Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #34: Fishes are Friends!

Da Where: Manila Ocean Park, Roxas Blvd., Manila, Philippines
Da When: January 1, 2012
Da Who: New Year's day out with the family! :)

Find Spongebob! ;D

I love the holidays! Let's face it, who doesn't? :) Since living here in Manila for the past seven years, I can count with the fingers in my right hand how many Christmases I was able to spend at home in Iloilo. Working in the BPO industry has actually blurred the lines between regular working days and working holidays.

The past couple of years though, thanks to low-cost carriers, my older sister and I were able to bring Christmas here by having some of our family members over during the holidays. And with very limited time to go to family-friendly places within the metro, we decided to visit the Manila Ocean Park on the first day of 2012. It's been open to the public for almost four years now but I've never had the chance to drop by.  We thought my 2 and 1/2 year-old niece and my 15 year-old younger sister would enjoy it.

Our little Dora patiently waiting for her admission ticket. :)

My sister did. My niece, not so much. The first thing we saw were these large freshwater fish known as arapaima, probably as long (if lying down) and as heavy as me and they were swimming lazily in their huge aquariums. It was enough to send my niece into her mom's arms and let out a cry. The mature adults that we were, we just laughed. It was too funny but yeah, I think it'd be pretty scared if I were a two-year-old too.

The humongous arapaima  fish that greeted us at the entrance. 

Mommy: Fishes are friends, baby.

We were ushered next to the Oceanarium where you can find different species of fish and marine life. Not being a swimmer myself, this was the only time I get to see how beautiful it could be underwater. Learning to swim (and dive) may not be an option for me coz I tend to panic once I'm in the water, like what happened to me in last year's snorkeling adventure in Bohol. Seeing the wonders of the sea while staying dry and warm may be a good substitute. :)

Baby bamboo sharks

I forgot what these fish were called.

This icky worm-like things are called garden eels.

My niece, Joan, was still scared but curiosity getting the best of her.

Sting rays swimming over your head. Awesome!

I think she's starting to like the fishes. :)

The sharks' den, all very bare basics and zen. :D

Aside from the Oceanarium tour, which I think was the best part of the park, our PhP500.00/pax ticket also included access to the Marine Life Show which featured South American sea lions; and then Jellies, Dancing Sea Faeries, which turned out to be my favorite.

The sea lion show was at 1400H and we had to watch the two smart and talented sea lions show off their tricks under the burning glare of the sun in their open-air stadium. The Jellies Dancing Sea Faeries room back inside the park building offered a cool respite, being dark and lighted up by a thousand jelly fish that became purple, red, green, blue or orange whenever the multicolored lights changed.

One of the sea lions starting to show off.

"Go get that ball!"

"Now where is that friggin'ball?"

A lucky audience for a photo op


They're mesmerizing. :)

The Manila Ocean Park also offers a hotel, swimming pool, Musical Fountain Shows, Fish Spa, Glass Bottom Boat Ride and a chance to do helmet diving with sharks, sting rays and other fishes with their Aquanaut Voyage attraction. I'd prolly do that when I get enough courage. ;P

Manila Ocean Park
Behind the Quirino Grandstand Luneta, Manila, Philippines

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