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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Paradizoo: My Suggested Things to Do (Mendez Cavite Upper Tagaytay)

Ever since I was young, I've had an innate enthusiasm for animals as well as plants so I just have to visit every zoo I come across and Paradizoo in Mendez Cavite (Upper Tagaytay) is no exception.  Here my suggested things to do at Paradizoo.

1. Get Up Close with the Farm Animals at Animal Farm
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Mini Horse or Pony (30 php)
Ride the Rodeo
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Regular Horse (50 php)

A great activity for kids up to 3 kilos is to ride the Mini Horse or Pony especially for those who haven't rode a horse before.  While, adults can ride the Regular Horse.

Share the Love Birds
paradizoo
Be very cautious and watch your step when you are inside Love Birds Aviary.  Grab some feeds, open your palm and have them peck gently on your hands.  It's a great experience to have love birds of various colors flocking at the palm of your hand.  

Feed the Goats
paradizoo
Goat Feeding (30 php)
For 30 php, you can bottle feed the baby goats.  I didn't get to try this nor did I see the baby goats though. =(
paradizoo

Observe Animals Up Close
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Camel
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Rabbits
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Sheep
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Carabao
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Ostrich
There are also wild boar and many more feathered animals which you can check out.

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Assorted Eggs
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Chicken
 2.  Roam Around the Eclectic Garden
paradizoo
Ecclectic Garden
With a mix of vegetable and flower plantations, there are lots to see in the Ecclectic Garden
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Kangkong Plantation
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Bonfire

 There's also a bonfire spot surrounded with Lavender plants.

3. Be Acquainted with Bees at the Honey Bee Farm
paradizoo
Honey Bee Farm
At the Honey Bee Farm, you can observe the busy bees at work.  I got to learn that during cold days, the bees consume their gathered honey.  But, during hot days, they make honey and cover them in wax.  They also sell the honey produce from the coffee plant and other souvenirs.  According to the staff, it is sweet with a mild sour taste.  He recommends the Honey made from Sampaloc nectar to be better tasting.
5. Appreciate Beauty at the Butterfly Garden 
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Butterfly
 Ask for assistance and have you're photos taken with a Butterfly

6.  Enhance Your Botanical Knowledge at the Flower Farm
paradizoo
Flower Garden
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Sunflower
See lots of bloomed flowers and learn about them at the Flower Garden.
 
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Marigold
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Mayana
I found the names and informational boards to be very helpful.

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Poinsenttia

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Impatience
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Mickey Mouse
If you've never seen a Mickey Mouse plant before, here it is.
 
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Chess Board
There's also a nice Chess Board and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs display there for pictorial purposes. 
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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
7. Know How Vegetables are grown at the Vegetable Farm and Hydroponics Farm
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Vegetable Farm

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Hydroponics Farm
They have lettuce and assorted root crop patches.
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Potato Spud Box
There are also Potato Spud Box which are quite new to me. 

8. Munch at their Eating Establishments
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Paradizoo Cafe
Head over to the Paradizoo Cafe the for food.

paradizoo

For functions and group dining, they have the Wedding Garden and Orchid Pavillion.

9. Take Home a Souvenir
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There are also souveneir , pet and plant stores if you want to take something home.

10. Pray for the Departed Animals at the Perpetual Park Pet Cemetery
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Travel Tripsters Verdict
We Travel Tripsters recommend that you visit Paradizoo.  There are lots of things to do at Paradizoo for a very reasonable entrance fee. 
Paradizoo
Address Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay, Cavite, Philippines
Budget Per Person 100-500 Paradizoo Map
Payment Options Cash

Operating Hours Monday to Sunday (even holidays)
Reservation Required No
Contact Facebook Fan Page |
Website

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Grande Island Resort: Top 6 Recommended Water Activities to Do (Subic SBMA Zambales)

So I've shared my top 6 recommended land activities.  Now, for the more exciting part is my top 6 recommended water activities to do at Grande Island Resort.

grande island resort

1. Go Swim
 grande island resort
You can swim at the Beach until 5pm.  The water is pristine clean.  The sand is a bit stony on the first part but go further towards the rocky edge part where the sand is fine and soft.  I was very happy with their Beach because it was so isolated and private.  The sea water is very salty so you'll easily float away.  Bring goggles if you want to enjoy seeing what's underneath.

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For those who have kids like the Korean guests we saw, you can opt for their large Pool which is open even at night.

