Summer fun with the barkada at Manila Ocean Park

Hey, hey, summer’s here!

And while the barkada might be raring to go out of town for some summer fun, the good news is that you won’t even need to leave the city.

Right here in Metro Manila is a place where friends can come together for a full day of fun: Manila Ocean Park!

MOP Summer
An early start to our tour of Manila Ocean Park
MOP Summer
The last stop of our Manila Ocean Park Tour

As the country’s first world-class marine theme park and premiere educational entertainment destination, Manila Ocean Park boasts of attractions that will surely appeal to everyone in the barkada.

According to MOP’s EVP & COO Francis Low, the park’s attractions are designed to be educational, interactive and experiential. These design pillars sets Manila Ocean Park apart from similar establishments. With exhibits that visitors can not only look at but also interact with, the park helps create memorable moments for the guests as well as add to their knowledge.

Want to know what you and your pals can expect at Manila Ocean Park? Well, read on, then.

Oceanarium

This is home to 14,000 marine creatures across 277 species indigenous to the Philippines and Southeast Asia. With a 220-deg curved walkway tunnel with an amazing view of sea creatures swimming overhead, Oceanarium will give your barkada the feeling of being at the center of the ocean’s wonders, as well as lots of spectacular photos for your Instagram feed!

MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer

Trails to Antarctica

If the summer heat is getting to you, make a beeline for Trails to Antarctica where you can learn more about this mysterious frozen continent as well as its inhabitants. An example of these would be the Humboldt penguins, curious and highly sociable animals that you can interact with for some feeding, and of course, a photo opp for just Php650!

By the way, some of these cuties were hatched and raised right here in Manila Ocean Park, thanks to its very successful breeding program.

Manila Ocean Park Reopening
MOP Summer
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
MOP Summer

All-Star Bird Show back to back with a Sea Lion Show

Manila Ocean Park is also home to our feathered friends such as macaws, cuckatoos and birds of prey which display their intelligence and skills through stunts and tricks during the All-Star Bird Show.

MOP Summer
MOP Summer

Back-to-back with the bird show is the Sea Lion Show which showcases Manila Ocean Park’s South American sea lions which include Sandra, the sexiest female with all the suave moves; Icis, the prettiest among the females; Ira, the youngest and cutest; while Yeni, the smartest. The only thorn among the roses is Vincent, a big and beefy male sea lion who is also diligent with his training. These marine mammals display their skills through funny antics and entertaining skits during the show.

MOP Summer
MOP Summer

The All-Star Bird Show and Sea Lion Show are performed back-to-back at 12.30pm and 4.30pm on weekdays and at 12.30pm, 3pm and 4.30pm on weekends.

While the park’s aviary, The Birdhouse, is still closed, you can book your very own Bird Encounter and give your inner Disney Princess (or Prince!) free rein.

MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer

You can also get up close and personal with a sea lion through the Sea Lion Encounter. For Php3,500 per person, a group of at least five people can get an exclusive demonstration of a sea lion’s talents and intelligence through learned behavior such as giving you a kiss, jumping through hoops and performing a water ballet with you. Sea Lion Encounters are available only via reservations and is subject to availability.

MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer

Jellies Dancing Sea Fairies

Did you know that jellyfish are sometimes called the “dancing sea fairies?”

This moniker is no doubt due to their grace and transparent beauty as they glide below and on the ocean’s surface.

They are showcased in their element against a fascinating display of multi-media effects and soothing music in the Jellies Dancing Sea Fairies Exhibit.

MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer

World of Creepy Crawlies

Sure, they may be scary (and sort of icky) but they’re definitely interesting. These snakes, frogs, lizards, worms and insects all have their own beauty and seemingly amazing superpowers that drive their survival despite the harsh environments they inhabit. You and your pals can see them in a new light at the World of Creepy Crawlies.

MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer

Super Toy Collection

Got comic book fans in the barkada? Or those who idolize the Man of Steel?

Well, they can geek out at the largest collection of Superman toys and memorabilia at the Super Toy Collection. Your entire group can even immerse yourselves in memorable scenes from the Superman movies.

MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer

Christmas Village

Despite the feeling that we’re almost melting in the city because of the sweltering summer heat, we can still experience the chilly holiday season at the Christmas Village. You can all hang out with Santa Claus or check out the snowy gingerbread house; your sneak peek into a winter wonderland is right here.

MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer
MOP Summer

All these exciting experiences and more are waiting for you and your buddies at Manila Ocean Park.

So get set to enjoy the summer fun right here by booking your tickets online now with these fantastic deals available until May 29, 2022:

  • Jolly Splash 6 (Php560, previously Php2,300): includes access to six attractions – Oceanarium, Trails to Antarctica, Christmas Village, World of Creepy Crawlies, Jellies Dancing Sea Fairies, and Super Toy Collection
  • Festive Wave 8 (Php680, previously Php3,300): includes access to six attractions – Oceanarium, Trails to Antarctica, Christmas Village, World of Creepy Crawlies, Jellies Dancing Sea Fairies, Super Toy Collection, Sea Lion Show and Bird Show

Manila Ocean Park is located behind the Quirino Grandstand, Luneta, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

For more news and updates on its attractions and offers, follow Manila Ocean Park on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my previous posts about Manila Ocean Park:

6 relaxing things to do during your stopover at Nuvali Park

If you’re on your way to Tagaytay, or on your way back to Manila while traversing the Sta. Rosa – Tagaytay Road, you will most likely pass by Nuvali Park.

This expansive area is designed to be an integrated self-sustaining eco-city, where various residential communities, commercial and hospitality establishments, as well as schools can be conveniently situated while also highlighting the beauty and importance of nature.

The highlight of Nuvali Park is a four-hectare multi-functional lake. This man-made water feature not on beautifies the park but it also serves as a catch basin for rainwater and a water reservoir. It also functions as a fire reserve and as a means for alternative transport within the park.

Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1

In this sprawling green space, motorists can take a break from their journey to rest and and find some fun activities to occupy their time while allowing nature’s healing touch to rejuvenate them.

Take a stroll. With all the lush greenery and tree-lined designated walking trails around the park, it would be a shame not to put on your comfy shoes and go for a leisurely ramble. It would be an enjoyable way to achieve your 10,000 steps, wouldn’t it?

Work up a sweat. If a more strenuous type of activity is more to your liking, you can always go for a a bike ride around the park (bring your own or rent one at the Lake Evozone for Php60/hour. More adventurous bikers can take a crack at the 50-kilometer mountain bike trails which may provide scenic views of Mount Makiling, Laguna de Bay and Tagaytay Ridge. The post-workout buzz will surely be worth the exertion. Be sure to bring your own safety gear (helmets and pads) as well wear closed shoes. Register at the Evo-living Center concierge with a valid ID.

Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1

Go bird-watching. Nestled within the park is a 17-kilometer buffer zone and open area where migratory birds and other creatures make their home. It’s best to time your bird-watching activity between 6am to 9am or 4pm to 6pm when these creatures are most active and the sun is not so hot. Bring your binoculars so you can watch the birds up close without disturbing them.

Take a boat ride. Take advantage of the awesome views afforded by a scenic boat ride on the lake for Php100 per person.

Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1

Dine al fresco. Here, you can savor a delightful meal while in the great outdoors to refuel you for the rest of your journey. You can have a lakeside meal at one of the restaurants at Nuvali’s Solenad 1, or nibble as you browse through the food stalls every weekend during the Nuvali Mercato Centrale weekend food market.

Feed the fish. The lake is also home to a pod of koi fish who will gamely rise to the water surface for your entertainment when you drop some fish food their way.

Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1

Clearly, a stopover at Nuvali will give you a respite from the stresses of your travel and provide you with happy memories that you can take with you when you move on to your next destination.

I wish you safe travels, dear reader!

Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1
Nuvali Solenad 1

Nuvali is located along the Sta. Rosa – Tagaytay Road, Bgy. Sto. Domingo, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna. For updates on its events and activities, visit its website or follow Nuvali on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

6 reasons to bring the fam to Manila Ocean Park

One of the happier news that we received lately is that the metro has moved down its COVID-19 alert level status, resulting to the further loosening of restrictions.

This new alert level has allowed leisure and entertainment businesses such as theaters, theme parks and other tourist attractions to open up and accept visitors once again.

More importantly, this means that after a year and a half of being stuck at home, the kiddos can now venture out and explore a bit of the world outside again.

