Favorite place to get some sun? I can’t think of anything other than the beach and swimming of course. Imagine this…swimming while feeding many dolphins around you. This is what we experienced in Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park (MOAP), Philippines. If you love Flipper, then you’ll fall in love with this place as well.
Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park is run by the local government and is situated specifically in Libertad Bajo, Brgy. Sinacaban. It is known as a tropical resort and a conspicuous habitat for different kinds of marine mammals including giant sea turtles. MOAP has a mini zoo where you can find exotic animals such as Philippine crocodiles, birds, monkeys, and snakes. The park is also a home to shrimp and crab cultivation but the main attraction would have to be the rescued dolphins! If you wan to eat fresh seafood, you can purchase fresh water prawns, lobsters, and crab by the kilo and ask the restaurant to cook it for you.
The best and easiest way to reach this place (just like what we did) is to take a 1-hr plane ride from Manila to its capital city, Ozamiz then you can ride a 4-seater tricycle with a terminal conveniently located outside the airport. It only took us about 20 minutes to reach the the gates of MOAP.
Upon arrival, we hurriedly checked-in our bags in our suite room and walked over the long bamboo plank bridge going to the docking area. One can notice the mangroves surrounding the area. The 20-minute boat ride added suspense to what was ahead of us. It was one of my friends’ first time to ever see a live dolphin. We rented snorkeling gears and life vests to fully enjoy our encounter with them. Too bad that there were no pawikans (sea turtles) at that time because they said they have already been cured and released. Before the swimming encounter, the diver handed us dead fish to feed the dolphins. He said that we need to put the fish’s head under the water for the dolphins to smell and eventually swim around us. At first feeding them was really scary because they swim fast but you’d get along with them and realize that though they are not trained, they are harmless.
I’d definitely come back to Dolphin Island! The MOAP resort is one of the tourist spots in Ozamiz that you must not miss. A once-and-a-lifetime experience with the dolphins.