing! 🙂

– Gemma