koko & everything else

koko & everything else

Sunday, January 30, 2011

ALMOST Under the Sea Experience

(Photos by Hazhazie: http://hazhazie.multiply.com)

I know! I know! Manila Ocean Park has been there for quite some time now… but being the frugal person that I am… No matter how much I love the ocean and its creatures, I still feel that spending Php400.00 per head was a total waste of money.

But since, me and my girlfriend was able to get a few extra bucks recently… we finally decided to go and check it out… plus I also registered for the Php99.00 promo for that Musical Fountain Show. In short, it was like getting in for free…

We only tried the Oceanarium, Glass Bottom Boat ride and the Musical Fountain Show. We wanted to watch the Sea Lion show but we were too late since the last show was at 4:30pm… I was trying to buy tickets at 5PM… if we went there earlier… maybe we could have seen it… but then… oh well… maybe next time.

First on our list was the Oceanarium. It was divided into a few sections that I forgot since I was so busy staring at the fishes and having my picture taken. EHEHEH

There was this huge fishes in this one tank… they were fresh water fishes that are actually bigger than me. They were enormous… I was actually surprised to see it since I had one like that back when I was still in my early teens. It was called Arapaima. Those at the Manila Ocean Park (MOP) were darker; almost like black/dark grey in color… we had the gold one way back.

Other fishes in that section was the usual fishes I see in cartimar like Oscars, arowana, flowerhorns, etc. Not so much my thing coz most fresh water fishes look the same and not colorful at all. They also had the crocodile (which got me bored) and turtles.

The next section was for the little sea creatures… I saw NEMO and DORY… which really made me stare coz of their bright and vibrant colors. But what I loved about this section is that there was this one tank where they held the baby shark sacs. You get to see how it develops from this tiny wriggly thing to a full grown baby shark. It was real cute…

Then to the bigger sea creatures… starting off by walking through the famous tunnel; it felt like I was walking right through the giant sting rays and huge sea fishes. I loved this, although I’ve been to places like this before… watching those creatures swim so freely made me feel so excited like it was my first time.

After the tunnel, you’ll get to the last section where real BIG BIG fishes are; namely sharks, huge sting rays, and that huge ugly fish that I’m not familiar with. I was so amazed at the thought that fishes this big exist. And that also got me thinking how it would feel if I were inside those tanks… scary… but I would love that.

That’s the last part of the Oceanarium… then you’ll be lead to the second floor for all the activities. They had the fish spa, glass bottom ride and that helmet diving thing. Since we are thinking of going to Boracay soon, we opt to try that helmet thing there instead. It was then a choice between letting the fishes eat my foot and watching the fishes from above.

Glass bottom ride won, so we bought two tickets worth Php150 each and off we went. But on our way to the boat area, we pass by the stingray tank… at feeding time! It was breath taking to see the guy feeding the giant rays… but watching them closely… it was like feeding your dogs… they were that playful… but unlike dogs… I couldn’t seem to figure out their facial expressions HAHA

Moving on to the boat ride, it was a bit boring. The boat guy there wasn’t as informative as I expected. I thought he would be explaining everything we would see like when you go in a museum or something. But no, he would only comment here and there about some fishes… but it wasn’t as educational. So we ended up just staring at the fishes, and laughing at some of the people inside the tunnel (coz the boat ride was actually at the surface of the tank where the tunnel was).

Over all, the Oceanarium was okay for me. Just one thumbs up but not two. But since it’s the only one of its kind here in the Philippines, it’s a nice destination nevertheless.

But what’s real nice about MOP is its Musical Fountain Show. It was more of family entertainment, but like bugs to light, I was totally amazed with how they played with lights, water and fire! Yep, you heard it right… the show had FIRE and WATER at the same time…

Words wouldn’t really be enough to express how nice Manila Ocean Park was. I wouldn’t say it was better than those abroad… but hey… it’s here… it’s near… so why the heck wouldn’t we go and check it out?

