Octopus on piano at Lights and Sound Show in Manila Ocean Park

Musical Fountain Show (Lights and Sound Show) of Manila Ocean Park

The Manila Ocean Park, with its original attraction, is more than enough to awe first-time guests. But, wait, there’s more. Stay cool in the heat of summer at the Penguin Exhibit and the Snow Village. Use your imagination to get unbelievable photos at the Trick Art Museum. Really, it’s refreshing to see a new attraction at the Manila Ocean Park, like the Musical Fountain Show.

There’s definitely a high degree of interest in the lights and sound show, judging from the long line of humanity snaking around the entrance area of the Manila Ocean Park, [im]patiently waiting to be allowed to enter the bleachers. We knew that management wouldn’t admit patrons beyond the seating capacity of the place, so it would have made sense to stay out of the line and simply enjoy a cold refreshing ice cream in one of the restaurants in Manila Ocean Park. We didn’t do that, though.

Falling in line is more fun, sometimes. There’s an inexplicable energy that emanates from the crowd. Very contagious. You get to talk more intimately because the line is packed and there’s no distracting food on the table. The best thing about it? Those who are in front of the line gets to choose the best seats in the house. The location of the best seats in the house? We’re going to tell you, of course. Or maybe not. You’ll have all the time discussing this life-changing topic while falling in line.

Guests are seated on multi-level bleachers arranged in a curved fashion, with the bottom row on eye-level with the performers. Not a good place to watch the show, we figured. The bleachers are curved in front of the show area, which means that the edges are also not ideal places to watch the show. We positioned ourselves in the right in the middle, halfway up and halfway from the sides. You might have a better idea, so feel free to explain, through the comment section below, why we’re wrong.

The Musical Fountain Show at Manila Ocean Park is not as complex as, say, the Songs of the Sea in Singapore’s Sentosa Island. This is really a surprise considering that the Musical Fountain Show has all the elements of any great lights and sound show — lasers, water spray walls, sounds, fireworks, performers.

So, it’s not the lack of equipment and tools. The 45-minute show elicited a lot of “ooohhh” and “wow” from the crowd. Different water sprouts, serving as walls for the images and shows. Different colors. It’s nice, really, though something is definitely missing — a good storyline that showcases the capacity of the technical elements AND provides enough entertainment value for adults as well.

It’s painfully obvious that this entertainment destination is programmed to primarily cater to kids who, in turn, most certainly have adults in tow. There’s absolutely no doubt that kids will love the show. But we’d appreciate something more. We’ve seen a lot of adults — either in pairs or the usual barkada — in the long queue without kids. The Philippines has world-class movie/story writers, no doubt about that. We’re inclined to think that they’re just practicing and the best is yet to come. We’d definitely come back to check out any new additions to the show.

There’s not much to complain if we consider the comparative entrance fee between the Manila Ocean Park’s Musical Fountain Show and the one in Singapore. The entrance fee here? Spare one serving of your favorite mocha frap and you can pay for the P150 entrance fee (or, you could head out to the free Lights and Sound Show at the adjacent at the Luneta/Rizal Park). Plus, the Manila Ocean Park, home of the Musical Fountain Show, is located in the heart of an entertainment pocket in Metro Manila. As we said above, in Manila Ocean Park, there’s the original attraction, there’s the newer Birds of Prey, the Penguin Exhibit, the Snow Village, and the Trick Art Museum. It’s a walking distance from the Museo Pambata, the Luneta (Rizal Park) and the Intramuros. It’s practically a hop away from the historic Manila Hotel and the Kilometer Zero.

Still, knowing what we know now, we would still watch the Manila Ocean Park’s Musical Fountain Show — if we have kids in tow. It’s probably a dilemma for Manila Ocean Park. Incur more expenses to radically improve the lights and sound show, in a way that even adults will get to enjoy it, which means an increase in the P150 entrance fee, and risk losing a segment of the crowd. Stick with the P150, which would probably retain the kids, but risk losing the adult segment that demands more from the show. We’ll see how it goes. If we’re asked, we’d recommend pushing the envelope. What do you think?


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