2. Test Your Teamwork Balance with Banana Boat
grande island resort
Grande Island Resort offers a 5-Seater Banana Boat at the rate of 230 php per round.  Since I'm usually a solitary wanderer, it was my first time to ride a banana boat and boy am I glad to finally try it.  It was tons of fun!  It was fun to ride and bounce around.

grande island resort
photo credits to www.momsworldofartsandhappiness.com
 And, falling from the Banana Boat into the deep blue sea is just as sensational so everyone in the team probably intentionally attempted to make us fall off =p.

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Falling Off
Not to worry though since the boatman will jump to the rescue and assist you back to the Banana Boat in every fall.  Just relax,  float away, be patient and enjoy the cool sea water.

3. Go Under the Sea with Helmet Diving
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Speedboat to the Helmet Diving Station
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Helmet Diving Station
For 1,000 php per head, Grande Island Resort offers a 20-minute Helmet Diving.  We were all enthusiastic first-timers but we all found it easy to do with the effective orientation and assistance by the staff.

helmet diving

Upon reaching the Helmet Diving Station, we were given adequate instructions: a. Underwater sign languages for communication and safety measures b. Ways to equalize the pressure by swallowing, chewing and blowing our nose.  c. How our helmets (36 kilos) can be carried on our shoulders at the seabed (around 1 kilo).

helmet diving
I've tried Snorkeling and fish feeding at Puerto Princesa before but walking underwater with the sand on your feet and be part of the calm and vast under the sea world is a whole new experience.

Some of the fishes were familiar to me as they were the same as the once I saw in Palawan. But, there were lots of new once too like Leopard scaled ones.  Underwater, I was able to see how schools of small fishes based themselves on the ciral reefs.  They were all sorts of starfishes.  I was able to grab and touch a rough and stone-like starfish and a purple smooth one.  By feeding the fishes with bread, we were literally surrounded by fishes that it felt like we were swimming with them.  I was able to hold a stone with a live coral with baby fishes swimming in them.  That was amazing! 

4. Go Turbo on the Jet Ski
jet ski
photo credits to thepromdiboyadventures.blogspot.com
What made my Grande Island Resort experience epic was the Jet Ski Rental.  We rented their Masalugi (1200 cc) for 30 minutes at the rate of 2,500 php.  My friends took turns riding it.  Since it was my first time, I had a staff rode with me at the back for assistance. 

5. Try Kayaking 
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photo credits to thepromdiboyadventures.blogspot.com
Rent a kayak and paddle away.  I've learned that paddling on a calm sea is easier while stronger waves delivers a more rewarding work out on the muscle.

6. Sail Away On a Speed Boat
speed boat
For 2,500 php, you can sail away in a speedy way via speed boat.  To save time to go back the Subic Terminal, we rode the Speed Boat and had a super fun and windy ride.  I've learned that a calm sea offers a less splashy ride.

These are our Travel Tripsters recommended water activities because these are the only ones we've tried.  There's more water activities to try at Grande Island Resort like Scuba Diving and Snorkeling.

Grande Island Resort
Address Structure 684, Waterfront Road, Freeport Zone, Subic Bay, Zambales, Philippines
Budget Per Person 150-2,000 Grande Island Resort Map
Payment Options Cash

Operating Hours Monday to Sunday:
(even holidays)
9 am-10 pm
Reservation Required No (Encouraged)
Contact (632) 584-4359 | (632) 463-7868 | (6347) 252-2883 |  (63927) 7240999 | (63919) 366-9999 | reservation@grandeislandresort.com | info@grandeislandresort.com

Monday, January 19, 2015

Grande Island Resort: My Top 6 Recommended Land Activities to Do (Subic SBMA Zambales)

I've shared our accommodation at Grande Island Resort.  Now, I'll be sharing how fun it is to be on an isolated island when there's so much land activities you can do.  Here are the land activities we tried and I recommend them for you too.

grande island resort
1. Ride a Bike
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Grande Island Resort offers bicycle rental for 150 php an hour.  We decided to take a bike and explored the area. 

grande island resort
They have safe pathways from the port leading to the very last house.  Biking not only gave us an opportunity to exercise, it also allowed us to go to a greater distance at ease.  We were able to observe that they also had horses while we were biking.

2. Watch the Sun Set Along the Sea Shore
grande island resort
Photo credits to www.lifeofaci.com
Enjoy the fresh sea breeze as you watch the sun set along the sea shore. 

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 Watch the sun paint the skies with orange hue.

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The scenic view by the sea shore, rush of the cool air and the melodious sound of the crashing waves will surely offer you the relaxation that you can't get in the city.

