Monday, November 28, 2011

Zoo-per day: Avilon Zoo

One random Sunday, mama woke me up and asked me if I want to go to Avilon Zoo. Ok? Is it because I'm always watching Daldalita these past few days? Lol. It turned out that Papa had long been planning to visit it plus my pamangkin would be turning 4 in a few days so we tagged him with us. I don't usually see him so I can seriously feel his awkwardness in the back seat. hehe.

It's a very long drive from Cavite to Rodriguez, Rizal. And its napaka-unstrategic location was harder to find because of lack of signage in the main road. They have been open for a long time already but still they can't provide simple arrows. We only got a view of their one and only sign about more than a km. away from the zoo. Annoying. Kala ko alam na nila Papa yung way, too late to know that they have a map in their website. Annoying x2.

The "less-traveled" road. You can drive down that river going to Avilon but of course we opted to go around the other way.

At last! Hello Avilon Zoo!

Entrance fee is 300php and 200php for kids 3ft. and below. It's a 7.5 hectare zoo so the lady asked us if we would want to hire a tour guide for 400php. We're four in the group, I'm not sure though if it's the same rate for larger groups. I asked if they have at least a map so we could just explore it by ourselves. And the answer is... none. They have a 7.5 hectare zoo and they don't even bother to even plot a simple map for convenience? We also told her about the need for signage in the main road. She said that's really one of their problem and they're now in the process. Ok, at least aminado sila. =]

Having had to decide a name for this wildlife sanctuary, Jake thought of combining two French words: AVES meaning of or about BIRDS, and LON meaning LAND, to form the word AVILON or LAND OF THE BIRDS. Of course Avilon zoo isn't just about birds, with its large exhibits of more than 3000 specimens of exotic and indigenous animals represented by more than 600 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, fishes and invertebrates as well as close to 400 species of plants of which more than half are endemic to the Philippines, Avilon Zoo is one of the zoos in Southeast Asia having the most diverse representation of flora and fauna.
AVILON ZOO embraces the philosophy: Celebrating Life! Life is precious and every living creature on Earth has a right to live --- freely and fully. Avilon Zoo showcases the Living Creatures that share the Earth with us in all its diversity and splendor; its cycles of birth and rebirth; its fragility and resiliency.

   - text copied from their website, which I think was updated last year pa.

First thing you’ll pass by is their canteen, though you can bring in food and drinks inside. Better. They also offer balsa for rent if you want to eat in the heat of the sun while floating in the water. joke. It’s shaded.

Si mother Daisy! Haha. (I was referring to one of the characters in Daldalita, in case you’re wondering)

The funny gibbon! Warning: Don’t read the next sentence if you’re eating. I have a video of him pulling his poop out with his bare hands and examining it. It’s interesting. LOL.

The lazy orangutan. I can’t blame him, he’s alone there and they got high voltage wires below in case he jump out. Kawawa lang. =[

Someone needs a mani/pedi.

I have this weird mannerism from time to time. I tend to bend my head sidewards and let it hang when I’m watching tv or when I’m idle. And I think it runs in the blood. Lol.

Meet my friend Trixie (not sure with the name). hehe. You pay 50php for a photo op with the animals each in different stations using your own camera. It’s supposed to be limited to 2 shots only but they’re nice enough to let us take endless shots. haha! Maybe that only applies if there’s a lot of customers.

Her hand is heavy! XD

Cute! =]

Love the color!

Oh yes, they’re pecking me!

Love this shot.

Parking space.

The rough road.

It was a really nice zoo, only if given a more accessible location and attention on details it could gain again more visitors and be a hotspot for tourists and locals. I love how spacious the pathways are plus the close encounter to some of their animals. They don’t have an elephant and a giraffe. I think they have snakes in there but we haven’t seen it. They should really check out even those simple things needed, it’s a waste of money kung papabayaan lang nila after so many years. They have to feed an entire zoo everyday. Sad.

Sorry if this post takes time to load because of so many photos in it. I can’t stop myself. I still have to share some of my fave shots. haha!


Avilon Zoo
Bo. San Isidro, Rodriguez, (Montalban) Rizal, Philippines
(632) 948-9866, (632) 941-8393, (632) 941-8530

Friday, November 11, 2011

Last day at SG plus tips

Last SG-related post. hihi! Got a bit lazy after school started. =]

Last day was just spent on last minute shopping. We checked out at 12pm and left our luggage at the hotel to roam around the nearby malls before we go to the airport for our 5:20 pm flight. Around 2.30pm, we already left the hotel and took the train again going to Changi. It only took us about 40mins from Bugis station to Terminal 2, if my memory serves me right. Hehe. We finished all the check in and stuffs in just a short time, leaving us more than an hour to sit and rest before boarding.

