Monday, September 24, 2007


The 1.2-hectare Luneta Board­walk Platform facing Manila Bay behind the Quirino Grandstand is currently a 24-hour beehive of activities as hundreds of construction workers strive to finish the first phase of Ocean Park Manila in time for the upcoming Christmas season.

As many Manilenyos know by now, Ocean Park Manila will be a state-of-the-art complex consisting of an oceanarium, a Marine Discovery Park, promenade areas, a boardwalk and a themed and landscaped pavilion. Swimming and snorkeling facilities for visitors are also included in the project.

The oceanarium, the park's premier attraction, is designed as a unique and world-class educational and entertainment facility dedicated to showcase the rich and diverse marine life of the Philippine aquatic environment. It will boast a transparent acrylic-made tunnel to provide visitors the experience of walking underwater and viewing sea creatures.

The three-story Bay Pavilion is another grand attraction, with a 15,566-square meter floor area for retail shops, souvenir shops, restaurant facilities and a plaza for special shows and activities. Its top floor will feature a specially-designed tarpaulin roofing to house a big food court offering Filipino and Southeast Asian cuisines.

The entire project is an undertaking by a consortium of Singaporean, Malaysian, Chinese and Australian investors led by the China Oceanis Group Ltd (COGL). Under the agreement between the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA, owner of the Manila Boardwalk) and the COGL, the consortium is given a 25-year lease to some parts of the PTA-owned Manila Boardwalk for which it will pay a yearly rent of P16.5 million with an upward adjustment every five years, and with COGL assuming all the costs for building the park's entire facilities. COGL will also be responsible for cleaning the murky waters around the Manila Boardwalk since a swimming area and snorkeling activities are planned to be created in the park.

This project is hailed as a major coup for the entire country because it is expected to enhance local and foreign tourism, as well as generate jobs for some 2,000 Filipinos. The project is also expected to pave the way for further infrastructure development within the country.


posted by Señor Enrique at 10:28 AM


Blogger pusa said...

woo hooo cant wait for this project to finish!!!! i'm so giddy with excitement already, you think they can finish it before christmastime?

September 24, 2007 11:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

gosh i hope it will really enhance our tourism here in manila. hmm, how long will it take them to finish building it? =)

September 24, 2007 12:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds really interesting, the whole project. So the next time I'm there, I'd be able to visit the Ocean Park Manila.


September 24, 2007 12:43 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I will be optimistic and say that they will finish the first phase by December, Pusa.

Its construction is now a 24-hour operation, and everyone involved in the project is intent on meeting the schedule.

September 24, 2007 12:53 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

What this park will do for Manila is what Seaquaium is doing for the city of Baltimore, Carla -- help attract tourism.

It'll be a wonderful park to go to once done -- a big threat to the nearby SM mega malls ... hehehe!

Oh, yeah ... they plan to keep admission prices to affordable level by the masses :) So there, SM has renough easons to worry about now.

September 24, 2007 12:56 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Its first phase may be open by the time you come back for a visit, Kyels.

Know what? I just hope that they will allow photographing in and around the park. My main concern ... hehehe!

September 24, 2007 12:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow! I'm so excited about this. I guess this means that the neighboring real estate values would shoot up? :)

September 24, 2007 2:06 PM  

Blogger jon go said...

wow!!! i loved ocean park in hong kong.. and we're having one here?? how come no one told me??? hehehe.. thanks for the info eric.. :)

September 24, 2007 2:56 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Most probably so, Toe, but most are government-owned, or already highly-priced as it is.

However, what would be interesting is if somehow right in front of this park or alongside it, on the bay, if somehow a breakwater of some sort could be built in order for boat houses to dock safely. That would make a lovely residential area by the park, right?

September 24, 2007 4:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, I don't have to go to Hong Kong to have an Ocean Park experience! Yipee!

On the other hand, it's hubby who is mas masaya - makakatipid siya! hehehe.

September 24, 2007 4:32 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I came across it online, Jon, and was very much surprised that I had not known about it, though it initially got publicity about two years ago.

So I stopped by Luneta last week to find out for myself, and sure enough, much to my delight, there is indeed a major construction going on to actualize the plans to build an ocean park in Manila!

December of this year is the scheduled opening date :)

September 24, 2007 4:46 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Indeed, like Jon, you need not fly to Hong Kong, Rhoda, and neither do I have to go to Baltimore -- just to enjoy its seaquarium filled with incredible marine life, Rhoda :)

Let's just hope that they will meet the deadline :)

September 24, 2007 4:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite a large complex - pretty ambitious at that .This is awesome :) Sayang because I plan to visit early next year and it will not be finished at that time. Oh well, there's always a next time :)

September 24, 2007 6:57 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It's slated to be opened this December, BW ... hehehe

Yes, quite an ambitious project, but a well-endowed consortium could make this really happen so, I'm optimistic and thrilled.

September 24, 2007 7:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard of this project. Didn't know they pushed through it. Sana naman wag madaliin. Make sure everything is safe when it's done.

