Friday, March 14, 2008

Fish Be With You

I was in the Luneta area
I had just paid my respects to Jose Rizal - wondering if he was turning over in his grave as he watches the telenobela of current Philippine governance
I was about to head home
When I remembered - heyyyyy, the new oceanarium is in a soft opening

Like the 10 year old kid that I am , I rushed over to the area behind the Luneta Grandstand
There in all its unfinished splendor, is the new Manila Ocean Park
Zipping past the food stalls that would usually hold my attention, I lined up for my 400 pesos entrance fee (yikes !!!)
My eyes scanned the enormous entrance hall while waiting for the ridiculously slow line to move

After an irritatingly long time - I finally got to the ticket counter
With much anticipation - I stumbled in excitedly
I was exuberant about the prospect of (finally) having a world-class oceanarium in the country
There was much to expect - having been to similar facilities in Hongkong, Thailand, Singapore and the United States

The receiving area is a naturally lighted open air walk-through with patches of aquariums and pools to start the journey through the seas
Children milled excitedly around - their eyes scouring their surrounding with glee

Then one walks into the enclosed area - and the fun really begins
Aquarium stations with wonderful exotic fish collections keep everyone buzzing
Cameras clicking everywhere (no flash photography please)
Children asking questions
Adults answering wrongly

Mercifully - there is a sound-over narrator piped in through the sound system - who describes the area and the fishes.
Very helpful
Informative aquarium labels further deepen the learning experience

One area connects seamlessly to the next
Virtual images intermittently flash on the floor or on a 3dimensional circular ceiling decor
The kids run around in excited circles
The adults bump into each other as they lose track of their paths because their eyes are glued to the moving fishes

Then - there's the see-through tunnel
Incredible for those who have never seen anything like it
Ooooooh ahhhhhh
You can almost touch the stingray, the sharks, the fishes
Surround vision - fishes everywhere
Camera phones magically appear - people pivot like human CCTV security cams

"In fairness hah -maganda sya" says one amused fish-struck guy
(I stole a furtive glance at his charming date - and mentally agreed)

I lingered longer
With a smile
In awe - not so much because of the fish themselves - but because the Pinoy was being given a chance to finally experience an international level facility, and to benefit from a world-class level of educational entertainment
I was being happy for everyone who was happy
How I wish that many would walk away not only with memories of a wonderful afternoon with the fishes,
But also with an appreciation of nature,
A reverence for the sea and the creatures in them,
An understanding of the interlinking of man to environment
And an acceptance of the wisdom and power of a loving and almighty God.

I was loving the moment
I was loving the sea
I was loving the fishes
Such lovable fishes ...
It was that kind of a moment

I floated through the door exiting the area
Followed the guards directions
Climbed the stairs to the "next" area
And walked straight into ....
.... (guess what?) ...
A seafood restaurant

Ready to eat some "lovable" fish (?)

Fish be with you


gizelle said... be with you too! hahahaha kaya pala on display ang fishes sa baba...but in fairness the place really looks awesome!

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

Hahaha - only in the philippines
But - yes , in fairness - I am happy that it has brought the level of public facilities a notch higher

I actually enjoyed myself


jengkie said...

Wow! I can't wait to see for myself.

How's the price range pala dun sa seafood restaurant?

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

The oceanarium is in a soft opening mode so it is still a little rough on the edges.

The restaurant is supposed to
soft-open this weekeend (Sunday if I understood it right). They were sprucing up and dry running when I caught them . Don't know pa the prices ...
I will blog about the resto separately. Baka mauna ka pa to actually try it.

Keep us updated
Share ...

Thanks for droppin' by


Sidney said...

I don't want to spoil the fun... but lets visit the oceanarium in... lets say four years...
If it is still in good shape I owe you lunch in a seafood restaurant. If it is closed or dilapidated already you owe me... a vegetarian meal!
Deal or no deal? ;-)

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

That's a deal.
I will start picking my veggies - coz' you will surely win. Pinoys are historically great at ribbon-cutting and terrible at maintenance.