Posted by: jinoe | March 3, 2008

It’s not worth it

I realized two things last weekend.


1)  Manila Ocean Park didn’t meet my expectations.  At 400pesos, I find it expensive.
2)  The free Ipod Nano from BDO was too good to be true.  It’s free with a big IF.

For me, they’re not worth it… yet.

Manila Ocean Park

The Manila Ocean Park had a soft opening last March 1.  I have no plans of going until my churchmates planned to visit the place.  So I joined the company together with my sister.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a long line of people.  It took us one hour before reaching the entrance to buy our tickets.  Waiting in line wasn’t a problem since we have company.  The chitchats made the waiting bearable.  There were really plenty of people of all ages who came to see the features of the place.

The facilities were ok.  The lobby was huge but doesnt look complete yet.  Airconditioning was superb.  Despite the big number of people inside the place, it was still comfortable.  Guards and guides were everywhere and were able to manage the crowd well.  There are touch screen panel that you can view to navigate what’s inside the Ocean Park.

Although the whole building is not complete yet, the Oceanarium is ready for the public and it contains a big collection of fishes.  But it wasn’t big enough for me.  Maybe I was expecting too much.  There were plenty of fishes.  I’m sure the kids will enjoy watchin them.  They would always flock at the clown fish display and shout “There’s Nemo”.  What disappoints me is that most of the fishes were still small.  The sharks were small.  The tunnel was a bit short.  And we had to make a quick tour since there are plenty of people and you have to move forward to avoid the crowd.

For starters, it was good enough.  It’s something to look forward to.  But the 400 pesos fee is too much.  I dont think it’s worth that much.  If you are planning to go there, I suggest that you postpone it for a year until the other facilities are open, like the boating and the scuba area.  Or try to get a discount.

For pictures from our trip, click here.  The place really looks inviting.

Additional info…

Is it comparable to the Underwater World at Sentosa in Singapore?  I say, its close enough and a good alternative.  No need to go to other contries to see this kind of attraction.  Here is a quick comparison.

  • Manila Ocean Park seems to have more species of fishes than in Sentosa.  Im not sure but I find it more colorful.
  • Fishes here are smaller.  Especially the sharks.  I want to see them ferocious.  But the ones displayed are rather cute.  What I love in Sentosa are the big sharks passing above you at the tunnel.
  • The fishes are with dead or fake corals.  Doesn’t look very attractive.  I think they have a reason.  Manila Ocean Park is for the conservation of endangered species.  for this reason, I heard that dolphins and dugong are not in their plans yet.
  • The big aquarium with schools of fishes was a great sight.  I don’t remember seeing them at Sentosa.
  • There is no converyor or the moving floor (whatever you call that!) at Manila Ocean Park.  You have to walk through the tunnel.  The tunnel here looked a bit low and small too.
  • They say that the 25m tunnel here is the longest in Asia.  It didn’t fell like it.  I find it shorter than the one in Sentosa.  Maybe because we have to move fast across the tunnel that’s why it felt short.

So wait for a year for the facilites to be complete and the fishes to grow bigger.  It will be much better by that time.

Update 03-18-08

I visited Manila Ocean Park for the second time.  My niece arrived in Manila.  It was her first time and I decided to bring her to the Ocean Park instead of Star City.  She said that its a nice place but its “bitin”.

Free 4G Ipod Nano

I was excited when I saw the ad.  Get a BDO Gold Mastercard and get a FREE Apple Ipod Nano 4Gb.  Wow.  I immediately asked for details.  It sounded simple.  Be qualifed by meeting the requirements for the card, fill up the forms, make a 3,000Php initial charge and get the Ipod for free.

So I got the form and read on the details.  Here’s the catch.

You can get the Ipod Nano IF you keep the card for 3 years and meet the yearly spending requirement of 300,000Php.   If in case you don’t meet the yearly spending requirement you have to pay the annual fee of 2, 400Php.  And if you don’t meet the spending requirement and did not pay the annual fee, you have to pay for the Ipod, which will be automatically charged to your credit card.

In short, it’s not totally free.  It’s like buying the Ipod at a discount or in installment basis.  Not bad actually.  In fact, there are some benefits to it than just buying the Ipod straight from the stores.  But I am not after the discount, or the installment.  What I wanted was to make it really free.  How am I supposed to meet the 300,000 yearly spending requirement?  Duh.

