Subic Bay’s Ocean Adventure
Traveling from Manila via SLEX and SCTEX, we were on a 3-hour road trip with Tito Tadz as our driver to see a marine conservatory and adventure park, Subic Bay’s Ocean Adventure.
Military tank on the highway to Subic
Located in Camayan Wharf, West Ilanin Forest Area, this park is known for their programs that promote ecological awareness to kids and adults alike through their exhibits and four main shows (spoiler alert):
The Eco Theater
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE (Eco Theater)
This show features an Aeta teaching jungle survival through using elements found on nature such as twigs and bamboos as food and water containers plus techniques to make a fire for cooking. This show is really informative especially when you’re used to modern appliances and haven’t had camping experience.
Exotic trained animals of Walk on the Wild Side
This show also features trained animals showing off their skills composed of a dog, an owl, a fruit bat, a Meer cat like in the movie Pocahontas, and a snake placed in a backpack that supposedly got lost in the audience which surely caused a ruckus with the little kids. If you’re bringing kids with you, get them to participate for a chance to interact with the animals.
Personal Rating: 8/10
Balancing Act featuring African Acrobats Show
BALANCING ACT (Open Amphitheatre)
This show features a quirky professor and a dancing Sea Lion mascot that teaches ecological sustainability especially our role on waste disposal and the importance of the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. An added bonus is the African Acrobats Show, where they showcased balancing formations, stunts and somersaults. I was particularly impressed with the limbo rock demonstration wherein the pole was lowered to only a ruler’s length from the floor. Despite the language barrier, they were still able to put smiles on our faces and interact with the kids through a game of skipping rope. Sadly, another group will be performing this segment starting October.
Personal Rating: 8.5/10
Aquariums and other exhibits
SEA LION MARINE PATROL (Seaside Stadium)
This show features three sea lions showing off their adorable skills and slapstick humor. These animals are not only funny, they are also graceful underwater and shoot out of the water spinning and turning usually ending with a big splash wherein the front row gets wet.
Sea Lion Marine Patrol Show
The highlight of the show is the Man VS. Sea Lion Challenge wherein they pick a ‘random’ person in the audience to imitate the sea lion’s tricks usually ending with the guy getting wet. They pick a guy who looks as if he is raising his hand, but is clearly just picking strands of hair from his armpits! Really? You’re doing that inside the premises? Laughs. Though it was clearly scripted, I just found the acting convincingly funny.
Personal Rating: 9/10
Dolphins doing tricks and stunts
DOLPHIN FRIENDS SHOW (El Capitan Theater)
This show begins with a warning towards dynamite fishing and poaching of endangered marine species. This show features a fisherman appreciating the most intelligent mammals on Earth, the dolphins, performing various stunts in and above the water.
The Dolphin Friends Show at El Capitan Theater
View of the premises from El Capitan Theater
My favorite stunt was when the trainer gets to ride them like a jetski then suddenly catapults him to the air. There is also a special guest whale that enters to the theme of Jaws. There is also audience participation wherein a kid is allowed to kiss and hug the dolphin and have a photo taken. Among the four shows above, this one is a must-see.
Personal Rating: 9.5/10
Military aircraft at Clark Airbase
Mobile cranes for auction in Subic
Because there was a scheduled visit from a kindergarten school nearby, we got the best seats seeing the show in the order above, eating lunch at Ilanin Bay Cafe between the last two shows wherein I ordered their chicken BBQ at Php215 which tasted okay.
Stopped to buy some local delicacies for our snacks
The obligatory souvenir photo
If you’re planning to visit, I recommend going there as early as 9AM and having a show schedule handy. Avoid the peak summer months and December to escape the crowd. Although the food inside the park is reasonably priced, having a light snack along the way won’t hurt.
Overall, the Php700 damage each for the day tour was worth it. We’ll definitely be back for the Dolphin Encounter. Later strangers!