Saturday, 29 August 2015

Baby Charley's Trip to the Manila Ocean Park

Our family loves long weekends, and we make sure we make the best out of them. This long weekend, my roommate (my husband, btw) and I decided to bring Baby Charley to the Manila Ocean Park. We've been searching long on the fun and enjoyable places we could bring Baby Charley for a quick weekend trip in the Metro, and the Manila Ocean Park seems to be the perfect fit.

After our monthly check-up with our pretty pedia, Dra Pam Caedo of Makati Medical Center, for Baby Charley's 3rd PCV # 13 shot, we took a cab to the Manila Ocean Park. Fortunately, the queue wasn't that long this particular Saturday, and the guards of Makati Med have always been extra helpful to passengers with babies (they usually let us ride first! Yay!). 
She loved everything! 

Our ticket cost Php 430 each, and this included entrances to the Oceanarium, Fish Spa, Trails to Antarctica, Birds of Prey, and Shark and Rays Dry Encounter. In fact, this is a bit cheaper compared to their Super Splash sale online. It was Php 399 for three attractions only (Oceanarium, Jellies, and the Symphony Night Show). MOP  also have several packages available in their website. You can check them out here. Babies 2 ft and below and those who obviously can't walk get to enter the park for free. 

Honestly, this is the only attraction we wanted to visit since it'd be the only thing Baby Charley would enjoy. The first part of the Oceanarium featured freshwater fishes and crocodiles. The fishes weren't really colourful, but Charley enjoyed just looking at them swim! The exhibits were placed outside, and it was a little humid this afternoon, so we rushed to the second part of the Oceanarium. Too bad we missed the piranhas and the crocodiles upstairs.

The second part, the "Bahura" or reef, featured colourful (finally!) fishes that live in our coral reefs. The Bahura exhibit was a bit dark and we were afraid that Baby Charley would be afraid, or suddenly fall asleep, but she was having the time of her life looking at the various fishes in the illuminated tanks. Here you could find clownfish, eels, lionfish, and different yet absolutely colourful fishes. I could say that among the different parts of the Oceanarium, this is the part Baby Charley enjoyed most.

Afterwards, we headed to the "Laot" where there were exhibits of a sunken ship adorned with a school of large, as in huge, silver fish! Charley's eyes grew bigger at the sight of these fish circling the aquarium.

Soon, we headed to the "Karagatan", which included the main attraction, which is a 220 degree walkway tunnel! It's filled with huge rays and other fishes of different colours and sizes. Baby Charley was amazed with the rays and followed them around (sort of!).  I'm glad she didn't get scared at all.

Finally, the end of the tunnel featured the shark tank with different kinds of sharks. They were bigger than Baby Charley and still so majestic to look at.

Near the exit of the Oceanarium is the kid's learning/colouring area where kids get a colouring page for free. This was sponsored by Dong-A and Faber Castell, I think. 

I don't know if it's the weather, but it was so init inside the Oceanarium. Soon, Baby Charley got a little cranky already because she hated the heat, so we needed to go to the next attraction.

If you have been to the SEA Aquarium in Singapore, which is the largest one in Asia, I think, the MOP could be a disappointment. However, Baby Charley was so amazed with the different kinds of fishes, so it was okay na rin as a "teaser" before we bring Charley to the SEA Aquarium.

Trails to Antarctica
The next on the list was the "Trails to Antarctica", a penguin exhibit and an entrance to the Snow Village, a Christmas Village with -5 degrees temperature. We saw the penguin exhibit and even watched a family fed the penguins for Php300 with picture. Since the penguins are tropical penguins, they didn't have to stay in a room with a freezing temperature. Fortunately for us because Baby Charley saw them ate, dived, and swam! Since the Snow Village was too cold for Baby Charley, we didn't enter that one as well.

Someone enjoyed watching the swimming penguins! 

Birds of Prey 
For me, this is the attraction that I least like. There wasn't any guide to tell us what we're supposed to see or look at. So you can say, we needed to figure out where the birds were amidst the heat and the trash. When we finally saw the birds, it was such a depressing depressing sight! We couldn't bear to take pictures because we felt very very sad for them.

If you have been to the Jurong Bird Park in SG or even the aviary in Blu Roze (Lipa City), you could see how different the caged birds were treated. We didn't stay longer than 5 minutes because the scenario really depressed us! We didn't want Charley to remember this part of the trip. We were so affected, we even emailed MOP about it. We're still awaiting for their reply.
the only happy birds in the park

Sharks and Rays Dry Encounter
Afterwards, we headed to the Sharks and Rays Dry Encounter. We really had no idea what we could expect, but there were long queues and the staff looked a little disoriented. We followed the queue to have our wrist tags checked and peered in the crowds to see what was going on. Apparently, there was this large waist-deep tank and two (2) staff holding rays (forgot to ask if they were manta rays or stingrays). Guests could touch, but not poke, these rays. It was so hot at the park and the place was so crowded that we didn't get to see where the sharks were.

Souvenir shops and food stalls were all around the park. Finally, it was time to go home. Fortunately, it started raining when we got home, so we didn't have a hard time to get a cab.

In conclusion, the Manila Ocean Park is a very appropriate and fun place to bring toddlers. They will surely enjoy the Oceanarium and the Jelly Exhibit. The other attractions are indeed for older kids. However, I would recommend the Manila Ocean Park Administration to improve their Birds of Prey Attraction.
Souvenir Cart 


  1. Looks like Baby Charley was so fascinated with the sea creatures.

    1. Yes, she was!! She was so excited to see those colourful fishes. Manila Ocean Park could be a great place to bring toddlers. :) Thank you for dropping by.

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