08 January 2020

Manila Ocean Park for Samantha’s Second Birthday

I would like to think that we are creature of habits, my husband and I. We are sort of doing the same things we did with our eldest for our youngest; a bit better this time though ‘cause we have allocated more budget for it. Like a big joint party for their dedication and first birthday and pockets of celebrations for the next five years until it’s time for a fastfood restaurant party on her 7th. So for Sammybear’s 2nd, we spent it at Manila Ocean Park just like how we did it for her Ate Sophia 9 years ago. 

As always, when the husband comes home for the weekend, we all wait for him. Which means, we’d all be sleeping late... like 3am kind of late. Thus, waking up in the morning super late, too. But well, it’s our bear’s birthday, we don’t want to hurry. We just want to honour her and go on through the day according to her pace. So even if she didn’t want to blow the candle on her birthday cake aka a bucket of Dunkin Donuts munchkins, we’re good. We totally respected that no matter how small the candle’s flame is, she is forever scared lol. And yes, we bought her munchkins instead ‘cause that time, she can finish a dozen of munchkins in one seating but never liked cake. So I thought why buy her something she won’t eat anyway? As of this post though, she eats any flavor of cake to the point she gets really mad when you don’t feed her enough. Toddlers.

After hours of preparations (with a pre-teen who inserts “wait” in her every sentence and a toddler who doesn’t know yet the consequence of disobedience), we finally left home to go and see sea creatures up close. We arrived at Manila Ocean Park just as about the students on tour were leaving. I think being late has its perks, too hehe. The few sad things were realized, though when it was time to pay for our tickets. Aside from the fact that the tall birthday girl can no longer enter for free (we also paid 595 pesos for our pint-sized boss), we were only left with few activities; no dolphins and seals huhu. But we had to keep our happy spirits up so off we go to the fishies first.

The place wasn’t as cold as it used to be. Some aquariums are dirty and sticky. And on the lobby are restaurants and lane of stores that sell non-Manila Ocean Park stuff. I didn’t feel the excitement we felt the first time we were there. For me, the park has already lost its vibrancy that it once had. To be fair, the lights show in the evening was lit (pun intended) and I think it’s pretty cool to see penguins up close (although I kinda felt sad for them eventually). But the dusty and almost worn-out displays at the Christmas Village have made us conclude that whoever manages it might not be thinking of delighting the guests anymore. Please bring the old Manila Ocean Park back!

The only thing that made the long travel and heavy traffic worth it was Sammy’s reactions! She was giggling at the little clownfish, frightened of the sharks and ever so excited to go around. The place may have already lost its magic, we were still overjoyed to spend the day together as we saw it in Sammy's eyes—wide and wondering as she saw the stingray swam just above me. Adults like me may complain of the poor airconditioning and may even swear to never risk going again but for innocent children like Sammybear, who was actually sweating underneath her crocheted Jollibee costume, it surely was a fun day exploring new things. And that’s what matter most, I guess. Oh, how sweet to be two.

Someday you will see this and learn how an awesome little human you were. 
Our love for you is definitely deeper than the ocean.

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