By Daniel Baysa
Chalk Campus Correspondent
Whenever you take a look at classic tourism destinations, many will point you to the cities: famous buildings, historical landmarks, museums, and the like. Others might point you towards a more natural direction, like parks, hiking trails, and reserves. This one’s for a special kind of tourist: those who want nothing more than to show some love to our friends in the animal kingdom! Here are a few places any animal lover would want to go to.
1. Manila Ocean Park
Imagine if Disneyland or Enchanted Kingdom was an aquarium, and you’d get an idea of Manila Ocean Park. Located behind Quirino Grandstand in Ermita, it’s devoted to showing the beauty of the marine animals of the world! From sea lions and penguins to sharks and stingrays, Manila Ocean Park has all kinds of animals to show you. If you’re willing, you can get even closer to the animals by becoming a water-walking Aquanaut, a sea lion trainer, or even a mermaid tail swimmer! There are also exhibits for learning about marine conservation, and even showcasing some land mammals, birds and bugs to make sure they aren’t left out! The signature attraction though is the Oceanarium, which has you walk inside a tubed walkway while over 14,000 marine species swim all around you. If you think you’re up for it, get your bookings here and take a walk on the wet side in Manila Ocean Park!
2. Zoocolate Thrills
If you need to get your animal fix in the land of the Chocolate Hills, Loboc’s Zoocolate Thrills is where you need to go! It’s part of the Zoomanity Group, a group that aims to make world class zoos for the sake of both animals and people. Containing a replica of the Chocolate Hills with different animals inside, Zoocolate Hills is here to show you the majesty of Philippine wildlife! Tigers, buffalos, and tarsiers are here among many more, with the scenic sights of the Flower Terraces and the Pavillion for some prime pictures. The star attraction here though is Zooco, the biggest snake in captivity here in the Philippines. If you need to plan what you want to do, visit the official site before you go! If you want to make your visit to Bohol a little wilder, have a taste of Zoocolate Thrills!
3. Magaul Bird Park
If your kind of animal has feathers and wings all over, this is the place for you! Located in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Magaul Bird Park allows you to adore and learn all about our feathered friends! Step through the Bird Walk to get a gander at birds in their natural habitat, get up close and personal in the Walk-In Aviary, or keep yourself grounded with the Flightless Birds! Of course, with birds being here, there are bugs here too, with a Butterfly Garden and an Insectarium! When you’re done with Bird Watching, you can take on exciting Sky Adventures like a life-sized Angry Birds slingshot, the Goliath Swing and the Aerial Adventure Walk. Just make sure you’ll never miss the Wings of the World bird show, with 500 birds from across the globe taking flight together! Once you’re done, you can take a relaxing walk through the Bonsai Garden and take in all of Subic in the View Deck. Learn more about the park and book right over here! Let yourself fly free in Magaul Bird Park!
4. Davao Crocodile Park
Our finny, furry and feathered friends took the helm before. Now, the spotlight is on the scaly ones. Davao Crocodile Park is a modern crocodile farm in Davao del Sur that allows the scaly reptiles to flourish. That’s not to say they’re the only ones there though! Orangutans, iguanas, bearcats, deer, snakes and other animals call the park their home! They’re all ready to give you a good time, with feeding shows like the Tiger Climb, where a tiger grabs its meat from atop a post, and the Koi Feeding Frenzy where the fish make a mad dash for some food! There’s also Animal’s Got Talent, where the animals show just how clever they are with dazzling displays of talent! Just make sure not to miss Pangil, the oldest and biggest croc in the park! Read up about the park and get your tickets here if you want to ready yourself for a reptile run through the Davao Crocodile Park!
5. Holy Carabao Holistic Farms
Farming’s a big part of any country, and animals are a big part of it! The Holy Carabao Holistic Farms is a farm that shows you how farmers make use of animals in the farm. A holistic farm that’s based on proper resource management and usage, Holy Carabao allows you to see farm life in action. You can take a look at the farm, feed the animals, try out the zipswing and even go for a carabao cart ride! What’s even better is that you can try it out yourself: Workshops for farming and healthy cooking are all here, and you can even take an incredibly fresh farm-to-table workshop where the fruits of your labor become the food on your plate! You can finish it off with a trip to the Farm Shed where you can try for yourself what organic food is like! Find more info here. Holy Carabao Holistic Farms is the perfect place to live out life on the farm!
6. Avilon Zoo
Here’s something for animals lovers of all kinds! Avilon Zoo in Rizal is the largest zoological institution in the Philippines, with over 600 species for you to see and interact with and a whopping 3000 specimens in total! From the smallet creepie crawlies like tarantulas to the gigantic giraffe, and everything in between. It even has species you’ve never heard of, like cloud rats, sun-bears, civet cats and more! You can spend some time feeding the animals or getting a closer look at them, including having a snake coil its way around your shoulder taking some selfies with Trixie the Orangutan! Have yourself a look at the official site if you find yourself interested. If you’re an animal lover in the Philippines, there’s no way you can miss out on Avilon Zoo!
Animals are an important part of our lives. From food to labor to companionship, we literally can’t live without them. These places aren’t just places for you to play with and look at them. They’re for people fighting hard to conserve and protect these animals, and teach you about them so you can appreciate them. As you’re having fun admiring our animal friends, remember just how much they do for you, and try to give a little bit back to help them survive.
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