Sunday, August 31, 2008

Philippines Zoo: Zoobic Safari (Subic)

If you're going to Subic, please take particular notice of ALL STOP Signs and ALL SLOW DOWN Signs. Because just a little further, there's a bunch of traffic officers lurking who will consider no apologies from first time travelers who have "violated" their traffic ordinances. Apparently, they are pretty strict when it comes to their traffic signs. So if you happen to miss one Stop sign, you're pretty much dead and it'll pretty much cost you a hundred bucks per officer if you get caught.

Also if you're going to Zoobic Safari, DO NOT BE FOOLED by their "accommodation" package. They say that the hotel is NEAR the safari, but in actuality, it's a 15-minute ride by car. If you plan on walking, good luck. It'll take an hour before you reach the actual zoo.

The safari itself is nice. The animals are interesting, the layout of the place is nice, and the ambiance is really relaxing.

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Here are the rates:

- Php 395 per adult for the day tour (that's approximately 3 hours of walking around the zoo with a tour guide);
- Php 200 for the chicken - so you can feed the tigers and have a much more exciting "close encounter" with them;
- Php 50 for the chicken - so you can feed the crocs;
- Php 240 and Php 540 to have your pictures taken with a tiger on your lap;
- Php 30 for one Magnolia Twin Pops ice cream.

Damn overpricing. Also don't miss their "SCRAMBALLED" Eggs when you plan to have breakfast at the zoo!! Hahaha!

Please click the thumbnail to view the image

But the close encounters with the animals is really something to remember. If you're planning a trip to Zoobic, I suggest not getting their overnight package because you'll be extremely disappointed with their accommodations, and unless you're not doing anything else, you'll just waste time sleeping in your room. Read More

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Philippines Zoo: Avilon Zoo (Montalban, Rizal)

For all animal enthusiasts in the Philippines, visiting the Avilon Zoo in Montalban, Rizal is a must! This 7.5 hectare zoo is the largest zoological park in the Philippines and it lies in the heart of Bo. San isidro, Rodriguez (Montalban) Rizal, Philippines. It will definitely satisfy your hunger for animal sight-seeing and adventure.

Going to Avilon Zoo is quite a pain. There's a part where the road gets rough and it would be best if you brought your 4x4 vehicles with you. If you're commuting, there are tricycles that offer a ride from the nearest town (Total Gas station) to the zoo for Php 40.00. However, don't expect to be squeaky clean once you arrive =). Also it's easy to get lost because there are no road signs that would direct you to where the zoo is. There are a few (and I really mean FEW), and you have to be very sharp to find it because it's VERY small (the sign says "This way to Avilon Zoo" but it's as big as a legal sized bond paper). It's better if you just ask around.

The zoo itself is a nice place. The entrance fee costs PHP 208.00 per person (around USD5.00), and if you want a guided tour, you can "rent" a knowledgeable guide for PHP350.00 only. Guests are allowed to bring their own food (and believe me, it's better if you do so because food and drinks sold inside the zoo are waaaay overpriced), but bringing of commercial goods such as McDonald's or Jollibee or KFC would cost you PHP25.00 per meal.

You can also have your picture taken with some of their animals. They charge PHP50.00 for 2 shots (using your personal camera) with their birds or with the mighty albino boa constrictor. This is a close encounter with their animals, by the way. Also at 2:00 PM onwards, their baby Orangutan is available for cradling. Don't miss this!





Despite the wonderful adventure, Avilon Zoo still lacks Maps and Directions. If you don't have a tour guide, you'd have difficulty figuring out where you are... It's a big place and it's easy to get lost without a map. Also some areas of the zoo are still being constructed. We have yet to see the fully developed zoo.

Bottom line is, the Avilon Zoo is absolutely a great experience for the family. Read More

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bulacan Resort: DJ Paradise

DJ Paradise is a great place if you're looking for a resort where you can relax, have fun under the sun, and experience the beach without going through the trouble of traveling so many hours just to feel the sand-sea on your face. Yes, it doesn't have the sand, nor the salty smell of the wind, but it does have a wave pool for you to experience the water splashing on your back. And you don't have to worry about drowning too, because the wave pool is only around 5.5 feet deep, with bodyguards positioned on every corner of the pool. Plus, they have several floating devices you can use to better enhance your swimming experience.

