747 SGS Philippines’ Ocean Park with Tuklasan & Bgy 20
Written by Board Member, Ate Charmain Tan
It was another exciting Saturday as we all headed to Manila Ocean Park for another summer adventure. It was the Family Fun Day of SGS, an inspection and certification company. This is an event they do annually to show their appreciation for their employees and their families. We did several events with SGS with other beneficiaries. Last year they invited us to their testing center and also gave us a tour of their offices while at the same time giving gifts to the kids as they passed along the different office area. As part of their anniversary celebration this year they invited U! Happy Events to participate. We brought the children of Tuklasan to join the day’s fun-filled activities. We have partnered with Educational Research and Development Assistance Foundation (ERDA) & Tuklasan since 2007. ERDA came up with a special project for the street children to provide care, programs, and services for the street children (Tuklasan). We have known these kids for years now and we have seen them grow up. One of them is in college already. This was our 34th event with the kids of Tuklasan.
SGS head Kuya Ariel and the HR head shared a few words before the program started. They prepared some games for the kids. The kids of Tuklasan joined the balloon relay where they passed the balloon to the next person until the end. The last person was to pop the balloon. The kids won cool prizes like the small penguin stuffed animal from Ocean Park and also the silicone ball that lit up when they shook it. Kuya Mark of SGS also gave out loot bags filled with candies and chocolates to the kids.
The first show was Ocean Park’s Mermaid & Mernan show. Everyone watched in delight as a pair of mermaid and merman swam in the aquarium with the fishes. They did some twists and tumbles while underwater. Everyone took endless photos and videos as it was mostly everyone’s first time to see the show.
We then went around the Oceanarium were the children got to pass through the 25 meter long aquarium tunnel surrounded by fishes. They watched happily as sharks and stingrays swam above them. We got to see different kinds of marine creatures. We also headed outdoor where they got to see two huge crocodiles, one on land and one in water.
We headed upstairs to the Yexel’s Toy Museum. It is the newest addition to the park which opened 2 years ago. The first feature was the adorable Minions. We couldn’t help but take a group photo with the Minions. They also liked the Chipmunks and the other superheroes like Superman. Then there was the Spiderman wall where the kids all climbed and copied the pose of Spiderman, like they were climbing up the wall. We passed through the Lord of the Rings which had a great view of Manila Bay.
We then headed to the Ironman room. The kids were excited to take a photo with Ironman. We then headed to the Star Wars galaxy as the kids went to the Stromtroopers and Darth Vader.
We then got to watch the Sea Lion show. Kuya Mark of SGS gave us the best seats in front so the kids were able to watch the Sea Lions up close. The children watched in delight as we were introduced to the South African Sea Lions at the park. The stars from Chile were two female sea lions named Isis and Sandra. They performed various tricks. They waived, clapped, smiled, and even kissed a volunteer. The adorable sea lions also tumbled up in the air as they jumped out of the water. They also lifted their feet in the air, held the ball at the tip of their lips and put the hoops through their necks. The kids were amazed while watched the incredible tricks they did. After the show the kids headed to the Birds of Pray Kingdom where they got to see different kinds of birds in their natural habitat.
It was time to take a break from the fun-packed morning. The kids heartily had their lunch while they talked about the things the saw in the morning. They were also planning the next attractions they were going to visit after having lunch. They kept asking if it was already the end of their trip because they all didn’t want to go home. Some went as far as saying they wanted to live there. They were having so much fun and it was mostly their first time to be there. After the break the kids were recharged and ready to explore more. They headed to the Jelly Fish exhibit and some of them went back again to the Oceanarium to see the fishes once again.
The kids hugged and thanked the Kuyas of SGS for including them in their anniversary celebration. It was a fun and educational trip. Through this experience the kids were able to learn about the different marine life the world has to offer.