We went to Manila Ocean Park last December 26 for my daughter’s 8th birthday. We’ve been to a lot of marine parks and we thought we owe it to our country to at least visit ours. I was thinking, how bad can it be?

Besides they had a promo where the usual P4k +++ is now P2,950 for 3 paying guests. This is their Marine Voyage package where you get to visit 13 attractions plus a free gift item (choose between keychain, magnet, cellphone charm, baller). So yeah, how bad can it be, right?

We were there 9:30 am to buy the tickets and by 9:45 we are already inside the hall. There were restaurants around this hall and we opted to eat early lunch since the attractions were not open until 10AM.

Oceanarium is our first stop where you see fishes, sharks and sting rays of different sizes. This is also where you walk through the marine life tunnel where you basically see all of them fishies again.

Be warned that on a busy day, this can be very jammed pack where people trying to take selfies and groupies block the way and it’s not easy to maneuver especially if you have a baby in tow.

From here on… here’s why we thought it’s a once in a lifetime experience simply because we didn’t want to go back again:

1. The attractions are located far from each other as in you need to go OUTSIDE to see at least 3 of the attractions (as in the major ones- sea lion show, bird show and the dry encounters) and then line up if you’re very unlucky. The sea lion show and the bird show are both in the same location and when you go out, there’s a single exit so you can imagine the line.

2. Not stroller friendly.

3. The Penguin talk show was in Tagalog… ok lang sana but then the person talking had double meaning and nakakabastos sa mga bata. Ang lakas maka tawa sa bisaya accent eh siya naman may F and P deficiency. Que horror.

4. We started the tour around 11AM and by 3PM we were done just waiting for the 4:15 birdshow and the symphony of lights… there were no decent place to sit or stay at all. You have to pay for the restaurant of something. No free seats.

5. I noticed that there were a lot of commercial spaces and tiangge in the area. How I wish they placed these tindahans outside and made the attractions closer to each other or at least in one area wherein you don’t need to go out and then go back inside again.

6. We decided not to watch the birds show as it was really hot outside.

If not to support the animals already “housed” in Manila Ocean Park, I will dare say do not go. Spend your money elsewhere. BUT because we all know our support greatly affects these poor marine and bird animals, go at least once 😉