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Got a glimpse of what's going on inside Manila Ocean Park:

The walk-through tunnel:

Near the boardwalk, part of the oceanarium:

Oceanarium facing the bay:

Main entrance to the oceanarium/mall:

facade of the Manila Ocean Park:

The mall part:

View from the place where the mall/hotel would be:

Buhay na Karagatan


Overhang Tank


Buhay na Karagatan, UC:

Open Water Marine Habitat
Two Open Water Marine Habitats provide an exciting escape amidst the bustling metropolis. Now you can go snorkeling or diving without having to go out of town.
Manila Ocean Park, WWF work together to promote marine biodiversity
By Alex Villafania

THE SOON-TO-BE opened Manila Ocean Park (MOP) has tied up with the conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF) largely to highlight public awareness, as well as to monitor the MOP’s adherence to local and international laws on animal acquisition and maintenance.

The partnership aims to strengthen the WWF’s public information on the protection of marine ecosystems in the Philippines through the educational materials provided by the MOP to visitors. The WWF will also ensure that the MOP does not include protected or endangered species of marine life as part of its exhibits.

MOP president Lim Chee Yong told reporters that the park, which will open in February this year, has been given strict limitations not to include protected species of marine flora and fauna, which includes wild corals, sea turtles and all marine mammals.

The only time that the MOP can maintain such protected animals is if some caught specimens are unable to fend for themselves due to physical injury but otherwise, the MOP cannot keep such creatures.

MOP will also hire marine sciences experts, mostly coming from the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute. One expert is UP assistant professor of Environmental Science Benjamin Vallejo, who said the MOP can also serve as a research facility. Potential studies they could be conducting are human-assisted coral farming as well as testing the effects of global climate change on local species of coral.

WWF vice chairman Jose Lorenzo Tan said the MOP is a good venue for informing the public regarding the importance of the country’s marine ecosystems, as well as the dangers of disregarding it. While the MOP will only maintain up to 300 species of marine creatures, Tan said this number already represents the sea ecosystem of the Philippines.

Tan said the WWF will continuously provide the MOP with the latest information on marine sciences and will collaborate with them on the educational materials to be developed for their environmental conservation drives.

The MOP will initially open its oceanarium, a huge facility housing several water tanks. It will then build a park and a hotel after the opening. The entire facility will cost approximately P1 billion to build.

Manila Oceanarium opening moved to February
By Margaux Ortiz
Last updated 06:28am (Mla time) 12/15/2007

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s first oceanarium has delayed its opening to the first week of February to finish the construction of additional attractions like a glass-bottom boat ride.

“We want to finish all our new attractions before opening the ocean park to the public,” said park marketing manager Tina Santos.

Among the new activities, according to Santos, would be the glass-bottom boat ride on top of the Buhay na Karagatan section, which has a 25-meter walkway with curved acrylic walls to show corals, small fishes, sharks and rays.

“With the glass-bottom boat, visitors could observe the interactions among marine species from a different point of view,” Santos said.

The boat that could accommodate 10 people would be manually pulled from one end of the aquarium to the other so as not to disturb the fishes.

“Patrons could interact with resident biologists and ask questions about the ecosystem during the boat ride,” Santos said.

As to accusations by animal rights groups such as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that the ocean park “only keeps animals in captivity and away from their homes,” Santos said they were serving as custodians of the Philippines’ vast marine resource.

“It is a largely unknown fact that the Philippines forms 70 percent of the global epicenter of marine biodiversity, known as the Coral Triangle,” she said.

“Apart from giving Filipinos the opportunity to learn more about its own riches, the Manila Ocean Park also sends a strong message to the public to help protect and conserve this heritage that the country has been blessed with, ” she added.

The park will integrate sustainability factors in its initiatives, such as information, education and communications campaign; science research programs, resource management programs, and day-to-day operations.