As parents, you are surely on the lookout for a place to take the kiddos to give them a welcome break from the stress of online classes and the monotony of staying at home, while creating a special moment for the family to spend time together and create special memories outside of home.

Well, here are six reasons why Manila Ocean Park is your best bet for your family outing:

1. The people behind Manila Ocean Park are excited to see you again.

After more than a year of being away from their exhibits, outlets and shows, the staff of country’s first world-class marine theme park and premiere educational entertainment destination are happy to be back doing what they love.

Manila Ocean Park Reopening
MOP VP for Sales and Marketing Mary Joyce Tarroza and Media Relations Manager Reden Ramones join us for a photo opp.
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Your friendly neighborhood unnie bloggers getting started on our Manila Ocean Park adventure.

During a chat with me and my fellow bloggers, MOP VP for Sales and Marketing Joyce Tarroza and Media Relations Manager Reden Ramones, relayed how Manila Ocean Park’s personnel have looked forward to the reopening.

“We are incredibly thrilled to finally be able to open Manila Ocean Park to the public again, return team members to work, and welcome guests back to enjoy our amazing and educational attractions,” added Mary Joyce.

2. It has reopened 6 well-loved indoor attractions.

With its return to operations, Manila Ocean Park has reopened six classic and fun-filled indoor attractions that appeal to young and old alike.

Oceanarium, for example, is home to over 270 species of marine creatures. Here, the family can walk through a 25-meter long curved walkway tunnel that gives visitors the feeling of being surrounded by sharks, stingrays, eels and other sea creatures swimming overhead.

Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Marveling at marine creatures
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a manta ray!
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Big fish in a big pond… err, aquarium.
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Little fishie playing hide ‘n seek
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
🎶Just keep swimming…
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Swimming, swimming… 🎶

The Jellies Exhibit, on the other hand, takes the family away to a wonderland of transparent jellyfishes that gracefully float and glide about accompanied by multimedia effects and music. This fantastic display has earned these creatures the moniker “The Dancing Sea Fairies.”

Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Jellybeans in the City with the Jellies.
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Dancing sea fairies
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Jellyfishes in the City, yeah, I went there!
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Jellyfish duet

The more adventurous visitors can explore the World of Creepy Crawlies where they can encounter bugs, frogs, spiders and worms and other creatures not for the faint of heart.

The Penguin Exhibit, the first penguin park in the country, lets visitors get up close and personal with Humboldt penguins (also known as Peruvian penguins or Patranca).

Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Look at the penguins from Peru!
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
This penguin is showing off for the audience.
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Humboldt Penguins are social animals.
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
They are curious creatures, too!

At the Christmas Village, the kids and adults can relive the magic and spirit of the holiday season.

Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Feeling the holiday vibe.
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Hello, Santa!
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Winter Wonderland
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Winter Wonderland, too!

Lastly, at the Super Toy Collection, kids of all ages can view the most extensive display of toys inspired by Pinoy childhood superheroes.

With these fascinating points of interest in the park, the family will have lots to explore and discover.

3. You can catch the South American sea lions in action.

The fun doesn’t stop indoors, either.

Step out to the Sea Lion Show and catch these large but adorable creatures perform breathtaking tricks.

Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Sea lions from South America
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
“Watch my next trick!”
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
“Am I pretty?”
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
“Mwah!”

You might even get a kiss from one!

4. The family can enjoy a gastronomic journey al fresco

All that fun and excitement are sure to work up an appetite so plop down at the dining area near the Sea Lion Show and feast on on the newly refreshed Asian fusion menu from Chef Ranuka Hettiarachchi.

Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Manila Ocean Park Reopening
Manila Ocean Park Reopening

You may also opt to head down to Garden Dining by White Moon Bar where the kids can explore the greenery while the grownups relax with a drink or two.

Manila Ocean Park
Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Check out my previous experience here.

Can’t get enough of these culinary creations? You can also have these scrumptious dishes delivered to your home. More on that here.

5. Protocols are still in place to keep your family safe

What welcome news it was to hear that kids 17 years old and below, regardless of their vaccination status, are now allowed inside the park, as long as they’re accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult.

Your family can rest easy knowing that your continued well-being is a top priority at Manila Ocean Park.

In line with the guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the regulations from Philippine government, the theme park is operating at 30% capacity.

