My son’s very first school-organized field trip brought us to Clark, Pampanga- a mere 1 1/2 hours away from Quezon City. Along the way, we saw acres of verdant paddy fields to grounds covered with cement-like lahar.
Just looking at these grounds reminded me that it was only because of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in July 1990 that finally forced the Americans to stop operating their two large military bases in Clark and in Subic.
From the tour bus, we trekked up the rather long, winding path leading to our first pit stop of the day: Paradise Ranch.
Paradise Ranch in Clark
We gathered inside the hall where we were all greeted warmly by the Aeta staff. There, the host began to explain what Paradise Ranch is all about and what it stands for in terms of reforestation and environment conservation.
In fact, a huge percentage of their staff comes from the Aeta tribe to give them a source of livelihood while promoting their vibrant culture in the process.
After the show, we started our walking tour which brought us within arm’s reach of the villas used as production sets in the Philippine version of Mari Mar. I cant help but smile because it remains to be one of my most favorite Filipino dramas of all time.
By the way, visitors can also choose to rent these villas for a fee.
A huge ark covered with multi-hued plastic bottles acted as an exciting prelude to wonderful sights ahead.
Paradise Ranch in Clark
A clear hit among us visitors was the monkey-feeding part. For Php 20, you can buy one raw plantain on a stick and feed the excited monkey with it.
An array of lovely pines signalled that we were about to reach Little Baguio.
The 40+ steps led us to a wealth of verdant Benguet pines and replicas of Ifugao houses.
As we went down, we saw the Ninoy & Cory Aquino themed garden which was just one of the many parks and gardens found inside Paradise Ranch.
If my memory serves me right, this would be the future Safari Waterfalls with fresh water spouting from a height of 20 feet.
The Paradise Ranch Aviary yielded a number of animals such as the Golden Pheasant…
For just Php 20, anyone can feed them with a bunch of seeds and grains provided by a Paradise Ranch Clark employee.
On the pond, a beautiful duck swam quietly oblivious to the visitors’ stares.
Unfortunately, Butterfly Kingdom was still under renovation that’s why we weren’t allowed to go inside. Too bad…
A small hut caught my attention because it was filled with beautiful souvenir items which turned out to be too pricey for me.
Most Popular Souvenirs at Paradise Ranch Clark
A short but sweet raft ride at Paradise Ranch Clark soon followed.
The ride was basically free but we needed to pay Php 20 for a small pack of fish food.
But since the waters were not clear, it was hard to decipher what kind of fish they were and where they were exactly at the time of feeding. Even in the absence of a clear visual, Tutapel seemed to really enjoy what he was doing!
2nd Pit Stop: Zoocobia Fun Zoo
Inside the Paradise Ranch Clark grounds was another popular attraction called the Zoocobia Fun Zoo!
At the entrance, a bunch of large stuffed animals provided much enjoyment to Tutapel and his schoolmates.
After some photo-ops, we went inside a Giant Lovebird Enclosure where colorful lovebirds flew around us and pecked our hands for some treats.
Lovebird Enclosure at Zoocobia Fun Zoo
I was so surprised to see that Tutapel wasn’t afraid at all!
Next stop was a large aviary featuring an array of enigmatic creatures such as this beautiful Serpent Eagle…
…an imposing Philippine Eagle Owl…
Philippine Eagle Owl at Zoocobia Fun Zoo
…a colorful avian creature that looked like a parrot…
Parrot at Zoocobia Fun Zoo
…a steadfast Brahminy Kite…
Grass Owl at Zoocobia Fun Zoo
We saw another bunch of ostriches just waiting to be fed.
Other types of animals found inside the menagerie greeted us that day. The reticulated python was one of them. I can’t help but be reminded of Bohol’s poster python- an equally scary piece of creature if you ask me.
Reticulated Python at Zoocobia Fun Zoo
But there was a yellowish python that seemed a lot friendlier! For Php 50, tourists can put the python around the neck and strike a pose. My mommy friend Camille was brave enough to do that. But not me…
More monkeys brought a smile to Tutapel’s face and that made me a notch happier.
A whole gamut of barn animals inside It’s A Small World kept us company for the next half an hour or so. Placed in a variety of stalls, visitors were free to interact with them but of course with caution.
We saw one of the visitors feeding the horse with blades of grass which I was told cost him Php 20.
Tutapel wanted to bottle feed one of the goats but the staff hardly had any change for bills above Php 50. If I’ve only known that this was the case all throughout Zoocobia and Paradise Ranch, then I should have brought several Php 20 bills with me instead.
There was a spectrum of souvenir items ranging from necklaces to bracelets to hats just outside the Zoocobia Barn.
Before we left for our next destination, we went inside the Animal Bone & Skin Museum which we finished in under 5 minutes for there wasn’t much to see inside.
Planning a visit to Zoocobia Fun Zoo and Paradise Ranch in Clark, Pampanga?
- Paradise Ranch
Tour with Swimming P 250
- Paradise Ranch Tour with Zoocobia P 250
- Paradise Ranch Tour , Swimming and Zoocobia Fun Zoo P 350
- Paradise Ranch Tour , Swimming and Buffet Meal (Lunch) P 450
- Night Tour with Swimming and Free Buffet Meal
(Dinner) P 350
alt: (045) 890-0223