I have always dreamed of swimming with one of the ocean’s most graceful creatures, the bottle-nose dolphin, as well as spend some time relaxing on a beach or swimming with other marine life. Good thing I have discovered the Dolphin Island in the Philippines. The Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park (MOAP) is located in Libertad Bago, Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental. Its main attraction is the Dolphin Island where they take care of rescued dolphins and according to the staff, they are sent back to the open sea once they are fit for release in the wild.
Coming from Ozamis, I hired a tricycle to get to the Dolphin Island since I could not get the right direction for commuting there. What I dislike about tricycle drivers in Ozamis is, they always ask me to pay for the entire capacity of the vehicle. Say I want to go to the bus terminal, they charge me Php 100 saying it is “pakyaw”, I later found out the regular tricycle fare to the bus station is only Php20! But anyway, I met a pretty kind tricycle driver. I should warn you though that there’s a lot of fees in MOAP, prepare at least Php 1,000 per person (inclusive of food) but I heard it is way cheaper than the Ocean Adventure in Subic and better than dolphin watching because you will really get up close with the dolphins.
The staff let me join a family to get to the Dolphin Island since they need 10 people for the boat to leave. The boat fare is Php 300. There are cottages on stilts where visitors can stay overnight for certain fees (see the guide below for Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park room rates). At the Dolphin Island, swimming with the Dolphins is optional (additional Php 300 fee + Php 100 for the snorkeling gears). There is also a restaurant that serves fresh seafood and chicken (meals starts at Php 200).
I have enjoyed swimming with the dolphins because it is effortless and not chaotic like swimming with Oslob whale sharks. I do hope the Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park really returns the dolphins once they’re all grown up to the open sea. I wish one day I really can get to swim with the dolphins in their natural environment.
How to Get to the Dolphin Island at Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park from Ozamis, Mindanao :
You can hire a tricycle for Php 250- Php 350 to take you there.
Alternatively you can also take a an L3 van near Gaisano Mall. Fare is Php 25.
Dolphin Island rates / fees in Ozamis :
Pay the entrance fee of Php 10
Pay the boat fee of Php 300 to the Dolphin Island.
Pay the swimming with the dolphins and snorkeling fee for Php 400 (gears included)
There is a restaurant inside where you can have lunch but food is quite expensive, meals starts at Php 200.