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Manila Ocean Park / Oceanarium.....

Good news for all the Filipino that this coming christmas a P1-billion marine theme park will soon make a big splash at the former Boardwalk area along Manila Bay. The theme park will include a “tunnel walk” through a giant aquarium. The former Boardwalk area is now the site of busy construction activities for the much-awaited Manila Ocean Park, scheduled to open to the public on Dec. 15 this year. Manila’s very own “Ocean Park” is envisioned to rival those in Hong Kong, Bangkok, the United States and other places that have become certified tourist attractions. The construction of the proposed Manila Ocean Park is being supervised by the Singapore-Chinese firm China Oceanis Group Ltd., which plans to have a two-level oceanarium and a “Concourse Plaza” that will serve as a bazaar and restaurant by the end of the year.

The acrylic fish tank for the 25-meter tunnel walk wherein a visitor can walk through and see fish and other sea creatures swimming above, is already in place. They said that the Manila Ocean Park will be unique since it will feature the Philippines diverse marine life. They will try to get all the best ones that can be found in Philippine waters.

The main feature of the Manila Ocean Park is the state-of-the-art oceanarium that will be filled with colorful tropical fish of various species and invertebrates indigenous to the Philippines. The state-of-the-art facility will have a transparent acrylic-made tunnel to provide visitors with the experience of walking underwater and viewing sea creatures. For the Concourse Plaza, it was learned that there was a proposed construction of a three-story Bay Pavilion, with a 15,566-square meter floor area, which will have retail shops, souvenir shops, restaurant facilities and a plaza for special shows and activities. The top of the pavilion will be open, with especially designed tarpaulin roofing, to house a big food court offering Filipino and Southeast Asian cuisines. Meanwhile, the Marine Discovery Park will be landscaped with fountains and marine life. Phase 2 of the development includes the construction of a shopping mall and a hotel in the complex. But they can complete the mall and hotel by April 2008, that was their target time.

Phase 3 involves the construction of an “open water habitat” which is mainly a man-made lake that can offer scuba diving for adventurous visitors. The open-water habitat is scheduled for completion by July next year. It was learned that the seawater for the various tanks housing the seawater creatures would be taken from Manila Bay. They said that the huge investments were made just to procure state-of-the-art equipment to filter the Manila Bay seawater and ensure good quality for the survival of the sea creatures and make it acceptable for use in the tanks. As much as 12,000 cubic meters of Manila Bay seawater would be required for the tanks of the park. Among the creatures to be housed in the tanks are barracudas, sharks, and rare and still largely unknown seawater fish found in Philippine waters. They said that the ticket price for admission in the park would be affordable. They will make it affordable because they also want to make the park accessible to everybody, whether they be foreign or local tourists!

This is really much husband and i are already planning to go there with our kids as soon as it will open this December. Coz this park would be our pleasant christmas surprise for our 4 kids. So, see you at the opening!


Quiapo is the heart of Manila in every way imaginable. It is one of the busy downtown in Manila with its colorful jeepneys. It is the site of the Basilica of Saint John the Baptist, known to everyone as simply Quiapo Church. It is the most visited church in the country and home of the Black Nazarene, the miraculous figure that is the centerpiece of the massive Quiapo fiesta with its big feast in every January.

Quiapo is the center of mass transport in the city, where nearly all major public transportation routes converge. Politically, it is where Plaza Miranda is located, where many a political movement or campaign has been born, lost and won. The energy begins in the area around Plaza Miranda with its countless stalls selling flowers, candles, all kinds of novelty items and of course food. There are vendors on every corner and young kids never fail to badger you to buy their plastic bags for so-and-so.

We liked to go in Carriedo, all sorts of merchandise are sold in its many stores, ranging from low-priced to high-quality electronic equipment. We always bought different celphone accessories on some stores. The streets are lined with vendors selling little bits and pieces of everything. Walking from the LRT terminal, a shopper is confronted by stall upon stall of street vendors. Ceramics, electronics, hardware, clothing, DVDs and VCDs; you'll find everything for sale on the street.

