Manila Ocean Park 2009

Thanx largely to the Manny Pacquiao - Ricky Hatton fight, we were able to plan on finally going to the Manila Ocean Park and Mall of Asia. Why? Coz there's no heavy traffic during a televised Pacquiao fight!

My only misgiving during Pacquiao fights is that most Pinoys are so tuned in to the fight on TV or radio that some forget their other tasks. I'm talking of salespeople in department stores who'd rather not attend to customers but watch or talk about the blow-by-blow accounts of the fight.

Anyway, back to Ocean Park. It's been a long time since we visited the Roxas Boulevard breakwall. That structure at the right is a new addition to the Manila Ocean Park. Here's their website.

The requisite photo-op in front of the Manila Ocean Park sign.

Here's the cavernous entrance leading to the Oceanarium. This part of Ocean Park is called "Agos" (Flow).

These are the hanging threads of the Princess Vine or Curtain Ivy. In the Philippines, the plant is somehow known as Millionaire's Vine.

Shown below is the portion where we were allowed to touch (but not pick up) the starfishes and sea cucumbers in the shallow pool. I must say it's the part that I appreciated the most. The other visitors simply balked at the idea of submerging their pretty fingers in the water.

Too bad, they missed an incredible tactile experience with these creatures. The starfishes were hard and had a leathery feel. Touching the sea cucumber felt like touching a velvety soft carpet! Incredible. Also in the pool were some fishes and small sharks like the Bamboo Shark.

Flash photography is not allowed inside the oceanarium. As all I had was point-and-shoot digicam, I couldn't take pictures of the fast moving fishes. So, here are some of those I took. Luckily there were a few slow fishes who posed for me. The pics were taken in the area called "Bahura" (Reef).

Triggerfish known as "Pakol". It looks like a toy, doesn't it?

The Pajama Cardinalfish known as "Dangat". These ones just lay still, seemingly waiting to be photographed.

Shrimpfish known as "Sikwan".

The Longhorn Cowfish known as "Baka-baka".

The Giant Spider Crab that can grow to as much as 4 meters. This one's probably a meter long.

Here's a Porcupinefish (or Blowfish) hiding among the corals. It's known as "Buteteng Laot".

The Stonefish known as "Sumalapaw". It's listed by Guiness Book of World Records as the most venomous fish in the world.

Here's a good shot (textbook quality!) of the Bluespotted Ribbontail Ray or "Pagi"

The Snowflake Moray Eel or "Igat" shyly hiding among the corals. They have a powerful bite.

Finally, a couple of pictorials at the 25-meter underwater tunnel with hundreds of fishes and other awesome creatures. The area is called "Buhay na Karagatan" (The Living Ocean)

There are so many species in this part. There are sharks and rays too. That white hose shown below has some sort of vacuum at the end which was tended by a diver.

Here's one of the several humongous fishes. This one's about 4 feet long. These large creatures are found in the area called "Ang Kalaliman" (The Deep).

Here's a shot of a slow-moving Guitarfish which is some kind of a ray. Did you know that sharks and rays are related?

Che with a starfish on the glass wall.

This glass tank is full of sharks and is in the area called "Pating" (Shark). The top of this tank extends towards the second floor as seen on the next photo.

This is the top of the glass tank and we're in the second floor. This is the shark viewing area. On one side of this tank top, a guy feeds these sharks at 11am and 4pm.

The Fish Spa is next to this area. It's where the Doctor Fishes nibble at your dead skin. The kids opted to go to the souvenir shop though.

A trip to Manila Ocean Park won't be complete without sidestepping to the Souvenir Shop where we bought t-shirts for the kids. Here's Sandra and Renz playing with some pencil toys at the shop.

At the lobby was a painting gallery and here's one with a 3d effect. Renz is holding the duck shown in the photo below. Yeah, Renz looks sad posing for this picture and that's because he's already hungry.

After Manila Ocean Park, we went straight to MOA or Mall of Asia where we had our lunch. You can see the kids are happy with their chicken meal (Chicken Company). DH and I had sizzling Tuna and Pork from Davao Tuna.

I suppose by the time we were through with MOA (around 4pm), traffic was back to normal. But we all had a fun time today!

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