Aside from the kids' special programs and school events, what I really look forward to are their exposure trips. No doubt, such trips are great learning experience for the children and bonding opportunity with their parents (if they're allowed to join), aside from building stronger friendships and camaraderie among the students.
Usually, school field trips are confined within the city proper. Luckily, my son's school decided to go for an out-of-town excursion to Clark. It has been almost 12 years since I last went to Clark in Angeles City, Pampanga. You can say I was more excited to go on this day trip than my kids!
Our itinerary included visiting three sites in this former U.S. air base -- view the first part of our trip here. Let me now continue the photo essay with our third and final stop of our educational tour.
Third stop: Zoocobia Fun Zoo and Paradise Ranch
After our cultural tour of Nayong Pilipino sa Clark, we then proceeded to Zoocobia Fun Zoo in Paradise Ranch where we also had a quick lunch break. Check out the billboard below for the zoo's many attractions.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the personable tour coordinators. Packed lunch of fried chicken, veggies and rice were then distributed as part of the tour package we have availed. The receiving area and dining hall have limited tables and chairs so some groups waited for their turn to eat at the hay-covered grounds.
The covered court featured colorful hanging (stuffed doll) monkeys, and the sides were lined with aquariums that housed turtles and baby crocodiles.
The students just can't wait to finish their meals and hurriedly ran to the open fields and playground facing 'The Barn'.
From the playground, we walked uphill to find these large ostriches. Please excuse the photo as one of them surprised us...just as I clicked, it pooped! (",)
Since the group was big, I believe half of the us were exploring the grounds on our own. So there were several other bird species that we missed at the 'Birds of Paradise' area, and more animals at the 'Menagerie'. But I made sure we went inside this small aviary with dozens of friendly and hungry budgies and parakeets (?).
You have to pay 20 pesos (P20) to enter and feed them, which includes a tiny pack of bird seeds. I took this photo of my co-parent while the birds swooped down instantly as soon as she opened her palms. Amazing!
My self-proclaimed brave boy backed out at the last minute so it was just me and my precocious little girl who took the "challenge". As I recall, we fed them sesame seeds. Upon entering the large netted cage, these lovely colorful birds quickly flew around us and pecked away.
Eventually, our seeds ran out and the girl got a scare when she was still being pecked on the hand and shoes. When we were exiting, "Look...look mommy, a bird, a bird", she shouted while pointing to my bag. I found this cute blue-and-yellow fellow hanging on for a ride and almost got out. I just pointed and clicked really fast without looking as I stole this shot (below, right).
Don't ask me where this maze will lead to.
Back to 'The Barn', we were greeted by an assortment of "domesticated" animals that guests can feed for P20 per bunch of leafy kangkong (water spinach), grass, or bottled milk. Yes, there were small bottles of milk (baby bottles) for those who wanted to give the kids (baby goats) a drink.
This dromedary camel looked soooo familiar...(a brother from another zoo perhaps?)
The boy and the girl took turns feeding these friendly barn animals with a bunch of grass they asked me to buy. After a few seconds, there was nothing more to give. Before I could say 'sorry, no more', the kids were smart enough to salvage all the greens that scattered on the floor and continued with their "feeding spree", much to the delight of the hungry mammals.
Meet Victoria, the alpaca, up close and personal.
Apart from the meet-and-greet with the zoo animals, we were delightfully entertained with the Zoocobia Fun Show featuring these smart, dunking monkeys, and the circus acts from a pot-bellied pig and a skateboarding toy poodle. Cute and funny!
After the fun animal show, the whole group was then brought to the 'Butterfly Kingdom'. The curious bunch of kindergarten and prep students were shown a brief presentation of the life cycle of a butterfly, complete with an actual live pupa and caterpillar being passed around for them to see and feel!
After visiting the zoo, everyone settled in the function hall where our facilitators conducted fun games for the students. By this time, my boy was already restless and itching to go home, so we opted to roam around and explore the property.
Zoocobia Fun Zoo is situated within the expansive Paradise Ranch which is actually an environmental and wildlife preservation site overlooking the Sacobia River and Mount Pinatubo. A project of the Philippine Children's Fund of America, this park also aims to support the indigenous Aetas whom they employ as well.
Aside from the wildlife sanctuary, Paradise Ranch boasts of amenities ideal for retreats and vacations such as villas and cottages, conference halls, swimming pool, rafting and fish feeding, among others.
It was already late in the afternoon when we left the ranch. Of course, a trip to Clark would not be complete without some duty-free shopping, so before heading back to the city, the group was given some time to buy some goodies to take home at Puregold Duty Free center.
Though it was a long hot day, this was not just your ordinary field trip. I would consider this a day of environmental awareness and wonderful discoveries for the DML Montessori students, sisters and us parents. In line with the school's Race to Recycle project, we hoped the kids have learned to appreciate what nature has to offer and how to take care of our environment through this very educational nature trip.
HAPPY EARTH DAY!!!Click here for Part 1 of our field trip at Air Force City and Nayong Pilipino sa Clark.
Check out our other amazing trips to the zoo:
Paradizoo, Tagaytay City
Ark Avilon, Pasig City
* * *
Update as of January 2011:
For interested parties, please contact the ZOOMANITY Group (see numbers below) which manages Zoocobia in Clark, as well as Paradizoo and Zoobic.
I hope they will be able to address all your inquiries regarding the fees and venue details.
Thank you for dropping by and hope you enjoyed this post (",)
ZOOCOBIA Fun Zoo
Ticket Price: P274.00 (kids below 3 ft. Free)
By Zoomanity Group
3/F Yupangco Building
339 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City, Philippines
Tel. Nos.: (632) 895-7142; 898-3695; 899-9824; 899-9595
Mobile: (+63) 917-8351111
Fax: (632) 899-9829
Paradise Ranch Nature and Conservation Park
Clark Special Economic Zone
Tel. No.: (045) 8898245 to 48
Clark Special Economic Zone
Tel. No.: (045) 8898245 to 48
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