Manila Ocean Park is an oceanarium famous for its shark and ray encounters, and to go to the park arguably has been every child’s dream. Unfortunately, for many underprivileged children, such a dream often goes unfulfilled. However, a trip was recently organized by the Service Learning Council (SLC) to the park for service partners SPECS and Child Hope. It was a pleasant change, as both the kids from the partners and students from ISM had the opportunity to experience something different.
Gaea Morales, the Vice President of SLC shared that the trip “was incredible, not just because it wasn’t your usual Saturday Service trip, but also because of how, regardless of having been together for only several hours, the ISM students clearly bonded and formed relationships with the kids from SPECS and Child Hope.” She added, “this particular trip was also very educational and offered a unique learning experience for the kids. There was that inevitable, initial awkwardness as we lined up to get our tickets, but by the end of the day the kids were really sad to be separated from their assigned buddies.”
Bianca Jimenez, President of SLC, reiterated that there would be more trips like this one “because it was not only a fun experience as the children got to interact with marine life, but it was also a very educational one and opens the minds of the children to the marine biodiversity that is very central to the Philippine identity.” Overall, the trip was a great success and the kids had a fun and positive experience.
Article by: Sunaina Ahuja
Photographs by: Aika Misawa