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I love to travel just to explore new things in life from breathtaking natural wonders, interesting historical sites, delicious food, friendly people and colorful culture. I treasure every moment in traveling by writing in my journal, taking photos and publish it in my travel blog.
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Sunday, July 8, 2018

A Rainy Escapade at Zoobic Safari

It is another accomplishment to visit one of the fastest growing towns in the north. Located in the western part of Central Luzon, Subic is a former home of one of the largest military facilities outside the USA and a former part of Olongapo City. 
The town proper of Subic, Zambales
Last month, we were able to have a staycation in Subic. Despite of the rainy weather because of Habagat, we decided to stay for three days in this town. We checked in at Subic International Hotel and we had a tour in the famous shopping mall in this town, the Harbor Point. Therefore, the most memorable part of this travel is the visit at Zoobic Safari.
The facade of Zoobic Safari.
Nestled in the forests of Subic, Zoobic Safari is a twenty-five hectare forest adventure park and it is also the first tiger sanctuary here in the country. As you enter the place, you may see albino carabaos (water buffaloes with white complexion) and pigs roaming around in the area.
Photo opp with Titan, the white tiger.
The entertaining animal show at Zoobic Safari.
The first thing that we have done is to take a picture with a white tiger cub named Titan and it was followed by watching the animal show featuring domestic animals such as dogs, rabbits, cats, lovebirds and a cockatoo. 
The customized safari jeep going to the Tiger Safari.
You can have a close encounter with the tigers in this Tiger Safari. You may feed them with meat while riding
in their customized jeep.
A close encounter with the big cats.
After that, we were able to ride on a tram and started to tour the zoo. Because of the rainy weather, most of the animals stayed in their cages or in their area and we were not able to visit other attractions due to the weather condition. We visited the Tiger Safari where we rode on a customized safari jeep and a chance to have a closer look with the tigers. There are only three tigers during that time because of the bad weather. 
In Savannah, you can find many farm animals such as goats and even a camel.
Horses and cattle gather around the savannah along with wild pigs.
Then, we proceeded to the Savannah where there are farm animals such as horses, goats, cows, wild pigs and even camels walking in this area. There are also ducks and chickens roaming in this area.
Crocodiles are waiting for the food given by the tourists.
A crocodile staying alone in a place. 
This is how crocodiles crave for meat. 
A closer look of the crocodile.
Lastly, we went to Croco Loco where you can have a close encounter with crocodiles and you can feed them by dangling a chicken tied to a bamboo pole in order to see how high they can jump. There are almost 200 crocodiles in this area and they are well-nourished because of they are fed by the zookeepers and tourists as well and the area is very adequate. 
Turtles are enjoying swimming in their mini-pond during the rainy days.
Two turtles are dwelling in the rocks before they swim.
A lion just simply waiting in the cage
Titan, the white tiger, taking its time to relax and play while waiting for the customers for the photo opp.
Another tiger was waiting on the cage during the rainy day. Later, the lion approached this tiger.
Before we go to the hotel, we took our lunch in the zoo and taking a look on the other animals. There are also turtles which are swimming in their mini-pond and they are also dwelling and walking in rocks and manmade islands in their pond. There are also a lion and tigers on the cages in lobby while waiting for the coming days for the photo opportunity and also waiting during rainy day.

We also bought souvenirs such as t-shirts and stuffed toys as a remembrance and once, we went back to the hotel, everyone enjoyed the experience of going to the zoo. Other animals such as ostriches, zebras, birds, and reptiles are also found in this zoo.

Therefore, Zoobic Safari is an ideal place for wild animals and domesticated animals. The tigers and crocodiles are nourished with food, the domestic animals are also close to humans especially to their caretakers and the location is ideal because of the lush vegetation in this area. The staff are also welcoming and they can take care of their animals. Probably in my next visit, I want to see the other animals in this zoo free from their cages and enjoying the warm weather.

Definitely, I will come back to Subic again to visit the Zoobic Safari and trying to explore more of this town especially if the weather is fine and sunny. Therefore, I visited my 12th province - Zambales.

Tiger stuffed toys are one of the best selling souvenirs in Zoobic Safari.
Subic is not just a fast growing town but also a place rich in vegetation and trees.
Date of Travel: June 16, 2018

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Heritage Nostalgia: First Visit at the Museum of Natural History

It's been a nostalgic experience to discover our roots from paintings, sculptures, artifacts, writings, and archives. This time, we can trace our heritage through scientific evidences and natural beauty.

