In decades past, Filipino overseas travelers who have made it at least as far as Hong Kong would have likely gotten a chance to catch some spectacular marine mammal shows and go on numerous amusement rides in Ocean Park Hong Kong. A desire to have a similar oceanarium/amusement park complex in the Philippines came true in the 21st Century when Manila Ocean Park opened its doors in 2008. A popular local tourist destination near Rizal Park, Manila Ocean Park was significantly affected by the COVID pandemic, outright closing its doors. But that health issue-mandated shutdown has come to an end.
CNN Philippines reports that Manila Ocean Park reopened this Thursday, October 21, after a lengthy closure due to the global pandemic. The reopening ceremony was attended by Manila Vice-Mayor Honey Lacuna, making Manila Ocean Park one of the most significant businesses to resume operation following the easing of Alert Levels in the city since Wednesday, October 20. The oceanarium had been shuttered for more than a year, and its reopening could help to reverse its losses in that lean period.
In a statement during Manila Ocean Park’s reopening, Vice-Mayor Lacuna expressed hope that like this tourist attraction, other establishments in Manila can “get back on track” with business. That way, more jobs can be revived for the unemployed affected by the pandemic, and thus contribute to the revival of the national economy. “You are conveying a clear message that we are almost getting out of the tunnel and beginning to see the light,” says Lacuna.
Even with Manila now at a more lenient pandemic Alert Level 3, there are still restrictions in place for the many businesses now resuming their operations. For Manila Ocean Park, they will only allow guests who have been fully vaccinated (usually two shots, most vaccines). These fully-vaccinated guests to Ocean Park must also be between 18 and 65 years of age. The oceanarium is only open to visitors for four days in a week, Thursday to Sunday, 10AM to 6PM.
Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News