Their pools also have slides for the young, the yuppies, and the total adventurers. There are 1-storey high slides, 2-storey slides, and 3-storey slides. Just pick which will give you the best experience.

Also the rates are cheap. The overnight hotel rent for a Standard air-conditioned room with 1 bathroom, 2 queen sized beds, cable television, 2 free breakfast, and 2 free use of the pool is VERY affordable. Just check out their site for the rates.

Food is great. The ambiance is perfect for relaxation, although if you're from the hotel, you'd have to walk a bit to reach the pools. The park is clean and colorful. All in all, you have to book your next trip to this place. :)

For more details, please visit their website at: www.djparadise.com.ph Read More

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Manila Coffee Shop: Bo's Cafe

Bo's Coffee Club is a nice coffee shop. It really is, and they serve great coffee as well. But after my experience with them a few weeks ago, I don't think I'll ever step into one of their shops deliberately on my own, not unless I don't have any choice.

You see, after drinking their Cookies 'n Cream iced drink (I forgot what it was called, equivalent of Starbucks' Frappuccino), a few bites of their Lemon Tarte and Bo's Coffee Cheesecake, I had this terrible (Note: T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E) stomachache. Ugh.

The drink was okay. The cheesecake was... well, not what you'd expect but the taste was tolerable. The Lemon Tarte? Avoid it if you can. The lime didn't match well with the sweet icing and the after-taste is something you'd rather forget.

Bo's Coffee Club has shops usually in malls like Glorietta, Robinson's Galleria, The Block. It also has kiosks in some office buildings. For more information on their store locations, please visit: http://www.boscoffeeclub.com. Read More

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Manila Restaurants: Cascada


Cascada is The Classic Cheap Choice.

If you're near Greenbelt area and you're looking for a formal, fine-dining restaurant but on a budget, then you have to visit Cascada located at the 2nd floor of Greenbelt 3, Makati. Cascada offers a wide array of your classic dishes garnished with modern flavors from all over the world: from pasta, to salads, to rice dishes, to steaks. Plus, you get the fine-dining ambiance that's usually felt only at hotels or high-end restaurants. And the good news? It's not as pricey! Price range for a simple meal (without drinks) is at Php 250 - 500. Not bad, right? Especially when the food is great.

Oh and don't forget to get dessert! Try their chocolate fondue! Read More

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Manila Restaurants: Cocorama

Cocorama - a cute, retro restaurant at the 6th floor of Shangri-La Mall EDSA (corner Shaw Blvd, Edsa). It has an interesting ambiance: disco balls inside the restaurant, a Wolks-Vagen mini-bus as serving as the counter, and a burst of orange, yellow and pink lining its walls. It kind of reminds you of the hippie days.

The food looks terribly delicious if you check out their menu. Plus, it's quite affordable: Prices range from Php 100 - 200 per meal. Also service is terrific because you are greeting with smiling face and a very accommodating crew.

However, what you see isn't what you get. The Php 175 - pancake with custard filling meal has pancakes that are smaller than expected (it's the same as the circumference of a Wendie's biggie Cup). The filling also isn't that great. As for their steak sandwich, the bread they used probably wasn't fresh because it was so chewy. In the end, you'll end up eating the steak and leave the bread untouched.

Cocorama is a great place to visit if you want to be reminded of the hippie days, or if you want to try something new and groovy. Just don't expect much from the food. It probably won't make your priority list of restaurants. Read More

Monday, August 11, 2008

Welcome!

Welcome to Metro Pilipinas! Here you'll find restaurant reviews, interesting places to go to, stuff about the sights, sounds, and lifestyle of Metro Manila and other cities in the Philippines based on what I've experienced living in this country for the past 25 years.

The Philippines is not just a group of islands somewhere in the South China Sea. It is also a place of interest, relaxation, and memories. Hopefully, you'll find reasons to visit the country, or to explore all of its corners through this blog.

Happy reading! Read More