"We're going to the zoo this weekend" Richie told me one afternoon. Yay! Family day! Turns out the whole family was going to Avilon Zoo as a way to celebrate Rain's cousin's birthday. Rain's Bito and Bita (grandmother and grandfather), Titos and Titas (uncles and aunts), and cousins. This was going to be fun!
Truthfully, I have mixed feelings about zoos. It think its good that people can go to a place to see and learn about fascinating animals that you don't see in the city everyday. But at the same time I feel bad for the animals locked up in cages when they should be living freely in their natural habitats. Either way, the point was that we had an exciting trip that we can spend with the whole family, and I was excited for Rain's first encounter with amazing animals, that is if she would stay conscious for the whole duration of the trip. She has a notorious urge of napping exactly at the peak of excitement of a certain event. Like the first 2 hours of her 1st birthday celebration (asleep), her 1st Christmas during gift opening (asleep), new year fireworks (asleep), the list goes on.
Come Saturday, we were on the way to Avilon Zoo. Two vans in convoy. One van for all the parents (me and Richie, and then my sisters in law and their hubbies) and then another van for my mom and dad in law and the kids. It was a fun road trip!
I took us around an hour or so from Valley Golf Antipolo to Rodriguez, Rizal. The outside look simple and there were a lot of buses. Uh-oh. Looks like there was a field trip. I was secretly hoping it wasn't crowded inside. Little did I know that the place was huuuge! 7.5 hectares of animal world! I had no idea! In fact it was my first time to hear of Avilon Zoo. Oh and by the way, as predicted, the minute we set foot at the entrance of the zoo, Rain fell asleep. Classic Rain.
|Classic Rain. Fell asleep as soon as we got there!|
So we got tickets by the entrance. P400 per adult, and P300 per child who's height do not reach the counter's level. It was only at this moment when Richie and I hoped and prayed that our height would be below the counter so we would only be charged P300 hehehe. (P100 din yun no!)Kidding. If you've met us you would know that Richie wouldn't exactly be picked for a basketball legue, nor would I be in the running to be the next America's Top Model (Oops. Philippine's Top Model pala)
The cashier asked our group if we wanted to hire a tourist so there would be someone to take us around and give us facts about the animals. We were contemplating of whether or not to get because it was quite expensive (P400) and we were worried the kids might just not pay attention. But my in laws went ahead and got the tourist anyway. And I'm glad they did because I'm pretty sure we would have gotten lost hehe.
|With Ate Tour guide|
The tourist told us that the whole tour would take roughly 45 minutes. Whoa! Suddenly I got jealous of Rain laying comfortably in her stroller. (Yes it's THAT big. Still can't get over it) I was just so glad I was wearing shorts, a comfortable t-shirt, and super comfy flats. So while the little Rainbow was asleep in her stroller, I took out my trusty camera and switched from mommy to paparazzi mode.
Note: Since there are a loooot of animals, please forgive me for not remembering the names of the animals and since I had like a hundred photos taken during this trip, I have only chosen some and combined them into collages hehe.
|Watching the huge fishes on the lake upon entering|
|Someone was not too thrilled about the No Food policy|
|Feeding Station. Feed the guinea pigs!|
|I think you can also feed these goats and the little pony.|
|My favorite shot! This deserves a non-collage hehe|
|Napping pigs, huge swimming rodents, and a huge turtle! (One of the many!)|
|Funny Orangutan ready for his photoshoot!|
|He looks like "The Wise One"|
|Thank God there was another refreshment / canteen area in the middle of the zoo!|
We took a short rest here and had some hotdogs and drinks
But the tour had to go on...
|A Hippo taking a dip!|
|They have a Black Bear (they were all hiding and asleep except for this one)|
and a Hyena (It wasn't laughing)
Super huge Croc! Not so obvious in this photo but he really is! Same species as Lolong!
|Other Snappy Crocs!|
|More exotic birds!|
It was surprising how much animals they had. I didn't get to take photos of all. Was too exhausted also since Rain woke up in the middle of the tour (somewhere between the birds and the turtles). Apparently it has one if the most diverse species collection in the Philippines.
|Rain is awake! Yay! Playing peek-a-boo with Daddy|
It was a surprisingly nice zoo. I just wish they would improve some of the cages more. I remember seeing some trash laying around. I guess the number of maintenance staff isn't enough for the size of the zoo? The petting zoo added a nice touch where the kids can interact with some animals. And the best highlight of it all for me was Trixie, whom you can see hanging out and posing by the Feeding Station area :-)
|Group shots with Trixie! Sayang we should have done a jump shot haha!|
Maybe Trixie reads his blog too?
|Photo of their main canteen.|
|Exhausted! But pose parin!|
I was glad we were all able to go out for a family day in a not-so-far place. We all enjoyed seeing the kids have fun especially the birthday boy Gaeli!
|Rain's Bito and Bita "Celebrating Life" :-)|
Thank you Bito and Bita for this unforgettable family trip!
Official Website: http://www.avilonzoo.ph/