Friday, February 1, 2013


The author and her nephew Kyle.

Taking the kids out for a leisurely drive? Pay these two destinations a visit for a fun-filled weekend.
The school year is about to end. In fact, most of us could already feel summer’s scorching heat. But you don’t have to wait for summer or your child’s school to initiate a family field trip—you and your young ones can maximize your weekends at various edutainment places in nearby towns where learning and having fun go hand in hand. 

First Stop—PARADIZOO, Mendez, Cavite
Paradizoo is where animals and flowers abound! If your child is an animal aficionado, he will have fun at Paradizoo. Located in Mendez, Cavite—this mini animal haven is home to farm animals including miniature horses, one-hump camels, goats, boars, rabbits, birds, and even a five-legged cow and greyhound dogs. From donkeys to birds, little ones will enjoy pointing out the animals they are already familiar with as well as those that are new to them. 

Petting rabbits bite the carrots.

Carousels provide endless delight to young kids, but how about letting your child ride on a real pony? Dress your child in jeans and sneakers, and don’t forget your camera!

Must do: Petting Area—For as little as Php10, you and your young one can feed carrots to furry rabbits and guinea pigs in an enclosed area. The petting area also extends to nearby pens housing llamas, goats, deer, camels, donkeys, cows, birds, and ponies.

Five legged cow

One hump camel

Come See the Butterflies—Your kids will marvel at these winged wonders at Paradizoo. They’ll also learn about the life cycle of butterflies and if you’re lucky even get to touch real caterpillars.  Here, your family can stand in a butterfly enclosure and wait for these beautiful creatures to perch on you!

caterpillars on their pupa, waiting to spread their wings.

Try a hand at milking goats. Yes, with a guide, you can take turns at milking goats. While you’re there, take advantage of buying fresh goat’s milk as well.

Have a toe-tickling experience. Take off those shoes and dip your feet in the tiles mini pool. For a token fee, you and your child can experience the feeling of doctor fishes gently nibbling away at the dead skin cells of your feet. Children’s sensory experiences will expand as they find out firsthand how tickly it feels.

The dragonfruit tree.

A man explains the hexagonal bee wax.

Kyle with a single hump camel.

Children will also learn about how bees produce honey as well as caring for the animals. Paradizoo has an in house pet cemetery and will soon have Noah’s Ark style pet columbarium. 

Organic produce is also on sale, which include a kilo of hydroponic lettuce for Php100. Paradizoo really concretized the lessons and discussions they’ve had in school about herbivore animals and other farm creatures. Paradizoo is indeed a paradise tucked in the heart of a busy concrete jungle. A quick escape from the city as you bask in the beauty of both flora and fauna.

My nephew Kyle with our shuttle service bus.

Second destination—RESIDENCE INN

Only fifteen minutes from Paradizoo is a place called RESIDENCE INN.  Located in Tagaytay. I’ve been to Residence Inn a couple of times since my junior high school, I was surprised with the improvement it has made since the last time I’ve been there. 

If you’re looking to spend some family quality time on a weekend, pack a picnic and head over to Residence Inn. There are tons of activities you can do for fun such as zip line, wall climbing, watch a show, take photographs and just enjoy the cold weather.

Cable car ride with Taal Volcano as background.

At specific times during the day, a magic show takes place in the main area of the zoo where animals interact with the show’s cast to the audience’s delight.
My nephew, ten-year-old Kyle enjoyed his first visit. He particularly liked touching the snake, and he wasn’t scared at all! The handlers were very knowledgeable about their animal wards and assist the children really well. Trying the zip line was also a great moment for him. He couldn’t stop talking about it for days.

The show's cast

Mom and son on a zip line.

The nippy weather gives zip line riders their double-shot of chills and thrills. Once you’re suspended in mid-air, you are rewarded with a heart-stopping views of the dense emerald hued ravine and the stunning view of Taal Volcano through it. 

My nephew Kyle holds a real snake.

Purple Plum Fairy thanks Mr. Robert Yupangco, Zoomanity group, Ms. Grace Bondad-Nicolas and Ms. Dianne Salonga.