Manila Ocean Park also embarked on a science research program on the development of a technology for coral propagation and reef rehabilitation in cooperation with Professor Benjamin Vallejo of the University of the Philippines.

The Biggest in Asia

Manila Ocean Park president Lim Chee Yong proudly said that the marine park would be among the most advanced ocean parks in Asia. It could also well be one of the biggest in Asia with an area larger than the famous Sentosa oceanarium in Singapore.

"Sentosa is 6,000 square meters while this one is 8,000 square meters," Lim said. He also compared the Manila Ocean Park with Hong Kong Ocean Park adding that although it has lots of fun rides, "the Hong Kong Ocean Park showcases a smaller oceanarium."

The Oceanarium will feature more than 20,000 marine inhabitants of approximately 300 species. And unlike other oceanariums in Asia, the Manila Ocean Park will be getting marine species from our own waters.

"The park aims to combine education with entertainment," said Barbers. "One of the main thrusts of Manila Ocean Park is to promote awareness about marine conservation and preservation."

A memorandum of agreement was signed recently by the Manila Ocean Park and the Department of Education (DepEd) to develop a comprehensive school program and an advocacy campaign dubbed "Love for Marine Life" to be included in the curriculum of students in Grade 3 and 4.

"We expect some 1.5 million visitors to Manila Ocean Park in 2008," said Tina Santos, Manila Ocean Park marketing manager.

A team of marine biologists and scientists has been working together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in putting together the various aquariums. She added that the park would not include protected and endangered species.

On a daily basis, an appoximately 10,000 guests can be accommodated in the park. Aside from providing jobs to 2,000 Filipinos, the project would earn the government Php 20 million annually in rental fees.

A Deeper Experience

The Manila Ocean Park’s Oceanarium promises a "deeper experience" as it features an assortment of colorful fishes and invertebrates indigenous to the Philippines and Southeast Asia contained in 12,000 cubic meters of seawater.

The Oceanarium journey is divided into six sections and each section will carry a Filipino name: "Agos"; "Bahura"; "Buhay na Karagatan"; "Pating"; "Ang Kailaliman"; and "Laot".

It replicates the water flow from a fresh water source that eventually leads to the open ocean, creating a model of interconnectedness between land and sea.

It then takes one through the different depths of the sea showcasing each area’s beautiful and natural inhabitants.

Its main attraction is a 25-meter long, 220 degree curved acrylic walkway tunnel. Visitors will be exploring the secrets of the ocean and surrounded by such underwater wonders without actually getting wet.

The Oceanarium also has a multi-purpose hall which will house interactive multi-media educational exhibits and capable of hosting various functions.

After the journey, one can enjoy a sumptuous meal at "Tagpuan", an al fresco dining facility. Entrance fees will range between Php 200 (for students) to Php 400.

More Attractions

Aside from the Oceanarium, Manila Ocean Park will have a marine–themed mall and a boutique hotel, which are scheduled to open late next year. The mall will feature new and unique shops that are not commonly found in other malls and a unique restaurant row located at the rear of the facility, alongside a promenade that offers an unobstructed view of the Manila Bay. This part of the park is free and accessible to the public.

The 120-room hotel will also have a marine theme. Rooms facing the bay will have an uninterrupted view of the ocean and the renowned Manila Bay sunset, while others will have one wall of aquarium in the privacy of their own room, which will be a first-of-its-kind in the world.

The Concourse Plaza, located at the main entrance of the park is the central activity area for the facility. This is where various big events will take place throughout the year.

For those who would like to snorkel or even dive without having to go to far-flung places, the two Open Water Marine Habitats will give you that exact experience. This facility is scheduled to open in April 2008.

Manila Ocean Park is owned by China Oceanis Philippines Inc., a subsidiary of China Oceanis Inc., a Singaporean-registered firm that has operated four oceanariums in China.

