Since it’s Christmas bonus time, I decided to treat my kids to visit the sprawling Manila Ocean Park behind the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta. It was our first time to see the place since the Park opened to the public almost a year ago. These costumed clowns greeted us at the entrance:
First impressions: MOP could do better with a little more organization, more park guides to lead the visitors and brochures. Some parts, like the open water marine habitat, are not yet open to the public. Overall, we had a good time. Am glad there’s a place like this now in the Philippines which is at par with other oceanariums in the world, like Ocean Park in Hong Kong and Underwater World in Singapore.
MOP’s main attraction is the 25-meter long walkway tunnel with 220-degree curved acrylic walls from where you can see fishes and marine life all around. This is the “Buhay na Karagtan” ( Living Oceans) exhibit of the oceanarium.
Inside the oceanarium it was dark and hard to read the descriptions of each section. Also, no flash photography is allowed.
Manila Ocean Park’s entrance fees are P400 for the adults and P350 for children. Luckily, they now have a promo running until January where you will pay only P500, inclusive of the Fish Spa and Glass Bottom Boat ride on the second floor Activity area.
If taken separately, the glass bottom boat ride costs P150 for 10 minutes. It wasn’t really that impressive, especially if you’ve already been through the see-through walkway. The area where you take your boat ride wasn’t too spacious either. The only good thing was that the man manning the ride was very helpful.
It was kinda eerie seeing people on the walkway tunnel from our glass bottom boat. We were obviously above them.
The kids enjoyed the Fish Spa the most. This is the part where Doctor Fish (or fishes) nibble on your feet in water. Actually, tickle is the more approriate term. I actually shrieked when they did that to me – silly fishes! The fish spa concept is borne out of the fact that the fishes can eat away your dead skin cells, and therefore it can be good and rejuvenating for you.
Kids engaged in a stencilling art activity while waiting for their turn at the Fish Spa. This cost twenty pesos.
We were lucky to witness some fireworks. I think this happens at 7 p.m. every weekend. In the background is the Manila Floating Hotel & Restaurant.
The Manila Ocean Park is open from Monday to Sunday and closes at 9 p.m. For more information, call telephone no. 567-7777.