Have you heard about the largest oceanarium in Cebu? If you’re from anywhere else, it’ll take you an airplane ride, hotel accommodation and food budget to get there. How about I show you why Manila Ocean Park is still worth visiting?
Manila Ocean Park was the only oceanarium in the Philippines for ten years since 2008. I went there a few years ago, and a lot has changed since then. For one, there are more attractions and animal encounters to try. They have several types of ticket prices to suit your interest which is great when you’re bringing kids with you. There is also an option to get tickets online via Klook. The ticketing platform offers different ticket price points to choose. Klook got the PHP 700 package for eight attractions and PHP 935 package for 14 attractions. Check the whole list of the ticket prices on Manila Ocean Park’s website.
What to look forward to
Depending on the ticket you purchased you can get all attractions including the Aquanaut, Sharks & Rays Swim Encounter and Mermaid Swim Experience at a separate fee. Just remember that you might need to bring swimming gear for those encounters. With our tour, I paid for the Sea Breeze Express 12, which is about Php 795 per head.
Sea Lion Show
An audience had a chance to kiss one of the sea lions. It's just too bad that we didn't get picked from the crowd.
The Sea Lion Show has two schedules in the afternoon. We took the first one at around 4 pm, which was a huge mistake if you didn’t bring an umbrella. The afternoon sun was too warm. Luckily, I had a small bottle of sunscreen and a cap for my daughter. It also helped that I got us bottled water saved us a bit from buying water at the park. Nonetheless, we still ended up soaking wet from sweat. You can see in the video snippet above how the sweat erased my eyebrows and foundation effortlessly.
Need refreshments? Manila Ocean Park has restaurants, food stalls and booth for drinks and snacks.
Trails to Antartica
The Trails in Antarctica was not part of our ticket package so; we had to pay extra at the entrance. For another PHP 500 on top of the entrance fee, we were able to take home an 8×10 photo with the penguins and got to feed them with small fish. You could see my daughter dropping the little fish into the mouth of those hungry penguins. Watch our travel vlog about Manila Ocean Park coming out soon.
The Barnyard and The Birdhouse attractions were in the same area in the park and had specific times for the shows. Better check at the counter the exact time of each show, so you won’t miss them as we did. We ended up touring the whole place to ourselves, which gave me a chance to try the human-size hamster wheel. It was awesome!
My eager beaver super excited to see the birds she couldn't wait for her mom anymore.
The Birdhouse is just on the second floor of The Barnyard. They had free-flying parakeets, parrots and other birds in an enclosed cage. I had to keep a watchful eye on my daughter, who was too eager to catch one, hence, why we didn’t get to take photos in the birdcage. I was too occupied in chasing her around.
World of Creepy Crawlies
The home of the reptiles, amphibians and insects would be the attraction that my daughter spent most of her time. She looked into ever glass aquarium she’d find and would even try hard to spot the “creepy crawlies” hiding in the display. It was shocking how she’s not afraid of any of those tiny creatures. At some point, she was about to open a drawer of cockroaches. I swear I heard another guest yelped at us. Manila Ocean Park had a mock kitchen filled with lots of different cockroaches. Are you brave enough to take a peek? Not that I am scared, but I don’t think people will be too eager to see this mock kitchen to have a glimpse of different roaches.
Manila Ocean Park had a mock kitchen filled with lots of different cockroaches. Are you brave enough to take a peek?
Birds of Prey Kingdom
With all those extra payments to avail the Penguin encounter in the Trails of Antartica, the Birds Prey would be the sweetest deal. Since there were few guests on a weekday, the attendant manning the attractions was kind enough to let us in. Considering we missed quite a lot of shows from the package we purchased getting this one was a thoughtful gesture. We had the whole place to ourselves, which gave me a chance to hold this one heavy bird. You should see a clip of the encounter just below.
It was a bit scary but I did it!
How to get there
Are you ready to visit Manila Ocean Park? Take a Grab ride to the oceanarium or take the road going to Luneta Park. You could also take public transportation, but I’m afraid it would take you longer than usual to get to the oceanarium.
Where to buy tickets
On an off-peak day, you can do walk-ins and purchase your ticket on-site. But it is still best to get your tickets online to avoid lining up for tickets. You can buy tickets through the website or visit Klook for the latest ticket promos.
What to expect
Manila Ocean Park is not fully air-conditioned, and some areas are open like the Sea Lion Show, some areas of the Barnyard and the Birdhouse and the Birds of Prey Kingdom. Expect to walk around under the warm Manila sun. Bring extra clothes because it won’t be long until your thoroughly drenched with sweat. If possible, carry a bottle of water for refreshments and bring a lightweight stroller to climb stairs easily. I told my daughter that we weren’t bringing the stroller with us, so she better prepare to walk the whole day. Surprisingly, she didn’t ask me to carry her.
What could’ve been better
Everything I have featured on my blog was great except for this attraction we tried which was the Penguin Talk Show. I didn’t quite get the point of the show until this day. It started with an emoji-like image of a Penguin which was doing a soundcheck for a long time. After an hour of yapping on the screen trying to get the camera focus on him, I realised that was his actual show. I could barely understand what the bizarre penguin was talking about given the mic or sound quality was terrible. I feel bad for the foreigners watching with us because the penguin decided to speak in Filipino the whole time, It would have been nice if they gave the guest an idea on what to expect during the show. Perhaps tell the guests that the show is in Filipino or Tagalog language maybe.
I hope you enjoy our Manila Ocean Park story. There are so many things to see. Go ahead and support our local oceanarium!