Manila Ocean Park seen attracting P1B in investments
Daxim Lucas, PDInquirer

A massive aquarium and adjoining commercial establishments being built on the edge of Manila Bay are expected to draw in P1 billion in investments, the operator of the facility said Monday. In a news briefing, officials of China Oceanis Philippines Inc. said the amount would be infused into the infrastructure of the so-called “oceanarium,” plus the shopping mall and hotel that would rise in the area.

The Manila Ocean Park’s oceanarium -- a 12,000-cubic-meter aquarium -- would cost P600 million, company officials said. The facility is being built by a consortium of Chinese, Singaporean and Malaysian investors, led by Singapore-based China Oceanis Pte. Ltd.. which in turn is owned by the China Oceanis group of companies.

Touted as one of the largest tourism investments of the year, the oceanarium is being built on an abandoned 8,000-square meter platform jutting out into Manila Bay, just behind the Quirino Grandstand in Manila. The platform was originally intended for a casino facility but was abandoned after the investor lost interest in the project.

The company said the project would be “at par” with the world-famous Singaporean Sentosa underwater world, although the Manila Ocean Park would feature a “fusion concept” that would be the first in the Asia-Pacific region. “The sprawling three-acre development boasts of an oceanarium, a mall and a high-class hotel in one compound,” the company said in a separate statement.

The first phase of the park, its aquarium facilities, is set to open on Dec. 15, 2007. The mall would be launched in April 2008, while the 150-room hotel would begin operations by July 2008. Company officials expect up to 1.5 million visitors to the oceanarium yearly once it is fully operational, while the boutique mall -- with a maximum of 30 stores -- is expected to have as many as 28,000 shoppers a day. China Oceanis leased the platform from the Philippine government for 25 years.

Company officials expressed hopes that the facility would revive the tourism industry in the area which has been on the decline in recent years as local and foreign tourists shifted preferences to out-of-town locations. “A good attraction would always draw people,” China Oceanis president Lim Chee Yong said in a statement. “The Philippines is a good place to visit, but we believe that there aren’t enough tourist attractions in Metro Manila.”

IG @juanprogress
3,830 Posts
^^ yah.. can't wait.. but how come that last aquarium looks small?

393 Posts
Yeah but that facade looks pretty gaudy.
Hahahaa, I agree but be careful what you say here, many Filipinos don't like to hear comments that are not pleasing to the ears.:) That was my first impression as well but it's their Oceanarium and in their backyard so they can design and build it as they please.

JB Photography
i think that's a compliment. :colgate:

Member, Winifred Fan Club
2,967 Posts
No really-- that exterior design looks like a 5 year old drew it. I know that's part of the target market, but you can also look happy and still be not-tacky. The site-plan and the actual architecture is fine. The facade hurts my eyes.

6,671 Posts
^^^^^I thought the facade look terribly designed and I agree with your assestment. Perhaps there was a sale on paint at the local hardware store.:) As far as the other sections of this Oceanarium/Mall/Hotel, hopefully it will look better than the facade of this project.

Batang Munti
803 Posts
^^I also dont fancy the facade... maybe a less tacky color scheme could help. But it's not really that important isn't it? People will go there to see the fishes, not to admire the paint job.

546 Posts

oooohhhhh yeahhhh! can't wait to for this to open. i can definitely see this being one of Manila's major attractions! the huge rotunda hall seems big enough for a small convention! the floor to ceiling glass windows offer spectacular views of the bay and Roxas Blvd skyline! the painting could've been better...but it's not done yet! can't wait to see this @ night...see how it's lit up...the exhibits look promising, and with the mall and hotel being added, i can see myself hanging around here alot on my return visit to Manila!!:banana:

6,671 Posts
^^I also dont fancy the facade... maybe a less tacky color scheme could help. But it's not really that important isn't it? People will go there to see the fishes, not to admire the paint job.
First impression last a long time and so far I'm not impressed. :) Oh and the rubbish in the construction area are way out of control, are these people not worried about the rubbish getting on the already polluted bay.
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