When you get to Quiapo itself, the street vendors tend to be food and produce merchants. Fruit and vegetable vendors are everywhere. The food is cheap and tasty. We always ate our lunch on that place. If you're paranoid about cleanliness or picking up diseases, then dining Quiapo style may not exactly be for you.

Typical of Quiapo, the mood is somewhat festive and very busy. Lots of people are milling the streets; and every now and then a mad pedicab operator will come barreling down the street yelling to warn people of his coming.

But when you are in Quiapo please try to follow these precautions while in the area. Make sure you know where your wallet is. Quiapo isn't a den of thieves or anything, but it never hurts to play safe. Keep your cash on you, where it cannot be filched out of a purse or a pocket. Don't take too much cash with you. Bring an empty bag to stash your loot. Normally, shops will give you a shopping bag to keep your stuff. Considering how much you just spent, would you walk around Quiapo with the stuff dangling from a shopping bag? Normally a good rugged canvas bag that you can hug close to you is best. Backpacks are not ok because slashing has been known to occur. Wear sneakers, applies specially during the rainy season, where puddles and watery mini-black-holes abound. Also, it is highly likely that you will walk around in circles for a bit... so wear something comfortable.

Be alert always when you are in Quiapo! Keep your wallet and celphone! Coz we already had a bad experience while we are in Quiapo before. Someone get the celphone of my husband on his bag. So, be alert!!

SM Mall of Asia....

Last year 2006, when my husband knew that there will be an IMAX Theater here in the Philippines at SM Mall of Asia, we already planned and put on our schedule to go on that mall and watch on IMAX.

SM Mall of Asia is the largest shopping mall in the Philippines and the 7th largest shopping mall in the world in terms of gross floor size. It was constructed within the reclamation area, west of Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City, aptly nicknamed "Bay City". It is built on 19.5 hectares of reclaimed land. A roundabout was constructed in the front of the mall with a huge bronze globe similar to Universal Studios.

The SM Mall of Asia mall grounds consists of four buildings interconnected by walkways; the Main Mall, the Entertainment Mall, and the North and South Carpark Buildings.
The Main Mall includes shopping and dining establishments and the food court. The Entertainment Mall is a two-story complex, a majority of which is open-air, facing Manila Bay.
The mall's 5,000 parking spaces are divided across two, six-story parking buildings conveniently designated the North and South parking buildings. The South Parking building houses the mall's official SM Department Store, while the mall's supermarket, the SM Hypermarket is located within the North Parking building.

One of the mall's somewhat-unique features is a 20-seater tram traveling around the mall grounds to ferry shoppers around.

One of the mall’s main attractions is the first ever IMAX theater in the country. And the mall features the Philippine's first Olympic-size dice skating rink. At 61 by 30 meters, the rink is described as the biggest of its kind in Southeast Asia. It can accommodate both recreational and competitive figure skating, as well as ice hockey. Along with plain access and skate rentals, the rink's operators also offer training progams in both figure skating and ice hockey. Several ice skating competitions have been held at the mall's ice skating rink.

We ate steak on our lunch at Tagaytay Highlands before watching "The Ant Bully" in IMAX Theater. But the price of steak on that restaurant is very expensive than steak in Japan. Me and my husband only but we already billed more than P3,000. Then after watching movie, we ate ice cream in cone while watching some kids on practicing on ice skating rink. And of course, we took a lot of sweet photo on that mall, even with the view of Manila Bay as our background.

Festival Supermall....

