Manila’s first real oceanarium. A spectacular acrylic tunnel boasts of great marine life found in Philippine waters.
The Philippines is part of the world’s coral triangle. That is the area which has been blessed with the most diverse marine environment on the planet. We are a top choice when it comes to our dive sites because of the marine life and wrecks. I was delighted to hear of the opening of the first true oceanarium in our country. Located behind the country’s Kilometer Zero Marker. Manila Ocean Park is only half way done but by the end of construction it will house a mall, a hotel, and an open water marine habitat where guests can go experience the sea firsthand by diving and snorkeling.
We hit the steps leading up to the Park a little after lunch. I activated the GPS Receiver but apparently I didn’t install it properly. I was expecting a landfill of people queuing up for tickets but fortunately it only took us about 4 minutes to get our passes. Upon entering the complex, You’ll notice a very imposing dome high above you which I would imagine, filter the daylight quite nicely if only it wasn’t overcast during that our visit. We walk around the complex and spot a handful of nice places to eat later in the day.
We entered the Oceanarium and were greeted by a cluster of kids gathering around the Starfish tank. The man-made waterfall wasn’t anything to write home about but it wasn’t the reason I was at the park anyway. I came to shoot fish. I approached the Starfish Tank after the swarm fell victim to their short attention span . Brought out the Krab and saw curious stares as I submerged the camera into the tank. They let us pet the pink and blue starfish as well as the sea cucumber. We continued to venture inside to explore the seven areas of the oceanarium. We saw this huge crab inside that was used to a very cold environment, you could feel its perfectly chilled tank that would have made for reasonably cooled beer temperature. We breezed through the other sections till we landed the part that they called “the living ocean” that housed a acrylic tunnel similar to that of Sentosa’s and Hongkong’s Sea World. The 220 degree curved tunnel gave the visitors a spectacular sight with all the gliding rays and swimming fish. A few steps from the tunnel was the overhead tanks of graceful rays and sharks. After all the walking, you caught our breath at the Fish Spa where some fresh water fish will nibble on your feet and legs eating. They are called Dr. Fish and come from China and Turkey where they are used to treat wounds and skin disease. I felt a bit ticklish at the start but soon warmed up to the sensation. I dipped my feet as well as the Krab and thanked them with a photo of their own.