We have a colleague from the US who is in town to train our team. We were supposed to take her to the Imelda Tour with Carlos Celdran but learned that he had an appointment that weekend and could not do the Imelda Tour. We thought – this might be our opportunity to see the Manila Ocean Park.
We’ve been to the Manila Ocean Park before – not to see the aquarium but to hang out at White Moon – the bar located at the third level of the Park. This time – we decided to go and take a peek inside the aquarium.
I love seeing fishes in their natural habitat – which is the sea. I don’t dive – and I’m too lazy to take diving lessons --- so the most that I do is snorkel during our beach vacations. As we entered the “aquarium” we were greeted with standard sized aquariums with different colorful tropical fishes. I was saddened by this site – especially when I saw a tank full of clown fishes. I continue to be amazed by the irony of seeing people calling them Nemo – forgetting that the whole point of the story in the movie is to free Nemo from the aquarium.
I will not be a hypocrite and say that I did not enjoy seeing the fishes – big and small. I enjoyed every bit of it – especially when I saw the stingrays and the sharks. However – writing this post and recognizing that the supposedly big aquarium is small – I think the operators of the Manila Ocean Park can do better in keeping their aquatic friends a lot more comfortable. The stingrays in the tunnel kept swimming in circles over and over again. I don’t think that’s a comfortable life.
We went to the aquarium very late in the day. One reason for that is that we’d hoped that there will be less people. We were wrong with that assumption. There were still busloads of CHILDREN at the Park – so you hear a lot screaming and yelling. You also see a lot of people with Tripods and Cameras blocking the small entryway to the tunnel of the aquarium. It was actually chaotic.
The other reason for the late schedule is that I’d hoped I’ll see the famous sunset of Manila Bay. It was overcast – so we didn’t see the sun while it set. However – as we exit one door of the aquarium, it lead to a small deck where I was able to capture this photo. I It was a moment of silence – away from the kids. It was just a moment – because we had to enter another door – that leads us back to the chaos.