I like visiting theme parks and Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park (MOAP) and Dolphin Island offers a different kind of experience. I happened to visit this place 10 years way back… in 2012 with my former co-workers… and again early of this year.
MOAP features mini-mangrove forest with wildlife animals in captivity such as monkeys, birds, python snakes and crocodile. It also features marine hatcheries to culture shrimps, crabs and various fishes in ponds. To mention, there are few restaurants in the park to dig in, and perhaps, these cultured marine creatures are their main foodstuff offered in their menu.
What I love going to this place is the sight-seeing around the bay and the smell of the fresh sea breeze. It’s quite relaxing…
It’s pretty lengthy and fairly distant walking the footbridge going to the restaurant at the end of it. But I don’t mind at all. I enjoy watching down every stride of the waves, listening to its sound while the wind resonating them to the coastline of mangroves. I find serenity.
To the Dolphin Island…
Well, by its name, dolphins are literally in that place, by captivity. Actually it’s a main attraction offered to the tourist when all you have is the opportunity to experience to interact with the creature by swimming with them and fed them. It’s not an island what you actually think of. It’s a man-made structure sitting in a submerge limestone-color sandbank. It said to be a rehabilitation site for injured marine life such as dolphins and Pawikans (sea turtle). At first, I’m fond of watching dolphin swimming, jumping and frolicking but somewhere in my heart am telling me that housing these beautiful, intelligent and amazing marine mammals in a huge sea pen is quite pity… they deserve to be in the real habitat, I believe.
According to authorities from the park, at this point in time, said that the dolphins and Pawikan (sea turtle) were return to their true habitat. But rumors keep on circulating that these creature all died. Anyhow, though the man-made structured island is still accessible to tourists and visitors, swimming and snorkeling around the island is best offered to enjoy your stay. With snorkeling gears, different marine life can be sighted underneath. You can really appreciate every tiny living creature, I must say.
I can say that I had fun and enjoyed the side-trip with my colleagues visiting MOAP and Dolphin Island. But I kind of sad in the reality… captivating wild creatures and mammals for the purpose of boosting tourism for economic progress is really quite a shame. I like theme parks but I don’t really buy on the idea of fencing these animals just to entertain tourists and visitors. Should deserve wildlife freedom, they are.