Festival Supermall is located at the sprawling and vibrant Filinvest Corporate City in Alabang is acknowledged as the first theme mall in the Philippines. Since it opened in May of 1998, Festival Supermall has become one of the more popular malls in the southern part of Metro Manila.
Right now, it is the only mall with six anchor stores; Shopwise Supercenter, SM SaveMore, Robinsons Department Store, Ace Hardware, Handyman and Gameworks. Likewise, it has a provision for 600 specialty stores, boutiques and kiosks, a total of 2,300 free multi-level parking slots, various food outlets in the newly refurbished 1000-seat Food Junction and ten state-of-the-art cinemas. Festival Supermall is one of the few malls in Metro Manila that provides free parking for shoppers.

Festival Supermall was designed by a team of international experts in such a way that there will be maximum convenience for its shoppers, freedom of circulation, maximum visibility and ample exposure to the mall’s tenants. Because of this, the family is guaranteed the ultimate fun and excitement with shopping, dining and entertainment all under one roof.
That's why my family member and my own family always go on this mall. My husband and i always bring our 4kids on this mall coz they loved to play at Pixie Forest and X-Site Teen Amusement Center.

X-Site Teen Amusement Center, will take you the thrill to the extreme! Experience extreme excitement with your family and friends at the third level of Festival Supermall. They have X-Treme Coaster, it is a bullet speed roller coaster ride, X-Plo Drive is a high-impact bump car wheeling and Xyber Trax, is a pulse racing go-karting! And they have a lots of High - Intensity games and Video arcades.
While Pixie Forest, will have an amazingly fun day with your family and friends at this fascinating world of themed rides and games in a magical park-like atmosphere at the third level. They have a Fairy’s Wheel, you will sit among the blooms of a colorful rotating garden, a Flying Dwarves, is a bi-plane ride for pilot wannabes, Elfin Waves, is a splashingly exciting water adventure. They also have a Funhouse attraction, Soft Play Area for toddlers, Token-operated mini cars and a lots of Exciting arcade games.

We also go on Gameworx, where you can treat your family and friends to a night of cosmic bowling and billiards and enjoy the latest video and arcade games. We play bowling on this place. Even our small kids are join with us to play bowling. And they enjoyed a lot coz it is their first experience on playing bowling. Plus we got a free ticket to play on their billiard games. And that is one on a lots of memories that they can't forget that happened on their lives.

Splash Island....

Beating the summer heat away from the pollution and noise, the water park has always been on the list of families and groups who seek adventure and cutting-edge entertainment. And the Splash Island is number 1 in our list. During summertime, while my husband is here in the Philippines, we always go to swim on that water park.

Known as the largest water park in the country, Splash Island contains more than 12 water attractions and can accommodate 6,000 guests at any given time. Of world-class standards, the park boasts of diverse slides, pools and other attractions for guests of all ages.

Among the attractions are the Dos Supremos and King Pilipit slides with plenty of turns and giant twisters. The Big Bam Boo, Twisted Palms and Tausug Trails offer riders on inner tubes with thrilling back-to-back 360 degree turns, full circle curves and down-the-tube dives.
Moreover, for those who opt for edge-of-your-seat thrills, they can try the Magellan's Drop, a long, four-level slide where riders race their way to pool level.

There's a special place for youngsters where at least six attractions around the park are designed in a kid-friendly way. The Curl of the Orient, Camp Carambola and the Twin Coco Knots are actually baby versions of the big slides. In Bannakita, children can have a river adventure while the Boon Docks gives them a delightful wilderness expedition.
On the other hand, the tykes will have the time of their lives in the Water Wahoo attraction, an interactive kiddie pool with innovative water play activities.

A great deal of park habitues find relaxation in the Balsa River floating easy on a raft as they drift along the gently flowing river around the park which flows at a pace of three miles per hour.

Another group ride attraction is the Rio Montanosa, a breathtaking mountain high river raft ride the entire family will rave about. The grand entertainment package comes with high-level security and convenience where the park employs close to a hundred pool technicians, life guards, guest relations officers and security personnel. Clean water is assured through a centralized filtration system located at the center of the park. A team of pool technicians perform an hourly check on the water to make sure that it is healthy for treading.

