March 13, 2016

We were 5 who originally planned a trip that day. It was supposed to be an Enchanted Kingdom day. Well, we ended up just the two of us. We pursued because we’re strong like that. Haha!

We both agreed to go to the Manila Ocean Park since it would be my first time, and it’s been a long time since my friend, Eva, has gone there. As the saying goes, Huwag maging dayuhan sa sariling bayan.

We booked our tickets at Metrodeal.com since it’s cheaper there. We got the P499 with 5 attractions plus P99 worth of ticket for the Yexel’s Toy Museum. I was excited like a kid to do a tour in Manila. It’s like seeing the place in a different perspective and it gives you a more positive view of the city.

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My friend and I met early in the morning and got a chance to drop by and see the facade of St. Peter Parish: Shrine of Leaders at Batasan. However, we did not get the chance to visit inside, because we’re on the other side. Medyo malayo ang tawiran, sagasa abot namin if ever.

It was a Sunday and I asked my friend if we could visit the National Museum, because I knew that the entrance is free for the ladies since it was Women’s month. I really wanted to see the Spoliarium painting by Juan Luna before I die.

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Likod ng Pambansang Museo

When we arrived in Manila, we saw there’s a crane at the back (we thought it was the front side) of the National Museun and looks like it’s closed and is undergoing a renovation. We were so clueless if it is even open on Sundays.

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Museum of the Filipino People

We saw a queue  of visitors at the Museum of the Filipino People just across the National Museum, and we thought instead of just visit that museum. It is also under the National Museum but we never knew what’s inside. We thought that the Spoliarium might be there because of the long queue. Luckily we were able to ask the security guard if where we could see the Spoliarium, he pointed us to the main National Museum and directed us where the entrance is.

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Entrance of the National Museum along Padre Burgos Ave.

We were lucky enough that day (every Sunday), the entrance is free. Today (as of 2017), the National Museum has made the entrance fee free for all everyday. Which is a good opportunity for everybody to experience and learn the history and appreciate art.

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Upon entering the museum, you’ll see a beautiful statue of an angel that looks stunning and seems like exalting “Alleluia! Nakarating ka na rin sa wakas sa National Museum” vibes. If you have plenty of time, savor the moment on every piece of art to appreciate them more, instead of just taking their photos.

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Spoliarium by Juan Luna

Just behind the wall of the angel, you’ll immediately see the Spoliarium by Juan Luna. It is surreal! It is so mesmerizing and I had flashbacks, from the movie Heneral Luna, in my head while I was appreciating the painting. It is awesome! I don’t know what more adjective to put to describe my amazement to the painting. After seeing it, I knew I am ready to die. Hahaha! Just kidding, we’ve already paid for the tickets to the Manila Ocean Park. Sayang (It would be a waste of money) naman if I am going to die right there and then without goint to the Manila Ocean Park.

We roamed around the museum for about 2 hours. But we were still not able to see everything because it’s so huge appreciate each liece of art. We still need our time to visit the Manila Ocean Park.

Here are some photos of what you can see inside the museum.

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El Asesinato del Gobernador Bustamante (The Assassination of Governor Bustamante) by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo

This painting is just right across the Spoliarium. It is known as the largest painting by the contemporary friend of Juan Luna, Felix Hidalgo.

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Bronze bust statue of Juan Luna y Novicio
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Paintings by Juan Luna. Three small portraits: An English Lady (Top), Chula Madriellena (Left), and La Parisienne, dedicated “A mi amigo Ferrer” (Right). Bigger portrait: Portait of a Lady
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The Progress of the Medicine in the Philippines by Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco
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Painted Window of Christ the King by Cesar Amorsolo
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Left to Right: Sabel, Larawan, and Dance of Defiance by Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab)
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Model for the Commonwealth Triumphal Arch by Guillermo E. Tolentino

After the museum, we headed straight to the Manila Ocean Park. It is just walking distance from the National Museum, 7 minute walk or 1.6km. You would be able to pass by the Rizal Park and the Planetariu. But if you’re maarte, you can ride a cab to get there. We wished we went to Manila earlier so we’re able to visit the Rizal Park and Fort Santiago. Anyway, we can do it some other time.

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The facade of the Manila Ocean Park shows some wear and tear. Seems like some of them were not properly maintained. I thought to myself, are they losing demand and clients? But hell no! There were so many visitors and field trip goers that time!

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We had our lunch beffet first inside the park at the Liquid Pool Lounge for P220 each. It’s like catering style and food is so-so but at least they’re edible.

We went to several attractions included in our ticket. It was nice seeing these sea creatures and at the same time, pity them while you remember the movie, Finding Nemo. I guess and hope so that they are being well taken cared of.

Here are the attractions:

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Sharks and Rays Encounter
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The sharks

We were able to touch the rays, but not the sharks. Who would want to touch the sharks?!

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Bluespotted stingray
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Emperor Angelfish
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Chasing a Clownfish. Tell us a joke!
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Blue Tangs (Dory) and that one unknown fish.
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Lionfish
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Chasing a Blacktip Reef Shark
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The famous tunnel of the Manila Ocean Park

The tunnel is too crowded and the people are busy taking their selfies and photos of the tank. I just took the photo at the side so you cannot see the distracting people. Literal bes, ang daming tao.

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Jellyfish

One of the most fascinating creatures are the jellyfish. They are able to survive despite the fact that they have no brains. Oh well, some people are just like them and they’re fantastic. I just want to drown them in the sea. Jk.

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Dancing Sea Faeries

The Dancing Sea Faeries are tanks filled with translucent jellyfish that are lit up with neon lights against the dark background to make the colors pop. It looks amazing if you’re a fan of lights and colors. They are also combined with soothing classical music to make the environment relaxing.

One separate attraction is the Yexel’s Toy Museum. It is great to visit for kids and kids at heart.

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Cinderella’s Glass Slipper
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Star Wars’ Stormtroopers and stranger’s leg photobomber

It is a museum of life-sized models and stuff related to well-known characters, movies, and series.

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The Iron Throne from the Game of Thrones

I really had a great and wonderful time there, especially at the Iron Throne and the suits of Iron-Man.

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Iron-Man Suits

We really waited at the Iron-Man suits until there were no people so we can take photos without photobombers. Haha! Seryoso yung maraming tao. I think I have said it for the nth time.

The 2 best attractions in the park are the Sea lion Show and the Symphony of Lights, Sound, Water, and Fire.

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Sea Lion Show

I enjoyed the Sea lion Show in the afternoon, eventhough you need to endure the scorching heat of the sun. We were at the front row of the show with our umbrella. The other viewers remained at the back row to stay away from the sun. It was worth enduring the heat. We had great photos of the show as remembrance.

The Symphony show is performed at night to have more appreciation of the lights and fire.We were then seated at the back row. This time we strategically sat there to get a full view of the show for us and for our cameras. It is very entertaining and it lasted for about 30 minutes. Sulit na sulit ang binayad for the ticket.

The day was really exhausting, but I really had a great time. It’s nice to be a kid at heart once in a while of your daily sick adult life. Unleash your inner child and appreciate simple things while you can. 

Expenses:

ITEM COST
Fare (Marikina to Manila) RT       200.00
Manila Ocean Park Ticket       499.00
Yexel’s Toy Museum Entrance          99.00
Buffet (Lunch)       220.00
National Museum                 –
Dinner (Fast Food)       150.00
TOTAL    1,168.00
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