Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jellyfishing, Jellyfishing!

After a year, we've finally come back to Manila Ocean Park --and, man, has the place changed!  Restaurants, novelty shops, gift shops just about every turn.  Toys, clothes, people here, people there.  Why, this aquatic park has transformed into a mall!

I was just about to blare out my outrage through carefully chosen profanities when a poster of promo packages caught my eye.  Ah, nothing tames a scorned woman than the Godsent vision of a sale.  Apparently, other than these additions to the place, there were also relevant, brand new attractions that made it into the set-up.  And they were all on extended holiday discounts!  Allelujah!

Instantly, Spongebob's influence won our decision-making.  We were going jellyfishing.

The Jellies Exhibit was in a small corner.  It almost looked like an afterthought.  Specially when we found out that you buy your tickets from a cashier under the escalator.
But the surprise lies inside.

It was dark.  It had a bar.  There were upturned chairs and tables that suggested this exhibit turns into a party place come nightfall.  The only source of light were the fish tanks which carried a different Cnidaria breed each.  Each tank changed color, bouncing the hues on the thin skin of the jellyfish.  Quite a spectacle if you ask me.

The poster said that we would get to know jellyfish ranging from the most tame to the most lethal.  I was so sure we'd see the giant killer, Man-O-War.  But this was the closest --and the tiniest-- we got.  The boys were impressed, nonetheless.  Heck, these are the minature versions of the jellyfish in Finding Nemo!

The main thing here is the jelly wall which spanned the area and breathed throbbing colors.

Or was it the cylinder room which had glass pillars housing more jellies in crazy, ever-changing psychedelic shades?

Overall, the exhibit was small.  It only seemed huge because of its mesmerizing overload of visual joy;  loud, hypnotic music; and strategic mirror trickery.
But when they say you're going to see dancing fairies here, they weren't kidding.  It was like being transported to another world.  A magical world.  A lovely, 'Whoooa, duuude!'-trippy, happy pill-induced kind of world.  And for Php150 per head, who am I to complain?

I have to wonder though... exactly how do these sea creatures feel about being treated like lava lamps?

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