Our 4kids are always happy and enjoy a lot on swimming and take a slides on different slides on this place. While my husband, as usual.....he is enjoying a lot on taking a lot of photos.

Fun Shopping at Greenhills Virramall.....

Greenhills Virramall is one of the country's institutional malls of Metro Manila. It was my mother and my brothers that first bring us on that shopping center. Then after many times that we have been there with my family,, it was only me and my husband that learned how to go there.

Considered one of the older shopping centers in the Philippines, the Greenhills Complex is not as modern as the recently established malls in the country. Known for being a covered, air-conditioned bazaar and "bangketa", the Greenhills complex includes Virramall and Shoppesville.

Aptly called Virra Mall, it has withstood the test of time and is today, one of the leading landmarks of Metro Manila's shopping scene. The best range, and the best prices are to be found in this huge mall. Depending on what you are looking for, and how accomodating the establishment is likely to be, there are still shopkeepers willing to drop a few percentage points if they sense you are going to walk out of the negotiation.

Virra Mall is one of the favorite destinations for the best bargains when it comes to shopping, but it would still be hard to beat for the variety of choices it can offer. Virra Mall offers a lot more of interesting merchandise from the latest cellular phone model, ipods, to the most sophisticated laptops to imported shoes and bags to stranded pearls and Chinese goodies, houses flea markets, boutiques specializing in clothes, computer and electronics stores. Shoppers are also assured of affordable decorative items, jewelry, loose gems, pearls, antiques, and household wares which are sold in stalls located in the middle of the shopping complex and even daily Bingo socials.

Shopping was never this fun and easy, and it's definitely got more rewards than just window shopping!

Star City

Last year 2006, month of September when me and my husband decided to visit Star City. A 35,000-square meter area located at the heart of CCP Complex in Pasay City, Star City is the country’s premiere theme park.

Star City is operated by a group of professionals with years of experience in the retail, entertainment and amusement fields. In addition to, transfer of technology and know-how in these specific fields of expertise was achieved through the engagement of various consultants. It contracted the services of these foreign experts to provide their competence in the fields of amusement, retail, and attractions.

Star City evolved to its current grandeur from its successful stint at the Philippine Center for International Trade and Exhibitions. It was one of the kiddie attractions of the Toys and Gifts Fair until it started as a separate entity in 1991.

Star City is pioneer in introducing the concept of mixing retail with amusement, a trend being followed by most malls today where they integrate rides with shopping. Star City combines maximum shopping with maximum enjoyment attractions all focus on serving the target market, the Filipino family, schools, and companies. Here, the visitors will escape to a friendly stimulating sequence of worlds field with a mixture of maximum value shops and spectacular world-class attractions.

Today, it is tagged as the “Entertainment Center of the Philippines” with the creation of Star Theater which saw the innovative fusion of ballet and circus magic blending marvelously well with the family fun atmosphere found only at Star City.

Following the impressive success of Star Theater, it is now home to a state-of-the-art 3,000-seat Aliw Theater. Foreign artists like Dionne Warwick, Stephen Bishop, Sergio Mendez, and Toto have brought jam-packed crowd to this most modern performance venue. Likewise, local artists perform regularly too.

With many new and exciting add-ons every year, Star City continuously expands its list of entertainment choices, enabling it to successfully increase its visitor arrival.

World-class attractions characterize Star City’s vision to provide the Filipino family, students, and professionals the amusement they rightfully deserve. Star City is the home of the country’s first 360-degree Zyklon Loop, the two-tiered French Grand Carousel, the King of the Jungle (Ice Palace), the horrific Western Ghost Town, and the all-time favorite, the Wild River.

After riding roller coaster, entering in Snow White Antique Cars, Little Mermaid Boat Ride, Lion King Boat Ride.....we decided to go inside the horror house named "Kilabot ng Mummy".