Budget Terminal is not that bad, though it's much smaller compared to the main Changi Airport. They only got a few shops for souvenirs and stuffs inside. They also got some PCs in one area where you can surf the web for free. I think they also have free wifi there, but I didn't get to try it. They also got 3 for S$10 store inside but for shirts, it's better to finish your pasalubong shopping at Bugis Market. You can also spend off your remaining coins at 7eleven which is also inside the departure area. There's also a lot of seats/couch/bench around the area. Just in front of 7eleven, you can waste your time stenciling in this wooden table with various embossed designs promoting Eco-friendliness, perfect for kids and kids at heart. Hehe.

My masterpiece. Lol. I wasn't able to finish it because it's already boarding time. Boo.

In Budget Terminal, you have to walk at the tarmac. No tubes (whatever it is called) connected to the plane. What if it rains? IDK.

That's all folks! =] Thank you Lord God for our safe trip back and forth.
 A fun, fun 4 day trip for us!

TIPS: (feeling expert lang. hehe)

Getting around SG:

·        Don't forget to buy an Ez-linkcard if you're planning to go around by yourself. You can buy it first at Changi Terminal 2 train station. It costs S$12, the 5 would be non-refundable and 7 would be the usable value. You could use it on buses and train and also on some selected cabs. You can top it up on 7eleven stores with a min. amount of S$10.

·         Get a map. It would be your best buddy in your trip. We found our way from Mustafa back to Summerview at Bencoolen St. using the map. Lakad lakad lang. Hehe.
·         Check on the landmarks/street names around the hotel you'll be staying in. This would help you when you're taking a bus. Bus stops have different route/stop when you're going from pt. A to pt. B and pt. B to pt. A. In other words, if you took a bus to some place you won't be alighting at the same stop when you go back. Unless you want the bus to finish off its entire pt. B to pt. A route, which is a waste of time.
·         Cabs have different flag down rates and it's also costs more when you ride on peak hours.


·         If you're on a tight budget, hawker center is the place to go. It's a food court in public places. The price ranges from S$2 - S$5 on average. Different stalls, mostly Indian and Chinese food and also Korean. Some places you could try are Maxwell Center at China Town and SG Food Trail near SG Flyer.
·         Restaurants at the mall would most probably be pricier for obvious reasons. At Vivo City, we ate at Food Republic which is much like a food court too with wide choice of cuisines. The price ranges from S$4 and up for a meal.
·         Don't stick on rice meals on the rest of your trip. Corny yun. Hehe. Here are some to start off your list: Hainanese chicken, Kaya toast, Laksa and more. Ako na yata lagi may pinaka-weird na inoorder sa amin. Lol.


·         Better rates at Mustafa Center at Little India or Lucky Plaza at Orchard Rd. You can just bring your PHP in to exchange directly for SGD.

Cheap souvenir hunting

·         We mostly bought stuffs at Bugis Market because it’s only a 5 minute walk from the hotel.
·         You can buy chocolates at Mustafa Center (Little India). Chocolates are a bit cheaper there. It’s like a department store where they also sell electronics/bags/shirts and a lot more.
·         I suggest buying your key chains and shirts at Bugis Market. They have 3 for S$10 shirts there but of course don’t expect good quality. Better shirts priced at S$12, not bad at all. =] And if I’m not mistaken, I saw one of the stalls selling 18 key chains for S$10.
·         I also got to buy a lot of cute necklaces there! Yey! =]

What to do?
  • Like visiting temples? Take a walk at Little India or Chinatown.
  • Animal Sightings? Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo
  • Animal Sightings w/a cold night breeze? Night Safari! =]
  • High-end shopping? Orchard Rd.
  • Fun? Of course, Universal Studios! =]
  • Tour the Sentosa Island! Don’t forget to try the SkyLine Luge Ride! =]
  • And be lost! #chos
Very, very USEFUL apps. to download:

 1. Singapore SMRT

- complete route of SMRT.
- you may plan your route and know the est. travel time with this.

