The World’s Finest Wilderness Lies Beneath The Manila Ocean Park

It was 16 December 2010 when I first explored the Manila Ocean Park’s oceanarium. This is one of those activities that I would heart to do over and over again. As you know, I love nature and I immerse in its elements whenever there is a chance. The ocean park just gives that superb, magical feel of the world under the sea aside from the health benefits it gives. My gratitude to the Tuscano family who initiated the idea of this nature trip during my vacation last summer (April to May 2015). It also gave Ms. Wonderwall and me the opportunity to bond with them more.

This activity was actually the third among the six that came in our promo ticket’s deals.

The Manila Ocean Park’s oceanarium is the first of its kind in the Philippines. It shelters 14,000 marine creatures from around 277 species. They are all indigenous to the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The Oceanarium is an astonishing walkthrough of the watery depths featuring seven sections (Agos [Flow], Bahura [Reef], Laot [Fishing Ground], Buhay na Karagatan [Living Ocean], Kalaliman [The Deep], Pagi [Sting Ray], and Pating [Shark]) and containing 1,900 cubic meters of seawater.

Agos is a rainforest motif complete with 8 tanks of freshwater fishes.

Bahura showcases artificial corals in 48 tanks. These tanks have smaller viewports that enables a visitor to pause for a more intimate moment with the animals.

We could not get enough of each of the species that were just outrageously cute and stunning. Watching the school of fishes swimming together is, without a doubt, a great sight to gander at.

Laot is the biggest among the six and it features big fish and Eagle-spotted rays in a long tank.

Buhay na Karagatan is at heart of the oceanarium and considered the main attraction. It is a 25-meter long walkway tunnel with 220-degree curved acrylic walls similarly seen in Ocean Park Hong KongUnderwater World in SingaporeSiam Ocean World in Thailand, and Aquaria KLCC in Malaysia. This is where visitors congregate to watch more fishes in motion. It creates a spectacular underwater view of amazing sea animals swimming overhead.

Kalaliman displays marine animals found in the deepest parts of the Philippine waters. Pagi showcases variety of stingrays fly over while you are under this unique Overhang Tank.

Pating features several species of shark. This part of the oceanarium is rather dark. It was extremely hard to take a good photo.

After exploring the oceanarium, we went straight to the Manila Ocean Park’s latest engaging interaction. The Sharks and Rays Encounter, which is located at the Acquatica area–a crystal clear outdoor pool divided into three zones filled with various species of friendly sharks, stingrays, and starfishes. This part certainly provided us with an amazing hands-on encounter with a lot of stingrays. We had the unique thrill of playing with them in a shallow lagoon. We ran out time to go beyond the aquarium walls to have an up-close engagement with them. Moreover, doing that means giving up the Symphony Fountain Show.

The kids and us, parents, are testaments to how worthwhile, therapeutic, and fun it is to spend some time at each of the seven sections of the oceanarium. The biodiversity and the kind of beauty each of the sea animals project are so disarming. I cannot help but exclaim that, indeed, the world’s finest wilderness lies beneath the waves–each time I look intently at these strange beauties.

In retrospect, the Manila Ocean Park is not only a place for recreational or educational purposes but a tool for inspiring the public to take care of the ocean and the animals in it.

(Visit for complete details of the park’s attractions, encounters, amenities, and promos and Stories of the Wandering Feet & Mind and Life Beneath the Sea Waves  for more pictures.)

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Mabel Kwong says:

    What an oceanarium, Sony. Love your photos. They are vividly gorgeous. I am sure some of the little fishes were swimming away fast from the people staring at the windows – you did a great job capturing them. The sea plant and the corals (?) look magnificent too, and I suppose they are the homes of the fishes – think of it as their lounge rooms and their sofas.

    That is very brave of you to touch the stingray. I hear they can be poisonous. But I suppose these are the tame ones and you went away unscathed 🙂


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Hi, Mabel. Thank you for the compliment. The kids were braver than me. They were the ones who touched the stingrays first. Haha…

      It’s just very relaxing to watch marine life in motion. I will not get tired of doing it if there’s a time and chance for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great images.

    Good for you to experience that Stingray. I’m not that brave enough I guess.


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Thank you very much for the compliments. The kids though were surprisingly braver. 🙂


  3. Chia says:

    Just visited MOP again yesterday! It never fails to amaze me. Nice shots you have. Did you use your camare flash? Well, I got irrittated to some people yesterday. They were reminded not to use flash for the sake of the poor animals caged inside the tanks, but they seem to ignore the warnings and taking CLOSE shots of the sea creatures with bright flashes. Oh gosh! Sorry for ranting here. Anyway, what’s your favorite attraction? Have you enjoyed the Symphony show?


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      My favorite is the jellyfish’s section. If I remember it correctly, the name is Dancing Fairies. I’m planning to make a separate post for that. The problem was I didn’t have a decent shot. Still thinking if I push on it.

      Being an animal and nature lover, Chia, I so understand your sentiment. This one of those moments when I can’t help but feel pessimistic about the Philippines’ long sought progress…change…How can we even achieve that if people still show these undisciplined acts. I believe if we can’t conform to simple rules, the country can’t reach that point. You know what I mean.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chia says:

        I wish you still write about the dancing fairies. Photos are attractive but the story behind it makes the post more interesting. Yeah, right. Everyone wants change, but only few acts on it. Nevertheless, let’s keep the hope/faith our country needs it.


      2. Sony Fugaban says:

        We’ll add to the list then, Chia. I just hope it’ll be published soon. Got so many backlogs already.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Chia says:

        I guess most of us have backlogs too! Take your time Sir! 😄


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