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About Ocean Park / Water Park in Philippines

The Philippines is a marvelous archipelago made up of over 7,600 islands (from the previous 7,107). Surrounding these islands are massive bodies of water, which is why it's understandable that it has come to be known worldwide as a premier destination for marine enthusiasts. Whether you want to enjoy some water sports or dive deep into the Philippine seas, you can easily discover the beauty of Philippine waters whichever water activity you choose to try on your visit.

A scuba diving paradise

One can easily enjoy a snorkeling experience in the many beach and island destinations in the country, such as Puerto Galera and Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan if you're looking for a snorkeling spot that's easily accessible from Metro Manila. But if a road trip simply won't cut it for you, then Siete Pecados in Coron, Palawan, and Apo Island in Negros Oriental are more snorkeling destinations you can put on your bucket list.

But for those who prefer to dive beyond the surface, scuba diving, is of course, a highly recommended activity. There are plenty of dive sites around the country, including Coron and Subic which are both filled with enchanting wrecks, as well as Apo Reef in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, which is a certified marine sanctuary and is the world's second largest coral reef. Verde Island in Batangas, Ticao Island in Masbate, and Malapascua Island in Cebu are more dive sites you should not miss. From beginner discovery class dives to PADI-certified lessons, there are many scuba diving lessons offered in the country based on your skill level and your goal.

Thanks to the Philippines' proximity to bodies of water, you will enjoy seeing a diverse range of marine animals and creatures on your snorkeling or scuba diving trip. Set your sights on a variety of beautiful corals, with a specie count of about 500. Meanwhile, there are as many as over 2,000 fish species in the Philippines. Bangus (milkfish), danggit (rabbitfish), dalagang bukid (fusilier), dilis (anchovy), galunggong (mackerel scad), tambakol (yellowfin tuna), tilapia, and lapu-lapu (coral trout) are only some of the common species of fish that you will encounter in the Philippines. All of these can be cooked and served and available in almost all wet markets in the country.

The family-friendly alternative

Not everyone can go scuba diving or snorkeling, which is why it's such a relief when oceanariums and marine parks started opening in the country. They paved the way for all Filipinos as well as foreign travelers to familiarize themselves with the local marine life.

Visiting oceanariums equals several scuba diving expeditions because all you need is one trip to be able to see the vast selection of marine creatures that we have in our country. The experience is also educational and interactive, which makes it appropriate for families with kids who want to, not only see fishes and corals, but also know more about them.

Ocean parks in the Philippines

Perhaps the best-known ocean park in the country is the city of Manila's very own Manila Ocean Park. Opened in 2008, this integrated marine theme park boasts plenty of attractions that offers a wide range of experiences for visitors. Its most popular has got to be its massive oceanarium that houses a whopping 14,000 sea creatures indigenous, not only to the country, but to the region as well. This visual encounter takes place in a large aquarium tunnel where one can various species of fish swimming. For a more up-close-and-personal experience, there are also encounters one can enjoy. Through the stingrays and shark encounters, one can discover how magnificent these creatures are which are usually dismissed as dangerous. There's also a sea lion show where you can witness amazing tricks and stunts performed by these lovable animals. Aside from these attractions, there's much more to enjoy in the country's largest aquarium facility.

Another must-visit marine theme park in the Philippines is the first open-water theme ocean park in the country: Ocean Adventure. Located in Subic Bay, it's not only one of the popular tourist destinations in Zambales, but also a place where you can freely interact with animals. Aside from viewing their aquarium that highlights some of the most ferocious animals in the oceans such as sharks and jellyfishes, you may also swim with the dolphins and sea lions at Ocean Adventure.

Even one of the most sought-after island destinations in the Philippines has its own marine theme park. Boracay, known for its white sand beaches and magnificent, deep waters offers the Boracay Discovery Tunnel for those who wish to see a remarkable selection of sea creatures through the looking glass. Fishes like puffer fish, sea turtles, and sharks greet you at this amazing discovery tunnel. One of the highlights to look forward to is a display of the largest pearl in the Philippines, which came from Palawan.

Guide to visiting ocean parks and water parks

Ocean parks are generally open all-year round to accommodate tourists. They are popular attractions in the country so it's highly recommended that you plan your visit so you can make the most out of your experience.

Expect ocean parks to be packed during the weekends, when school and work are out and it's the only time adults and kids can spend some time for recreation and adventure. If you can, time your visit on a weekday when there are lesser crowds. However, since these are educational attractions, some schools hold educational tours and field trips to these places so be prepared in case a huge party suddenly arrives during the time of your visit.

One of the best things you can do to maximize your time is to arrive before opening hours of the ocean park you will visit. Most of the time, there are queues for the attractions so it's highly recommended to come early, especially if your ticket allows you admission to all attractions and activities.

Etiquette at ocean parks and water parks

It's important for everyone to enjoy their time spent at ocean parks, which is why you're encouraged to observe a few rules and regulations as a courtesy to the establishment and to other visitors as well.

Ocean parks are a family-friendly destination, so it's only natural that parents would bring their children here to educate them with marine creatures. If you're bringing your child, make sure that you brief him with the appropriate behavior before you visit the attraction. Refraining from excessive noises or rough housing inside the facility is a no-no as well as touching displays that you're not allowed to. Parents should also do their part to ensure their child's safety by keeping them in their sight at all times.

We understand the importance of taking photos to remember your visit but if you must snap some photos, refrain from using flash because this might have an unfavorable effect on marine animals.

Since most tours or activities are guided, make sure to listen and follow the instructions of the ocean park staff to ensure a smooth sailing experience for all.