Places & Experiences

Olivia’s First Trip to the Manila Ocean Park

I’ve been to Manila Ocean Park when it was newly opened to the public. The main attraction back then was just the Oceanarium. If I remember it right, the entrance fee was like 500 pesos per head.

 

We went there again. But we only visited the Jellyfish exhibit, Seri 3D Fantasy Art and Mirror Maze since those were the added attractions back then.

 

This marked my 3rd visit to Manila Ocean Park more than five years later. This was our daughter’s first.

 

 

How Much Does It Cost to Visit Manila Ocean Park

 

Manila Ocean Park offers various packages with corresponding prices:

  • Marine Voyage (15 activities) @ 995 pesos per head
  • Sea Breeze Express (11 activities) @ 760 pesos per head
  • Deep Sea Rush (6 activities) @ 590 pesos per head
  • Ocean’s Madness (5 activities) @ 650 pesos per head

 

Its website provides the details of the activities.

 

Sometimes, you could get discounted package rates from MetroDeal.

 

I was able to get a promo direct from Manila Ocean Park’s website. The promo was called Extreme Splash Sale, wherein the price was at 399 pesos per head.

 

mini shark trails

 

Olivia’s First Time Experience

 

Since the ticket was a short-term promotion, the attractions included were limited to the following:

  • Oceanarium
  • Trails to Antarctica/Christmas Village
  • The Barnyard
  • The Birdhouse

 

The Barnyard

 

This was our first stop.

 

 

When I was reading the details from their website, I was pretty excited at first. It was because Olivia would finally have the chance to have a close encounter with rabbits, guinea pigs, and other domesticated animals.

 

Once we entered the site, we saw bunnies, chickens, ducks, white mice and a lone guinea pig. Of course, it was not a farm where I’d see cows, pigs and other farm animals. I just felt like it lacked something.

 

 

 

 

We didn’t get to feed or pet the animals, which was quite a downer.

 

Maybe it’s the park’s policy or something. I understand that it would be for the sake of the animals. But, it’d be more interactive if it would at least include a feeding session or a 2-second guided touch of the animals.

 

The Birdhouse

 

The Birdhouse is located at the upper part of the Barnyard. In here, it was mostly occupied by parakeets. There were just a few small birds that look like parrots (I forgot the name of the bird).

 

 

 

There were animal handlers who would offer you to buy food for the birds at 50 pesos. I agreed to buy one pack for Olive to at least see and experience them up close.

 

 

It was actually fun (well, for my part). 😉

 

Based from the reaction of my daughter, I think she was part curious and part afraid of them. She wanted to touch them but one flew away. We then put the food on her palm. She seemed okay with the pecking at first, but when the bird started to step on her hand, she freaked out a bit. Maybe the bird’s feet was quite unusual to her sensation. 😊

 

 

Oceanarium

 

The Oceanarium remains the same as how I remembered it. Its walkthroughs are categorized from fresh water to deep sea creatures. Of course, the main attraction is still the curved walkway tunnel.

 

 

 

 

However, I just noticed that there were few fishes as compared years ago. The long-legged crab that I had remembered was no longer there. Also, few stingrays swim over the curved tunnel. They had probably moved majority of them in a separate overhead viewing tank.

 

 

 

 

 

They had also added an augmented reality encounter where guests could interact with animated animals and take a photo with. We did not avail this because it was a bit pricey.

 

Olive showed interest on the giant fishes. She also seemed to be curious on the alligator (it used to be many of them). Likewise, we introduced her to the real-life shark. We pretended to point out the members of the shark family. 😁

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trails to Antarctica

 

Trails to Antarctica basically documents what can be found in the coldest continent and how animals and people (like scientists) live there.

 

 

 

 

After the exhibit, we went to Humboldt Penguin display. It was nice to see the penguins up close. They really do look adorable when walking, as well as when anticipating a snack from their human guests.

 

 

The penguin feeding and photo op has a separate fee. If I remember it right, it costs 500 pesos per head. Therefore, we just let ourselves be contented on watching them behind the glass instead.

 

Christmas Village

 

This was the final one in our itinerary.

 

There were all things Christmas-y inside, like Santa Claus, snowmen, reindeers, Xmas trees, mini villages and falling snow from a machine.

 

 

 

 

 

Olivia liked taking her pictures here. 😀

 

Other Attractions We Could Try in the Future

 

  • Sharks and Rays Encounter — interacting with friendly sharks and rays
  • Mermaid Swim Experience — learning how to swim, the mermaid way
  • Aquanaut Voyage — diving into the marine life
  • Jellies Exhibit — appreciating the beauty of these creatures
  • Fish Spa — pampering the “fishy” way
  • Symphony Evening Show — mesmerizing water works
  • Sea Lion Show — meeting these adorable creatures
  • All Star Bird Show —— witnessing the tricks of these intelligent creatures
  • Birds of Prey —— creating awareness on how to conserve the wild birds
  • Super Toy Collection —— displaying an awesome toy collection
  • World of Creepy Crawlies —— gaining insights on these misunderstood species
  • Neon Rides — wheeling your way around the park in bright lights

 

A Few Tips When Navigating Manila Ocean Park with a Toddler

 

  • Make sure your phone or camera battery is fully charged.

These are for those candid moments and precious memories.

 

 

 

  • Wear your most comfortable shoes.

Yes, a lot of walking is involved.

 

 

 

  • Constantly ask if they need to go or make them wear a diaper though potty trained.

Restrooms are quite far from one attraction to another.

 

 

  • Make a pit stop and appreciate Manila Bay.

Most especially nice during sunsets.

 

 

 

My Thoughts on Manila Ocean Park

 

Since I’ve been there before, my excitement was actually meant for my daughter. I was really not that excited for what I was about to see, but it was actually more of curiosity on how my daughter would react in seeing the animals in reality.

 

 

I was thinking, maybe if we’d go there again 3 to 4 years from now, her reaction might be different. She might be more interested since she would have studied them in school. Well, that would be another story.

 

Overall, I do hope Olive somehow had fun. I know she was more eager to take on the in-house kiddie rides rather than rave about the animals, but, I do hope it was an added learning experience for her.

 

 

 

Shall we take the trip again in the future ? We’ll probably wait until she would have reached the school age. Who knows, she might be more hungry for marine life info by that time.

 

 

 

 

 

Manila Ocean Park is located at the behind Quirino Grandstand. It’s open daily from 10 AM to 8 PM.

I am a wife to Francis and a mother to Olivia. I am an avid reader, but a frustrated writer. Maybe considered a millennial, but very much of a "manang".

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