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Ocean Adventure SubicJun 10, 2011

Subic: Ocean Adventure

Subic Bay with Bianca
I would be passing through a few destinations along my route up to Kalinga. The first stop after Manila was Subic Bay where diver and mountaineer Bianca Espinos would play hostess for me. I'm not exactly sure if I invited myself to be Bianca's house guest, or if I was actually invited. Anyway, being back in Subic to spend time with friends like Bianca, Carlo and Dunia was something I was looking forward to. My visit was also an opportune time to hang-out with Bianca before she leaves for a 3-month multi-continental pleasure tour of Europe, North America and South America.

WIN Rescue Center
First stop for the day was WIN Rescue Center (Wildlife in Need Rescue Center). They look after injured animals for eventual release into the wild. Sometimes though, the animals they look after have no chance of survival in the wild, and therefore become permanent residents.

Ocean Adventure
Bianca heads the mammal section of Subic's Ocean Adventure marine park (now celebrating its 10th anniversary) and gave me a tour of the sanitized complex, explaining the intricate processes and system-checks in place, ensuring the whole Ocean Adventure machinery hums smoothly. It's amazing what goes on behind the scenes to give the visiting public a rich experience from the shows, events and exhibits. I'm reminded of the addage, "we cleaned the ashtrays while they partied."

Animal Care
I'm impressed by the level of dedication the staff has in ensuring the well-being of the animals they look after. When an animal needs emergency medical attention, it's almost like a DEFCON 1 (defense readiness condition) announcement is made - people are on alert-status, priorities are shifted and focus is diverted to the animal in question, immediately attending to the issues at hand. Essentially, the staff make sure the animals in their care are healthy and safe. That appeared to me as the compelling imperative. I was told that not all marine aquariums (globally speaking) have that as a priority.

While Bianca was working, I was left to explore the exhibits and shows on my own. The marine aquarium was fascinating. The Sea Lion Marine Patrol Show was a reliable standard that generated a few laughs. There was also the Dolphin Friends Show where dolphins perform their aeronautical and synchronized swimming skills. The Walk on the Wild Side Show where indigenous people (the Aetas) showed how fire is made was educational. There was also The Adventures of Olongapo Jones Show, a first-rate trampoline act with a weak story line.

All the shows had a unifying theme - conservation, education, reduce, reuse and recycle. Yeah, we want to keep this planet alive and kicking!

Night Life
The day was capped with good friends, spirits and eats when Bianca and I were joined by Empath yogi Carlo Magno, Jordana yogini Dunia delos Reyes and surfer dude, JJ Montelibano at Swell Bar and Cafe, managed by diver and chef, Gianne Montelibano. We later moved to the nearby resto, Texas Joe's Steakhouse.

Lingering Thoughts
This was a great start for me in Subic given Bianca's hospitality, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. But it gets better!

--- TheLoneRider

How to get to Ocean Adventure from Cubao, Quezon City:

  • go to Victory Liner terminal along Edsa near Aurora Blvd.
  • get the bus going to Olongapo via SCTEX (it's much faster as it skips a few towns); P235.00, 2.5 hours
  • trips schedule: 5:30 am, 7:30 am, 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 7:30 pm
  • get off at Park and Shop Subic (ask the bus conductor)
  • walk across the bridge and ask for jeeps plying closest to Ocean Adventure. If there is none, you may have to cab it.

Related Links:

WIN Rescue Center monkey Bianca and Carlo sea lion
Sea Lion Marine Patrol Show Dolphin Friends Show False Killer Whale Walk on the Wild Side Show
harbour town The Adventures of Olongapo Jones Show Swell Bar and Cafe Texas Joe's Steakhouse

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