Be thrilled with the realistic design of this walk through attraction themed after the Egyptian legends and fabled stories of the mummy. For me and my husband this was really great. I really very afraid on this horror house because of its design. Aside from of course very dark inside, it have a lots of mirror on our way. I don't know where will i go, coz it was myself that i saw on my way. I really pull the shirts of my husband and im really shouting a lot until exit. This was really amazing. An experience that i can't forget on this Star City.

To the average Filipino, Star City is the family entertainment center where shopping, food, rides, and walk-through amusement halls hold center stage. Next time that we will be back again on this amusement park, we will bring our 4kids to enjoy a lot.

Enchanted Kingdom.....

Everytime my husband is here in the Philippines, we didn't missed to visit Enchanted Kingdom! I can't count many times we've been there!

Enchanted Kingdom is the first and only world-class theme park open the whole year round. The park is actually a combination of the enthralling past and the state of the art technology of the information age-- the quaint and the sophisticated, the picturesque and the dazzling.

Enchanted Kingdom has 7 different zones, each offering different rides, attractions and experiences. These include Victoria Park, Boulderville, Midway Boardwalk, Jungle Outpost, Brooklyn Place, Portabello and Spaceport.

Try the beautiful Grand Carousel, which is the centerpiece of this grand gateway. Boulderville is just a matter of steps away, where our kids enjoyed on kiddie rides from Bumbling Boulders, Stone Eggs to Dinosaurus. Midway Boardwalk has the most number of rides and attractions.
But Anchors Away is the number one that i really hate on all the rides there. At the Jungle Outpost one should not miss a ride at the Jungle Log Jam, which will sends you through cascading turns, twists and falls. Catch the latest digital movie at Rialto. At Spaceport, you will see the Space Shuttle, the country's first and only triple loop roller coaster. Which i didn't like to ride again. One try is enough for me!

Ooooooppppssss.....the Portabello! I love the Rio Grande Rapids, it feels to ride down the river rapids..... even we always became very wet. Make a wonderful day together with your family at Enchanted Kingdom!

Splash Mountain Resort Hotel....

Last year 2006 on month of April, (our kids summer vacation from school) my husband and i make a plan to treat our 4kids on a grand swimming vacation on Splash Mountain Resort. We occupied one family room on their hotel.

Splash Mountain Resort Hotel is located at National Highway, Barangay Lalakay Los Banos, Laguna. From the terminal of Balibago Sta. Rosa, Laguna, we only ride a van going Pagsanjan. This resort have 14 swimming pools, 44 hotel rooms and 6 function rooms. But the giant waterslides are only open during summer weekends. Giant waterslides and unique waterflows that simulate tidal waves make swimming more fun and adventurous.

At the back of Splash Mountain Resort Hotel is their Splash Oasis Resort Hotel. We just walk around on that hotel just to check it, besides it is only in same vicinity. We ate different foods on their restaurant. I ate a lot coz i love to eat "crispy pata". While we are in our room, we play cards. Me, my husband and 4kids played a memory card games. Then after being tired on swimming, walking and playing, all kids are sleeping together on a bed.

Then next morning, we woke up very early. We ate our American breakfast food on their restaurant again then we relax a few minutes before we swim again on their hot spring pools. All our kids really love swimming. They enjoyed a lot on their summer vacation.

Manila Bay / Baywalk....

Last September 2005, a day before my husband will come back in Japan, while we are staying in one of the Hotel here in Manila named "Lotus Garden Hotel", we visit Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden. Then after an hour on that zoo we go in Manila Bay or Baywalk.

Manila Bay considered the finest harbor in the far east and famous for its spectacular sunsets. A relaxing way to see Manila Bay is to stroll along the wide avenue between Roxas Boulevard and the ocean. The path stretches from Rizal Park all the way to the area near the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden along Adriatico Street.

We took a lot of pictures and ate our snack in one of the many food stands on that place. Then we ride a "calesa" going back to the Hotel. What a sweet moment while we are viewing the bay and especially when we are in the "calesa". It is our first time experience in calesa and we are planning to ride again when we will visit again the Intramuros. But next time, our baby boy will be together with us.