2. SG Buses

- compete list of public buses including the list of bus stops of each
- you can also search for the suggested route and the bus you'll ride on (internet connection needed)
- this is the most used app on our trip. This plus a map, and you're ready to go! =]

3. Singapore Maps

- map of Singapore (obviously). An alternative for those who don't want to look lost in public. Lol.
- It also give you directions and the est. fare and travel time. (internet connection needed)

4.  Singapore mtrip travel guide
- best app. if you don't have any plans yet.
- It provides a list of Attractions/ Restaurants/ Shopping Center/ Bars/ Hotels
- You may choose from those listed and plot it on your travel dates OR just give your preferences and this app would instantly provide you a suggested itinerary for your whole trip. You still can edit the result after.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Singapore Trip: USS

3rd day of the trip is scheduled for my much awaited Universal Studios Singapore trip. yey! =] We headed straight to Sentosa Express so we could get to USS early. It’s almost 10am when we got there and a lot of people are already there and I was already rushing them because long lines might be  forming already. Excited ako? LOL.


But honestly, you don’t need to rush in. 10am is the park’s opening time but they let people even before 10. When we went inside a lot of people is already walking around the park. And I’m again hearing a lot of Tagalog convo around. hihi.

Vintage cars in front of Mel’s Diner

 Kyoooooooooooot! =]

We went first at “Lights, Camera, Action! by Steven Spielberg”. We’re second in line so we’re placed at the first level nearest to the stage. And this is the best place, believe me! hehe. They let you experience a major hurricane happening in New York, just how Hollywood people do it. A for amazing talaga. Don’t miss this, it’s a very cool experience, especially if you’ll be in the front row. =]

Next stop: Sci-Fi City. We just tried the Accelerator because I seriously don’t have the guts to try Battlestar Galactica. haha! Space Shuttle pa nga lang ng EK never pa ako nag-try, ito pa. LOL.
The round thing in the middle of each can also be moved. Just spin it really hard. hehe. Nalaman lang namin nung patapos na yung ride, di tuloy ako nahilo.

Hanggang pictures lang ako. Lol.

Choose one:

Ancient Egypt

Nothing much in here, except for the giant statues around. And of course the “Revenge of the Mummy” ride! =] If you also don’t have the intestines to ride Battlestar,  but still you want to experience an exciting ride, this one’s for you! =] If you missed Battlestar, don’t ever miss on this. As in! hehe.

From the entrance, the staff would already give you a head start that this is a “high speed indoor roller coaster”. Be warned. chos!

~to go or not to go? hehe.

No bags allowed inside, so no pictures inside. They rent out lockers in the side which is free for 30mins. It’s a long long walk inside with matching background music that adds up to the creepiness/excitement. =] Maybe one reason for this is you still have the choice to back out if you’re not sure. hehe. The two girls in front of us eventually searched for the nearest exit when we are already half the way. We almost backed out but good thing we didn’t. haha! When we finally reached the line for the ride we only waited for a minute for the next coaster. And they’re true to their words, it’s really a high speed roller coaster! It’s dark in there and next thing you’ll know, the coaster is diving into the darkness. A lot of people says it’s like the Space Mountain of Disneyland. But I have yet to experience that so I can’t compare. But definitely Revenge of the Mummy was a thrilling ride you shouldn’t miss. =]

Next stop: The Lost World & Far Far Away
I wasn’t able to try Canopy Flyer because no want wants to ride with me. Tss. So off we go to Shrek 4D first.

Their theater was large enough to occupy a LOT of people. Be prepared to be spitted by Donkey. After the show, we headed to WaterWorld just in time before the show starts. We seated on the dry zone. But if you’re ready to be splashed on, go seat near the stage. The casts were good actors plus they’re funny too.

 I enjoyed the splashing of water to those people in the splash zone. hehe. The overall production was also nice, you’ll really see where the S$66 entrance fee goes.

Next was Madagascar. And too bad I didn’t get to see the Penguins! And Puss in Boots!.=[

 Last show we watched is the Monster Rock Show at Hollywood. It’s a musical show with monsters coming alive to rock on. huh? Lol. I enjoyed it a lot unlike Kuya who was even tapped by one of the cast because he’s already slumping on his seat. tss! I love musicals so definitely this show is on my top list to watch here. They even did Nobody by Wondergirls. haha!

After the show, we just went around some of the stores. After some minutes umulan na so umalis na kami. Though  most of the places in USS has roofs, so worry not. Bye Puss in Boots, I’ll see you some other time! =[

My colorful lunch that day. =] Korean mixed veggies at Food Republic.

My potion bottle from USS! =]

After USS, bad trip na dahil sa naubos na oras sa bus. argh. So Bugis Junction lang kami nung gabi na. brr.