Sunday, January 2, 2011


(Photos by Hazhazie: http://hazhazie.multiply.com)

Since our Christmas dinner at home turned to be one dull night with lotsa food on our table. My mom and I decided to make our New Year celebration up a notch. Spend it OUTSIDE instead!

Since I am one of the dumbest people I know, my job to make a reservation (at a decent restaurant in MOA on New Year ’s Eve) was an epic fail. Searching online and calling them wasn’t really appetizing for me. I decided to just push my luck and just go to MOA without reservations and hoping people wouldn’t have the same plan that night.

Of course, the night didn’t turned out the way I imagined it (haha!).

The strip behind MOA was packed and only people with reservations were able to get in. So I grabbed my mom, yaya, good friend “Mic” and my gf “Haz” far back to San Miguel Bay area to push my luck even further. People were swarming all over the place for the GMA countdown and fireworks display. But luckily, most of them were just planning to watch (with their picnic baskets on hand). I was smiling at the sight of restaurants and their vacant tables.

Choice was between “inuman” or “dampa”. Since we were more of an eater than a drinker, we chose to go for the “paluto” restaurant called “Aling Tonya’s”. We were greeted with a warm smile and greetings with their waiter/waitress (I really don’t know how to call the dude hehe). S/he took us to our table and accompanied me to the “dampa” or wet market to but the good stuff!

At first, s/he was so patiently accommodating my every whim, but by the time I was done, s/he stormed out of the “dampa” and left me there paying up. But since I promised myself that I wouldn’t get mad on this special day. I let it pass.

I went back to my seat with Haz and Mic. I checked the order slip but wasn’t really sure of what was scribbled on it. I called for a waiter, but only got attended to after like a decade of raised arms and flickered lighter. When finally we caught someone’s attention, this dude simply said he was only a “food server” and not a waiter.

WOW…. Imagine that. But I took a deep breath and tried to ask the “food server” to probably call a freakin’ waiter. But fortunately for him, he noticed my irritation and had the initiative to call someone.

Now with the attention of a waiter, who was nothing but patient, I was able to order drinks and clarified the scribbled order slip that was so hard to decode.

Whew! At least food was on its way… NOT! Food came after ten year, starting with “inihaw na liempo” then crab then baked mussels… HEY WHERE’S OUR SOUP???!!!

Sinigang na Baboy came last, after we were done with our rice. NICE ONE!!!

But another weird and unfavorable experience was while we were enjoying our steamed crab; one waiter came up and asked if he could get one of our crabs since they mistakenly put another customer’s crab on our plate. Imagine this, we were eating with our hands that time, munching and grasping the crabs here and there… and this waiter took one of it and served it to ANOTHER CUSTOMER!!!

Yes, this is a true story and sad enough to be REAL! This is totally not OKAY and super UNHYGIENIC for a restaurant.


To make our stay even more unforgettable, we were almost forced out of the restaurant when our bill came up. When they asked before if we wanted anything else, they haven’t even clarified that it will be our last order. I didn’t really want to get chaotic and insanely mad… but they are pushing every button I got….

We have nothing else to do but to wrap things up and just go somewhere else till 12 midnight for the fireworks… and the next stop? STARBUCKS….

Of course, we weren’t the only one craving for coffee on New Year’s Eve. I immediately fell in line that was long enough to beat the Great Wall of China. But I went in anyway… It was 11pm when we got there….

Twenty minutes… thirty minutes… forty minutes… fifty five minutes… By the time I reached the counter… it was midnight!

Yes, you make take a look at the very first customer of Starbucks San Miguel Bay for 2011!!! I greeted the barista and just enjoyed hearing the fireworks outside… I quickly ordered everything I needed and ran outside to be with my family (and friend).

Well… yes, the night started so uninvitingly ‘coz of ALING TONYA’s… and despite welcoming the year in line at Starbucks… I would say I had a happy 2011 start… Fireworks pretty much made everything worth it… with my family with me… holding my gf’s hand and enjoying the sight with a good friend…

YES… 2011 started out JUST GREAT!!! But I hope the year wouldn’t be filled with bad service and long lines… haha or else… I’LL EXPLODE!