A Dolphin Tale: An Experience of a Lifetime in Dolphin Island, MOAP

Pinay Voyager Rating: 8/10

When I was a child, I have always been fond of marine creature such as the whales and dolphins. Back then I would always dream that maybe one day, I’ll get the chance to swim and interact with a few of them. I was greatly inspired growing up to movies such as Free Willy, Moby Dick and Dolphin Tale. Now that I’m a grown-up, I still have that kid in me trying to live that dream, only this time, I am capable of traveling.

Unknown to many, there is a place in Mindanao to make that dream come true. The Dolphin Island, one of the highlights of Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park located in Libertad Bago, Municipality of Sinacaban.

How to Get There:

            Conveniently, I got there through a road trip coming all the way from Cagayan de Oro City, It was a long way from my hometown since we travel through Lanao del Norte, having to cross through a ferry in Mukas Port to Ozamiz City then in Oroqueta.

For travelers out there’s who wants to share the experience. It is best to make Ozamiz City as your starting point. The most convenient one is to book a plane to Ozamiz City. For others, you may take or opt for a road trip as a cheaper alternative.

Ozamiz City – MOAP

  • You can take a tricycle ride “pakyaw” for Php 250- Php 350 (depends on how good you haggle) and Manong will surely take you there.
  • You can take the shuttle van/ L3 from Gaisano Mall for Php 25 (it will drop you off the highway)
  • You can also take the bus from Ozamiz – Oroqueta for Php 25 -30

MOAP is approximately 30-min ride from Ozamiz City and roughly an hour from Oroqueta City. Once arrived, you need to take around 5 min. walk from the highway to reach the main entrance of MOAP.

Dolphin Island

            To begin with, you need to pay Php 10.00 as entrance fee to MOAP (inclusive of Eco-park tour). In going to Dolphin island, you need to pay an entrance of Php 300/pax inclusive of round trip boat ride (10 pax/trip) or you can have the option of paying the vacant seats for Php 40/pax if you don’t want to wait for other coming passengers.

Dolphin Island is not really an island but a man-made structure siting on a submerged sandbar. Located at the center is the Dolphin Pen that serves as a rehabilitation facility for rescued injured dolphins where they are taken cared of prior to being released back in the wild. Around the walkway is where you can find restaurant and a resting place for the guests.

For an additional Php 300.00/pax, you can already enjoy swimming with the dolphins for 20 min., inclusive of life jacket, snorkel and a kilo of fish to feed and pet these friendly creatures.

      

During my time, there were 3 bottle-nose dolphins swimming around me which I assumed to be a family. There’s a male one who seems to swim on his own and the other 2, I assumed to be the mother and her child who constantly swims together side by side. Though they are wild, they’re friendly enough to go near you. In my case, I was even able to pet them.

The dolphins were also very careful not bite your fingers when feeding or to hit you with their tail when swimming around you.

The dolphin interaction was then followed by a snorkeling activity outside the pen where you get to swim and feed a lot of colorful fishes and go around giant clams. We basically rounded up the pen.

During the middle part, I wonder why the dolphins swimming inside the pen are gone. It was until the guide pulled me away that I realize there was a small barracuda swimming nearby.

I wish I could tell more about my experience but the best way is for you to experience it. Dolphin island also have a restaurant where you can enjoy your meal for a fair price that starts from Php 150.00/serving. Other activities include the following:

  • Dolphin Island Cottage – P1,000/8hrs (Extension P150/hr.)
  • Swimming Pool Entrance – P100/person
  • Snorkeling Gear w/ life vest – P50/hr.
  • Kayak w/ 2 paddles – P100/hr.
  • Introductory Diving – P2,000/dive
  • Day Dive (certified diver) – P2,300/dive

Aside from Dolphin Island, MOAP is also a resort that offers accommodation to visitors:

Ocean Front Royal Suite Php 5,500.00/night (good for 2pax)

Superior 2/Family Room Suite Room

  • Peak nights: Php 3,300.00/night
  • Regular weak days: Php 2,950.00/night
  • Holidays: Php 3,500.00/night

Room Features

  • Fully air-conditioned room with TV
  • PABX system (Intercom)
  • Fridge with mini bar
  • 7:00 am – 7:00 pm restaurant service
  • 24-hour security
  • Hot and cold shower
  • No added for children below 7 years old
  • Extra Bed Php 500.00
  • Dormitory Type                              Php 250.00/pax/night

Room features

  • Fully air-conditioned room with TV
  • PABX system (Intercom)
  • 24-hour security
  • Hot and cold shower
  • Maximum of 14 pax per room (4 rooms)
  • Check out time 12:00 noon

And while being there, you can enjoy exploring the mini mangrove forest where they house the monkeys, birds, crocodiles, snakes, etc. On the other side of the place, they have shrimp and fish culture area of various kinds.

Basic Estimated Expenses

Bus Ride                                                                          P 30.00
MOAP Entrance Fee                                                    P 10.00
Entrance and Boat Ride to Dolphin Island           P 300.00
Lunch                                                                               P 200.00
Swimming with the Dolphins                                   P 300.00
(with feeding, lifejacket and snorkel set)
Total                    P 840.00

For more information, inquiries and reservation you can contact:

Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park
Libertad Bajo, Sinacaban, Mis. Occ. Phils.,
Tel. No. 0927-262-2756/ 586-02-92
Email: moap_hotel@yahoo.com

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
PHOTO BY JEFFREY PONCE
PINAY VOYAGER | GRACE GIFT T. CHUA

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