Manila Zoo....

An all-time place of attraction for the people of all ages, both children and adults alike, is the zoo. At first, me and my husband only visit Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden last month of September, year 2005! While we are checking-in in Lotus Garden Hotel, that was before my husband will come back in Japan. We checked it first so that the next time that he will visit again here in the Philippines, we will bring all our kids there.

So, when he came back before christmas on that same year, we bring all our kids in Manila Zoo. The zoo is located at the corner of Mabini Street and Harrison Street in Malate. It is open from 7am to 6pm daily. Entrance fee is P40 for non-Manilans, P20 for Manila residents, P10 for kids below four feet tall.

The Manila Zoological & Botanical Garden, shelters a collection of Philippine and exotic African wildlife. Spectators can have a quantity of time gazing at the different animals including our local tamaraw (Philippine water buffalo), mouse deer (smallest deer in the world), Palawan pheasant and the Philippine eagle. All of which are considered endangered species. Manila Zoo is the favorite place for educational field trips or barkada and family outings. You will see here different animals like the elephant, giraffe, zebra, lion, tigers, hippopotamus, owls, python, iguana, monkeys, birds and a lot more. There is also a playground that kids can swing, slide, etc.! We ride also on a small boat and starting to rowing on their lagoon.

There's a small canteen inside the zoo, where we ate our lunch and snacks. My husband and i are very sweet eating "halo-halo". There is also have a Kinder Zoo inside the vicinity where kids can freely touch the birds or ostrich, butterflies, put the small python on their neck or ride on the horse.

Kids will surely enjoy the Manila Zoo, like our 4kids and a really nice experience for them!

Nayong Pilipino Park / A Philippine Village....

Near the airport is another favorite tourist haunt; green and spacious Nayong Pilipino Park or Philippine Village, open daily from 9am to 6pm, next to the Philippine Village Hotel.

Nayong Pilipino Park is the only cultural park in the country that serves as the country's miniature. Its aim is to provide tourists an idea and view of the country's famous landmarks as well as a showcase of the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Filipinos.

Inside the 46-hectare park are six sections representing replicas of 6 regions comprised of Tagalog, Bicol, Visayas, Cordillera, and Ilocos. There are regional houses reflecting the architectural style unique to each region, it also highlights Filipino creativity in arts and crafts.

The Tagalog Region boasts of the historical Aguinaldo House and the Tagalog Pavilion, which is a venue for social and political gatherings from the early Spanish period up to the present.

The Bicol Region shows off Mount Mayon, the mountain known for its perfectly symmetrical cone, and the Cagsagwa Ruins, both are a must see spots inside the park.

The replicas of Cebu's most famous historical landmark, Magellan's Cross, and Bohol's picturesque Chocolate Hills aptly represent the Visayan Village.

A Datu's House, Moslem Mosque and Samal Houses can be found at the Mindanao Sulu Region.

The Banaue Rice Terraces, one of the Eight Wonders of the World is the principal attraction of the Cordillera Region.

An authentic Vigan House, one of the remaining vestiges of three hundred years of Spanish Colonization highlights the Ilocos Region.

On top of the instant trip to all the replicas of the must-see places in the Philippines and a glimpse of the cultural past, Nayong Pilipino also serves as a perfect site for bonding either with families, relatives, officemates, or friends. It has a wide grass area where visitors can sit or lie and enjoy an open-air picnic; enjoy a banca ride and view the beautifully decorated Samal houses; go fishing at the lagoon; or rush to the souvenir shops and buy souvenir or handicraft items.

That's why my husband and i didn't missed the chance to go and see this famous park, even we have to travel from Laguna to Manila. We leave the house on early morning and inside the park there's a lot of small canteen where we ate our lunch together. We bought also an extra camera film coz we know that we will take a lot of photos on this place. And before we come home, we drop by on one of their souvenir shop to buy a small jeepney model matchbox for our baby boy.