Saturday, March 1, 2008

Manila Ocean Park - The Philippines' next big destination

Call it good karma. putting in my photo contributions for the interactive kiosks of the Manila Ocean Park got me an invite for the partners' night yesterday evening for a sneak preview of the Philippine's next big aquatic destination. I thought I would stay for an hour or so but Ironwulf and I ended up shooting and marvelling and shooting for like four hours. 

The open area where the freshwater fishes are kept is a work in progress. The plants are in place but will need the next few months to fill up the spaces beautifully. Leading to the 360 degree surround screen where a documentary continually plays, one can't help but be awed. Now, entering the tunnel aquarium was absolutely a wow! experience. Instantly, I was a kid again.I  can't help but be proud that most of the fishes featured are endemic to the Philippines. It's a fantastic way of acquainting our kids (and kids at heart) of the richness of our seas and oceans. It's also a wonderful way to educate the masses on environmental protection. Each area was labeled in Filipino, which was a nice touch. And the image featured above, the dome that changes color after every few seconds, is of Filipino design.

The aquarium displays are like 60-70% completed. The commercial areas (mall, fish spa where cleaner fishes will clean your feet) are yet to be completed. But once done, I can only imagine the droves of people who would go there to also admire a lovely view of the Manila Bay, near where the Macapagal Harbor and Manila Hotel are located. Many thanks to Ma'am Des for facilitating our invite and personally touring us through the different installations. Sa uulitin po! 

INFO: Manila Ocean Park had its soft opening today, March 1. Location: behind Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park; very near the U.S. embassy and Museo Pambata • Admission prices: P400/adults (around US$10), P350/kids. Manila residents get a 10% discount. Open from 11am-9pm daily, there's parking for around a hundred cars within the compound. Alternative parking near my favorite hang-out, Harbor View Restaurant. • Got this from Ironwulf's site, for info, please call (632) 567.7777 or visit


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