Too bad.  I’m trying hard to be techie and rich.



  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Aaron Wakling

  2. “Too bad. I’m trying hard to be techie and rich.”

    hehe! cute!

  3. Pero okay na rin siguro kasi now we wouldn’t have to travel to Singapore or Malaysia like we used to just to witness something like that. Plus at P400, the entrance fee is a lot cheaper sa Oceanarium ($19.50 in Singapore and RM38 in Malaysia). Yun nga lang, di pa nga kumpleto…

    Agree. It’s really nice that we are having several attractions in the city. It will surely boost up tourism in the country. Sana dumami pa para marami ang magwaldas ng pera!

  4. the hell w/ such free eklabu promotion!


    Good thing I was able to read the fine prints. Muntik na.

  5. those small sharks i can easily see at cartimar!

    Hehehe, narinig ko rin ang comment na yan sa mga nakapunta dun. Parang sa Cartimar lg daw kinuha yung mga display nila. 😀 Siguro kung i-develop yung cartimar na parang mall, pwede na rin maging attaction yun. Bakit kaya hindi nila naisip yun dati.

  6. hmm hindi din ako natuwa sa ocean park..ang daming tao weh.. 😆

    Ang dami nga. Almost 1 hour kami na kapila. But when we saw the old ones waiting in line, we said “kung sila nga kaya na pumila na danun ka tagal, e mas lalo na kmi.” 😀 Pero feeling ko hanggang next year marami pa rin pila yan.

  7. I think the reason why the sharks are still small is that they want the sharks to adapt to their new sorounding while they are young…its hard to relocate those sharks from their natural habitat to a new one if they are already old enough..hmm..just my hypothesis..

    May sense ha… Ano nakaon mo part?

    and for the card- im not a fond it…a lot of people are complaining and dismayed of having a credit card. so lesson to learn, get it str8 from the pocket.. 🙂

    I just want the freebies and the points. And I make sure I pay all my dues every month.

  8. gusto ko pa rin puntahan yang ocean park na yan kahit mahabang pila..mahilig kasi ako sa mga isda…fish are friends, not food. sabi nga ng mga sharks sa finding nemo.

    fish are friends, not food
    Paano yun? Edi hindi ka na kumakain ng isda?

    letse talaga yang mga credit cards na yan…puro promo nga pero yayariin ka naman sa interest.

  9. nice on the BDO promo. Gleng nila mag-isip ng promo pero mas magaling ang mga katulad mo na hindi nadala haha. good job!

    Buti na lg nabasa ko yung Terms and Conditions. I almost submitted my application form.

  10. Good that you read the fine print. There’s no thing as a freebie. That’s advertising for you. Thanks for the heads up on the ocean park. Peace.

  11. 1 hour of waiting in line? hmmm.. would you know if it is possible to purchase tickets in advance? a lot of us from cagayan de oro are planning to go there next weekend.. after reading your comments, i’m starting to have doubts about the wisdom of going there & spending so much.. how long will the entire tour of the park take? thanx

    The place is crowded during weekends but not during weekdays. I really suggest you go there on weekdays instead. We finished the tour in 2 hours but it really depends on how long you’d stop at each station. Im not sure if you can purchase tickets in advance though.

  12. hi! i was just searching the web for possible info about Manila Ocean Park when i found your blog. its pretty cool and informative. good job! i visited its website and it looks inviting. i immediately plan to visit it and see for myself. i kind of doubt if i really like to visit the place.. keep it up! 😛

    Thanks. Hope you would like your visit to Manial Ocean Park.

  13. Having to sign up for a credit card to get a free ipod makes the ipod not really free at all.

  14. almost fell for one like this with hsbc. i got approved for a visa card with voucher for a kenneth cole wallet, but only if i spend P3K within July.

    they were also practically cramming down my throat the ‘free’ samsung phone with sun cellular line. as if i need another phone.

    Companies are really smart nowadays to lure customers to their product. I hope consumers will also be smarter.

    Between BDO and HSBC, I find the HSBC promos better. The 3K target is not that hard to reach especially if you use the card for groceries.

  15. grabe naman yang IPOD na yan. hehe

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