3. Get Educated with the Historical Island Tour 

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The Historical Island Tour time schedules are 6 am, 9 am and 3 pm.  The duration is 30 to 1 hour for 250 php per person.

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According to Kuya Bert, our tour guide, the 42-hectare Grande Island was first discovered by the Spaniards during the 1600's.  A war between the Spaniards and Americans ended with the latter as the victor.  The Americans built underground power lines and water pipelines from SBMA as the source of electric and water.

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Back Beach

We were taken to the undeveloped back beach where we saw picnic tables built by the Americans.  The beach was so beautiful but not safe for swimming as the water is the breeding area for sea creatures such as jellyfish, sea urchins, stingray and sharks.  You can see some of the jellyfish, sea urchins and corals even on the shallow parts.  If you go to the deeper parts, you can find baby stingrays and sharks.

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Chiquita Island
Chiquita Island is a nearby island that is part of Grande Island Resort.  It is a 4-hectare island which serve as a bird sanctuary.  They offer nature trekking there too.

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Picnic Area Built by the Americans
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Battery Flake Tower

As the island is not a warzone but used as a fortress and battery, it has canons and heavy machine guns for anti-air and water ambush and defense.  The Battery Flake Tower still stands and is great for picture taking.

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Maid's Quarters
We also saw the Maid's Quarters.

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Hospital

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The lake used to be their football field.  We're told that the rain forests are home to geckos which go out around 3 pm.

4. Speed Downward Via Zipline 


JA of thepromdiboyadventures.blogspot.com
 Grande Island Resort's 300-meter long and 40-feet high zipline.



Me on the Zipline (photo credits to thepromdiboyadventures.blogspot.com)

The zipline is a good activity that is safe even for kids.  

5. Explore by Horse Back Riding

You can go up the mountains and see more of the island via horse back riding at 500 php per hour.
6. Eat, Drink and Be Merry
 
Orchid Hall A

Orchid Hall B
Food and drinks are not allowed to be brought on the island so I had a heavy breakfast before our 9 am ferry ride.  And yet, after all the biking, swimming, boating and diving, I found myself constantly looking for energy replenishment.  Good thing that Orchid Hall serves food anytime.

Eat By the Pool
You can have food delivered to your room and eat at your comfort by the veranda (additional 20% room service fee) or eat by the Orchid Hall A or B or by the pool (Only 10% SBMA and Service Charge).  Since we wanted to eat and bond as a group, we chose the latter.  The food was reasonably priced as an order is good for 2-3 persons.  Being a group of 10 allowed us to explore to selections.

Sweet & Sour Fish (355 php)
Pork Sinigang (375 php)
Shrimp Sinigang (395 php)

Bulalo (455 php)

Chopsuey (295 php)
For lunch, we  had the Sweet & Sour Fish (355 php), Pork Sinigang (375 php), Shrimp Sinigang (395 php), Bulalo (455 php), Chopsuey (295 php) and Plain Rice (50 php).   For dinner, we had the Sweet & Sour Fish again (Yes, my companions loved this!),Garlic Shrimp (375 php), Beef Broccoli (355 php) (the meat was tough), Pork Sinigang again (This is the best dish as the group raved for this non-stop.  It didn't even reach my end of the table), Pinakbet w/ Bagnet (325 php), Pork Sisig (325 php) and Plain Rice



Omelet

For breakfast, we were fortunate to have a breakfast buffet which they serve when guests are 20 or more.  They have an omelet station with three choice of ingredients: cheese, ham and green and red bell peppers. 

They had hot water for coffee and rotating toasted for toasted bread served with jam and butter.


The buffet selection includes: Hot Lugaw with chicken, hard boiled egg and black pepper, Buttered Carrots and String Beans,Tapa, Tocino and Fried Bangus.  It also.includes Orange Juice for drinks.
 
I'd like to thank our server Ver who gave as the best dining experience in terms of service. 
 
You can also buy snacks such as Chippy (50 php) and beer (90 php) for a great bonding time.

So this sums up our Travel Tripsters recommendation.  Enjoy!
Grande Island Resort
Address Structure 684, Waterfront Road, Freeport Zone, Subic Bay, Zambales, Philippines
Budget Per Person 150-2,000 Grande Island Resort Map
Payment Options Cash

Operating Hours Monday to Sunday:
(even holidays)
9 am-10 pm
Reservation Required No (Encouraged)
Contact (632) 584-4359 | (632) 463-7868 | (6347) 252-2883 |  (63927) 7240999 | (63919) 366-9999 | reservation@grandeislandresort.com | info@grandeislandresort.com