A closer look at underwater scenes starting with the INTERACTIVE FISH EXPERIENCE ON FLOOR will be encountered by visitors who will be virtually wading on the sandy-coral reef with stingrays and dorys swimming around. As visitors wade through, the fishes will scatter away from them.
On the left side of the interactive fish experience on floor, the visitors eyes will feast on the CORAL DIVERSITY of the Philippines showcasing different species of stony and fan corals displayed in glass cases. The general information about them is described on the graphic panel beside the showcases.
A few steps away from the glass cases, a portion of a reef’s replica with iron mooring permanently attached to the substrate is displayed, from where a buoy is attached to the mooring as it goes up the surface and linked to a banca overhead. This is a sample of a good mooring that should be practiced by fishermen and tourists who would want to snorkel or dive in coral reefs to avoid destroying the corals.
Similarly, the banca above (suspended from the ceiling giving the impression that it is on the surface of the sea shows the fish caught by the use of hook-n-line. Visitors learn about practices to make fishing sustainable. Visitors will also learn how important coral-dwelling species are for food.
Aware of the fragility of the coral reef, visitors will also learn about the threats to the corals as well as the organisms that thrive in the coral reef ecosystem. Hence, visitors will learn that there is collaboration of the government and the NGOs to conserve coral reef and to impose measures to protect them.
A video explaining one of the scientific areas of study, i.e., marine research is continuously shown.
An UNDERWATER EXPERIENCE as presented by a replica of a submarine invites visitors to consider which way their own actions will take the ocean in the future. The portholes inside the submarine show the different marine creatures as one goes from the entrance where shallow portions of the sea are displayed and experience going down to depths of about 150 meters below the surface of the sea.
At THE OPEN SEA portion of the gallery, visitors will have an opportunity to experience the large and small pelagic creatures in which life-sized casts of large fauna are lit by programmed moving lights that suggests the animals are moving.
WAVES OF SPECIMENS are displayed in large glass jars set on a continuous curved base, lit from below. The first wave presents shallow-water forms, the middle wave shows the pelagic specimens and the third wave shows the organisms occupying the deepest part of the sea.
Visitors will also learn that marine scientists often employed SCUBA in studying the marine life under the sea. A replica of a SCUBA diver is seen overhead. The science of SCUBA is explained on the graphic panel behind the replica diver.
Videos and graphic panels explaining and showing the different kinds of phytoplankton and zooplankton that form the base of the marine food web are seen behind the wave of specimens. The visitors will realize that oceans or the seas are filled with tiny organisms.
To make the experience more interesting, an interactive video of marine mammals as well as the organisms in different zones of the ocean are shown. Visitors will discover that ocean species, like land species, may be found only in particular zones of the sea.
At the far end of the gallery beside the infinity mirror where school of tunas are seen is the ABYSS where visitors will learn the deep-sea creatures inhabiting the darkest part of the ocean.
More showcases and open storage drawers lined the other side of the gallery where the Fernando Dayrit’s collection of shells are in full view as well as the different fishes, echinoderms, crustaceans and a large green sea turtle are displayed.
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National Museum of the Philippines
A trust of the Government, is an educational, scientific and cultural institution that acquires, documents, preserves, exhibits, and fosters scholarly study and public appreciation of works of art, specimens, and cultural and historical artifacts representative of the unique cultural heritage of the Filipino people and the natural history of the Philippines.
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