When you hear EXPO, you immediately think of a posh version of a bazaar. Certainly, you'd expect crowds and a multitude of booths. So when I heard about this, even if it is the first such expo ever, I expected a Divi-like feel of varied suppliers clamoring for your attention and enticing you with their wares. I expected to see trends where birthday parties are concerned, and options, lots of them.
So it was with dismay that I found Manila Ocean Park's Concourse Plaza not crowded and very much unfilled with booths. There weren't even balloons to make the place more festive!
But at least it wasn't so hot there (because there wasn't a crowd and they seem to have installed more fans) and the expo IS free. Upon entering, you'd immediately see booths on your left (I think the first was Kia, the next is a cute onesie shop for Urban Baby Online products, the next is a Face painting stall, and the next one is a Party Planning cum Scents station).
In the middle of the Plaza is a stage for a 3 PM event. There were a lot of mad Science tarps so I guess they're having some demo or show there. There are also a lot of tables where Holy Kettle Corn is displayed... where you also register for the activities. Kids can get to bounce free on an inflatable thingie at the far end of the plaza and you can register them for food tasting.
There are at least two booths for picture taking, with one of them offering clients to jump on a trampoline so that the resulting shot looks like you're jumping to/falling from the sky (the backdrop is of clouds). I saw another party planning events booth (first pic) and a Josiah's setup near the entrance to the Ocean Park.
If you're a parent hoping to get suppliers from your party and make this expo a one-stop shop of sorts, you could be horribly disappointed. Multiply and Divisoria offer more options for you.
But if you have nowhere to go for the weekend and is tired of your usual mall haunts, this could be an interesting place to go to. I'm guessing (hoping) there'd be more activities over the weekend for the kids, so the kids will at least have fun. Maybe you can contact the organizers to know when activities or shows will be. You can even make a field trip out of it, by attending the storytelling hour at the Museong Pambata (10:00 AM I think). When you're tired of the Museum, go to Manila Ocean Park then cap your day at the MV Doulos anchored at one of the South piers (just behind Manila Hotel).
And certainly, I don't think parents need to worry that they'd be making a lot of impulsive buys here (except for the cute onesies!). And there are more restaurants open (aside from North Park, I think Gerry's Grill is also operational already). And then there is the Manila Ocean Park attractions.