What will you do if something did not go as planned?
In most instances—especially when I make travel plans—I usually don’t make back-up plans or “plan B.” I make it a point to stick to the original because for me it is always better. Thus, tendency is, when the original plan did not push through, I am left with no choice but to make new plans—it could be new destination or new itinerary. I know every traveler experiences the same thing. Sometimes, due to unforeseen events, we entirely alter our plans to answer the demands of a more pressing situation.
After learning that the yearly celebration of Dinamulag Festival in Zambales will be held on April 7-10, I immediately marked my calendar as occupied on those dates; I was physically, mentally and financially (I saved for it) ready to join the said festival. Unfortunately, I had to attend other crucial matters here in Manila, and with the time constraint, I couldn’t make it to Zambales. Last Saturday, when I was on my gloomy moment for not being able to push through with my travel, I decided to make up with myself and I was unperturbed to watch Rio. So there, with the initial plan of watching Rio, in just a jiffy, I chose to go to Manila Ocean Park (that’s how fast I changed my mind). Forty minutes passed, I found myself at the main entrance of the park paying for my package.
This trip was born out of frustration; frustration of not attending the Dinamulag Festival and channelling it to other activity that would also deliver almost the same satisfaction. I forgot my initial plan and just savoured the moment of feeling like a child again right after I entered the dome of sea attractions.
I knew, since I was a kid, that I am warm-hearted to fishes and other living creatures in the ocean. I grew up in Zambales and our house is situated 15 minutes away from the nearest shores in Subic. Back then, I spent every summer vacation in Bataan where my grandparents’ house reclines 50 meters away from the beach. My grandparents’ primary source of income was fishing and most of my relatives were fisherfolks and fish vendors in the market. Half of my childhood life was enthused with close contact with seas and with different sea mortals—mostly fishes and corals. That, for me, is one of the reasons why Manila Ocean Park brought back lots of my childhood memories. The only difference is, before, I did not have to pay a sum of money to see them.
I doled out P600 to see four attractions of Manila Ocean Park—Sea Lion Show, Oceanarium, Fish Spa, and Dancing Jellies. They are in one package. If you wouldn’t avail the package, these four will cost P820 in total. I took advantage of getting the package to save money. Just a heads-up: there are several packages you can pick from depending on which you think suits you or you can also choose not to avail any package and just buy the ticket of your ideal show separately.
Sea Lion Show
I watched the Sea Lion show first since it is scheduled only at 2 and 4 in the afternoon. The show was very entertaining and for me it was fantastic. I did not expect that I would see sea lion show again after 11 years.
There are six sea lions in Ocean Park. During my visit, Icy and Yeny were among those who performed. These lovely creatures brought nothing but bliss to me as I joined the kids clapping and yelling at numerous times. Icy and Yeny showed us how they twist their bodies, and how they mimic the actions of their trainers. They danced, too.
The show lasted for 20 minutes and they ended it with a grain of salt to live by every day. Icy and Yeny demonstrated how to dispose human waste properly and how wounded they are everytime waste like plastic is being dumped into their home. For me, 2pm is not the best time to watch the show. Since it is an open area, there are no adequate shades for the tourists.
One of the anticipations I had before pursuing this jaunt is the crowd. (Yes. I went out on a weekend so I shouldn’t complain. Besides, lining up for 15 minutes for Oceanarium wasn’t bad though.)
This dome is full of treasures. Fishes also come in charming colors.
Of all the fishes I liked, I only remember the Reef Stone fish. (I’m bad with names.)
Oceanarium is my favorite attraction in the area. It’s of no wonder why I stayed here the longest. I did not imagine that the fun and pleasure I acquired while wandering on this colossal aquarium would extend beyond my expectations. It was indeed one of a kind.
Who says only human can perform a spa treatment? Fishes can do the same. They are called the “Doctor Fish.”
Fishes doing spa is new and enticing. Isn’t it? From the time I’ve heard of fish spa, I started waiting for the day I will finally experience this. I was even surprised upon knowing that Ocean Park offers such. Impressed and stunned as I was, when I dipped my feet in the mini-pool and when fishes started to bite my tired feet, I almost backed out. It doesn’t feel like I was being massaged at first, I thought fishes were scratching my feet because I got tickled a lot of times. Then later on, I enjoyed the moment like all others. Fish Spa lasted only for 10 minutes, so it deserves a second try.
Most beach goers hate jellies. Jellies (jelly fishes) secrete liquids that cause itchiness and irritation to our skin. Hence, when jellies penetrate the sea, we tend to get away from them or worst, we leave the water. In Ocean Park, I started to adore them; they turn enchanting as they dance with the tune of sparkling lights.
Those who want to see our wealthy marine and aquatic resources but are aquaphobic, Manila Ocean Park is the right place to cope up with what you’re missing for being afraid to explore our seas. Although it’s not exactly as rich as the marine life in the sea, at least, you would be acquainted with them and be cognizant with their existence. And I hope later on, you will be encouraged to join the list of enthusiasts who reconnoitre our seas and defend the lives of defenseless creatures from fierce hands of humans.
This under the sea experience has superseded my supposedly frustrated day to something precious, which could have been different if I have pursued my first plan. Though born out of frustration, I consider this adventure as the best thing happened in my entire week. What I had planned for might not work the way I perceived it, but I learned to transport my energy—which was supposed to be for those ruined plans—to something valuable. Visiting Manila Ocean Park was no another ordinary day; it was the day I discerned that I shall protect our marine and aquatic resources from harm. And it starts with this blog.