Enhanced health and safety measures are also being implemented in accordance with the Minimum Public Health Standards to promote physical distancing, enhanced cleanliness and reduced contact.

Of course, these measures can only be effective with the cooperation of guests so please keep these in mind during your visit:

  • Secure your Safety Pass by scanning the QR code at the entrance.
  • Submit to health and temperature checks and, for adults, present your vaccination card and ID prior to entering.
  • Wear your face masks and face shields at all times.
  • Keep at least one meter apart. Markers and reminders have been placed in several spots to guide you.
  • Wash and sanitize your hands frequently.

6. You can take advantage of amazing deals

Until November 21, kids below 17 years old accompanied by a fully vaccinated adults are accepted inside the park according to the IATF guidelines.

The city government of Manila also set the age cap for adult visitors at 65 years old.

So now is the best time to bring the whole family to Manila Ocean Park, especially with these amazing limited-time deals exclusively available at the park’s website until December 19, 2021.

  • Ocean Escapade (Php499 – formerly Php2,300) which provides access to the 6 reopened attractions at almost 80% discount from the original ticket price.
  • 2+1 Flash Sale Promo. Buy 2 Ocean Escapade vouchers priced at Php595 and get 1 for free. That’s Php1,190 for 3 tickets already!

So not only can you bring the whole fam in for a lot of fun and adventure, you get to enjoy great savings, too!

Book your tickets now, folks!

Manila Ocean Park is located inside Luneta Park in Manila.

For inquiries, call (+632) 7238-6100 or follow Manila Ocean Park on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Complimentary tickets and refreshments were provided by the park in exchange for this feature.

6 Interesting Facts about Ankor Wat

Ankor Wat, located north of Siem Reap in Cambodia, is one of the country’s most visited tourist spots as well as its most iconic symbols. In fact, being a source of pride for the country, it has appeared on Cambodian national flags since the 1860s, and is the reason for more than fifty percent of international tourist visits to Cambodia each year.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

If you’re planning a trip to Cambodia, a visit to Angkor Wat is sure to be part of your itinerary.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

It is located five kilometers from Siem Reap, which affords tourists with various options for accommodations and transportation to and from the site.

Why don’t you wow your traveling friends when you tour the area armed with these interesting tidbits about this famous tourist attraction?

1. It is the world’s largest religious monument.

Sprawling across 1.6 square kilometers (162 hectares or 402 acres), it is considered to be the largest religious monument in the world by land area covered.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Its construction consumed five million tons of sandstone quarried from the holy mountain of Phnom Kulen located over fifty kilometers away from the site.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

2. It is a holy place to two major Asian religions.

Although originally built in the twelfth century by the Khmer King Suyavarman II as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu, Angkor Wat was converted to a Buddhist temple twenty-seven after his death by a devout Buddhist king Jayavarman VII.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

3. It was originally called by another name.

The temple was originally named Vrah Visnuloka or Parama Visnuloka, which means the “sacred dwelling of Vishnu” in Sanskrit.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Its current name, on the other hand, translates to “city of temples” in Khmer, from Angkor which means “city” and Wat which means “temple grounds.”

4. It may have been intended as a funerary temple.

Deviating from the norm among Khmer temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west rather than the east. A western orientation normally relates to death in Hinduism leading archeologists and scholars to conclude that Suyavarman intended it to serve as his funerary temple.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Adding strength to this inference is the counter-clockwise direction of the basreliefs as rituals occur in reverse order in Brahmanic funerary services.

5. Here, nature and human architecture make for picturesque views.

In the centuries after it was built, Angkor Wat suffered neglect. During this time, the surrounding forest has swallowed many parts of the complex until the site was rediscovered by French naturalist and explore Henri Mouhot in 1860.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

For many years, silk cotton, thitpok and strangler fig trees have grown over, under, around and even through the sandstone structures. This sets various breathtaking sceneries in the complex wherein nature is seen to have overtaken the man-made structures.

6. Various countries are working to preserve it.

Given its historical and cultural significance, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, which encouraged international efforts to save it. Countries such as China, France, Germany and Japan are involved in various conservation projects to repair and preserve various parts of the complex.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Excited to tour Angkor Wat yet? Click here for more info on visiting Angkor Wat and Cambodia.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Disclosure: Photos featured here were taken during a 2012 trip to Angkor Wat sponsored by A&E Networks.