September 24, 2007 11:20 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Sa wakas at sana tuloy-tuloy na yang restoration projects ng mga isa-isang nabubulok na mga "landmarks" sa Maynila. Maraming kontratang pipirmahan diyan kaya marami rin "makikinabang" pero ayos na rin yun basta lang maibalik ang ganda ng Maynila. Siguro maraming "magandang ala-ala" si Mayor Lim diyan sa Plaza Lawton nuong Pulis Maynila pa lang siya kaya medyo malapit sa puso niya ang Met....(wink-wink):-)

September 24, 2007 11:24 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I couldn't believe it, either, Ferdz. However, I did go to check it out and sure enough, lots of construction activities going on.

I'm confident that it'll be a well-constructed project.

September 25, 2007 4:58 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Si Lim din ang madaling nag-approve na gawing Museong Pambata ang lumang Elks Building sa tabi ng US Embassy sa Roxas Blvd, Noypetes.

Talaga atang seryoso ang mayor na ito sa pagtanggol ng mga landmark structures sa Maynila.

September 25, 2007 5:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that will be something to look forward to when I go back to visit!

September 25, 2007 5:13 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Patrice! And bring a bunch of your friends and family :) Lots of Manila folks are looking forward to its opening. I can just imagine the huge crowds and the problem of looking for parking spots ... hehehe!

September 25, 2007 7:33 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Don't know... I hope it will not become like the Manila Zoo!

September 25, 2007 9:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rhodora, Ocean Park in Hong Kong is a Theme Park with Thrill rides (as in Enchanted Kingdom) by the ocean, it is not an Oceanarium as in Moterey Bay Aquarium. Ocean Park Manila I guess would be similar to the San Francisco Aquarium on Pier 39 or bigger, I hope it would be as massive as Monterey Bay Aquarium (which has a pair of great white sharks).

I hope Manila's Ocean Park will have a big enough tank to display a pair of Butandings like Houston Aquarium.

I am so happy, I read about this on Manila Bulletin Online a couple months back, I wish to have a look at this when I visit in Feb!

September 26, 2007 1:42 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Nor like the Spanish era aquarium in Intramuros, right Sidney?

By the way, don't even know exactly where it used to be.

September 26, 2007 7:22 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Honestly speaking, Anonymous, never heard of those aquariums in the US! I bet they are awesome :)

Thanks for clarifying that Hong Kong attraction. Don't know anything about it, either.

September 26, 2007 7:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senior, It's anonymous again. I stand corrected, Ocean Park in Hong Kong does have aquariums, apart from the rides. I am not sure if I missed it in 1997 or it didn;t exist back in 1997. I know for sure they have dolphin shows and that's as far as I remember from my Hong Kong visit in '97.

Sorry Rhodora, I stand corrected. But by th elooks of it, Manila's Ocean Park would be pure Oceanarium and some shopping, no thrill rides, is that correct?

Senior, San Francisco Aquarium on Prier 39 is not that remarkable. Monterey Bay Aquarium on the other hand is cool but not necessarily world class.

Houston Aquarium on the other hand is great, but the Whale Sharks/Butandings they have in the tank died recently.

September 27, 2007 6:17 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

More construction photos here:

September 27, 2007 6:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks for the clarification, Anonymous!

The only one I've been to that I love is Baltimore harbor's Seaquarium. I love it, especially during feeding times. A guy in scuba gear goes into the tank and feeds those humongous sharks!

Let's hope the one they're building here in Manila will be just as awesome!

September 27, 2007 7:12 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

To the other anonymous:

Many thanks for sharing the link with us :)

September 27, 2007 7:12 AM  

Blogger Al P. Manlangit said...

This is great! We're so behind so many cities in these kinds of edutainment infrastructure that this one being built is a much-welcomed whiff of fresh air for long-suffering Manilenyos. Look forward to visitng it once I get home.....

October 01, 2007 4:59 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"Edutainment" -- I like this word, Al. Thank you for teaching us something new today :)

Yes, we sorely need something like this for all the kids and adults of our tropical city. Hopefully, it'll be up and running upon your return so you can share stories and photos of it with your Kuwaiti friends :)

October 01, 2007 6:21 AM  

Blogger Al P. Manlangit said...

Ur Welcum, Senor Enrique. Well, like they say, "edutainment" is a form of entertainment designed to educate as well as to amuse. This should not be mixed up with "idiotainment" which is watching Eat Bulaga and Wowowee!! Hehehe...

October 03, 2007 2:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

.. ocean adventure in subic bay has been showcasing marine life thru "edutainment" programs since 2001... yes that is to educate and entertain guests thru shows and exhibits on how to protect and conserve our marine resources.. this place is an open water marine park... browse their site at
... i look forward to see manila ocean park operate and see how they will rehabilitate that portion of manila bay waters suitable to be a habitat of diverse marine life..

October 05, 2007 9:19 AM  

Blogger drama_queen said...

i'm really more interested about the employment & biz opps offered by the MOP. please give updates about this. tnx.

October 21, 2007 7:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yey!!! atlast we have a place that we can really be proud of... I hope that this wont fail my great excitement as i have seen the Ocean Park in HK and that really amazed me....

November 07, 2007 2:33 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today is December 15, 2007. MOP was supposed to open today. Any updates on this ?

December 15, 2007 4:02 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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