Week 20 (July 18-24): A Lesson in Parenting?

This was a great week, but not such a palpitating one to put down on paper. I was back from Mount Ugo Monday and got to see A., the toddler who’s family has been staying with us. A. had been worryingly sick last week (see my entry from Week 19 and read aaallll about that) and now, he was considerably better. What a relief!

I had a lot of fun hanging out with the kids and discovering Manila for families this week. We went skating and visited the Manila Ocean park.


Skating was a nice way to reconnect with my Canadian heart, which sorely misses the great canadiana. Skating helped qualm a bit of those pangs. It’s weird to skate indoors, in a huge mall, in a tropical country, but I was happy to get my skate on.

Manila Ocean Park

The Manila Ocean park is too expensive for what it is. That being said, it was really fun and beautiful. Basically, it’s an activity easily completed in 1.5 hours with quality aquariums to see, but with limited exposition spaces. We purchased the basic package, and while taking the more expensive options gives access to more comprehensive activities   (like the live coverage of penguin egg hatchings), those other activities feature non-local ocean life. I got the sense that you would get a better experience discovering these features in larger ocean parks with better infrastructure. This aquarium was for me one of those activities worth doing, but that I wouldn’t prioritize over others (which kind of exemplifies my feelings on Manila as a whole, really.)

One thing I really liked from the Manila Ocean Park is that they don’t host any mammals and most are smaller fish, easier to provide adequate environments for. So often I refuse to go visit zoos and aquariums with the kids in my life simply because it seems unethical. This ocean park has a very different feel to it.

The definite highlight is the jelly fish exposition. They are kept in tubular, column-like tanks lit up by phosphorescence, making the translucent anemone, suspended in water, languidly moving along,  appear to change colors every few minutes. Mesmerizing.

Reflecting back on the week

Until this year I’d never given any thought to having children of my own, at all, ever. But it’s been on my mind lately. Hanging out with A. and T.,  I couldn’t help but revel in the magic only a child can bring to activities like skating and watching fish swim back and forth in an aquarium. I opened this week’s entry with “This was a great week, but not such a palpitating one to put down on paper”. I think unleashing my inner child through the coaxing of real life ones was what captured my heart and didn’t let go until they left Manila . There is a lesson somewhere in there about parenting, but I am just going to cherish these precious moments for now and let the life lessons sink in later.

To add to all this, L., the kids’ mother, invited me to join them in Luna, La union this coming week. I can’t wait to discover her home village. I leave for Luna tonight. Next adventure, here I come!



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