After I visited the National Museum of Fine Arts and the National Museum of Anthropology, I've got the chance to visit the third museum located within the compound of Rizal Park - the National Museum of Natural History. It was opened to the public last May 18, 2018 in order to commemorate the National Heritage Month. The building now occupied by the museum was built in the late 1930's and it became the Agriculture and Commerce Building in 1940. The building was also occupied by the Department of Tourism. 
The neoclassical architecture featured on the facade of the Museum of Natural History.
For its second week, there are so many visitors in the museum.
When I first visited the museum, there are many people who visited there despite of the rainy weather. Other galleries are not yet open during that time. After one month, I visited the museum again for the second time where there are more galleries which are open to the public. Definitely, there is no entrance fee to be paid, but you need to leave your backpacks in the baggage counter and avoid putting flash in your cameraphones while taking pictures.
The skeleton of Lolong.
The replica of Lolong located in the upper entrance hall of the museum.
I took the opportunity to visit first the gallery where you can find the skeleton of Lolong, the largest crocodile in captivity. Lolong is a male saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porous) which was captured in the wetlands of Agusan Marsh within the municipality of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur. He was estimated to be at least 50 years old during the time of his capture and he was suspected of eating a fisherman and a 12-year old as well with the loss of water buffaloes or carabaos in the town. Lolong died in captivity on 2013 due to pneumonia and cardiac arrest. Today, the remains of Lolong were moved to this museum. 
It is also interesting to know that there are rhinoceros here in the Philippines during the prehistoric era. 
In the same gallery, you can also see the fossilized bones of rhinoceros (Rhinoceros philippinensis) in our country dated 709,000 years ago. The skeleton was excavated in the town of Rizal, Kalinga and it proved another evidence of pre-historic activity in our country.
Replicas of stingray, whale shark and dolphins.
Sunfish (above) and Napoleon wrasse (below).
Some varieties of corals found in the Philippine seas.
Examples of fan corals.
Corals provide habitat and shelter for marine creatures, so we need to take care of these organisms.
Some examples of mollusks or shells which can be found in our seas.
Some varieties of echinoderms such as star fish and sea urchins which can be seen in our rich marine life.
Variety of crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters which can found in our ocean.
Giant clam
Green turtle
Variety of fishes which can be found in the ocean such as butterfly fish, porcupine fish,  and stone fish to name a few.
After that, you may also the visit the gallery of Marine Realm. It features the richness of marine biodiversity in our country. You can see the replicas of some marine animals such as the sunfish, Napoleon wrasse, whale shark, dolphins and stingray. You can also see fishes, corals, crustaceans, echinoderms, mollusks, a replica of green turtle and a giant clam. Inside the gallery, there is also a submarine and an interactive video on the life under the sea.
Mangrove trail in the gallery.
Various crabs, shrimps, lobsters and sea shells which can be found in intertidal zones.
Echinoderms in coastal zones.
There are also poisonous shells and mollusks!
Venomous or poisonous marine creatures such as stonefish, crown of thorns and dark-fingered crab.
Tidal pool (above) and rocky shore (below) where there are echinoderms and sea shells. 
Different intertidal ecosystems (clockwise from left to right): Beach, rocky shore, mangrove swamp and seagrass.
A crab and a beehive.
Different species of birds such as kingfishers. fowls, ducks and herons.

Lastly, I also visited the gallery for mangrove, beaches and intertidal zones. You may experience a mangrove trail inside the gallery and the various species that you can see in the coastal habitats from beaches, rocky shores, tidal pools or lagoons, mangrove swamps and sea grasses. You can also have a glimpse of creatures found in this area as well with plants located in these areas such as sasa and nilad.
A new life. It is a hatching day for our baby turtles. 
Don't forget also to check the Turtle Islands where you can see a diorama on how turtles hatch from their eggs and kept in a nest called a clutch. It seems that it is a symbolism of a new journey, a new beginning where there are new horizons waiting for them. 

Watch out for the second part of my post here in the Museum of Natural History. 

Date of Travel: May 25, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Travel Throwback: Discovering the History and Natural Beauty of Maragondon

Five years ago... I experienced to have a getaway in the largest town in Cavite - Maragondon. Located in the western part of the province, Maragondon is bordered by Ternate in the north, Naic and Indang in the east, and Magallanes and Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo (Bailen) in the south. In the west, it is surrounded by the town of Nasugbu, Batangas and South China Sea.

Maragondon is known for its historic importance in the Philippine Revolution particularly in the life of Andres Bonifacio. It is the town where the Bonifacio Brothers faced the court and they were sentenced to death penalty. 
The Bonifacio Trial House in Maragondon, Cavite.  It is also the ancestral house of Teodorico Reyes built in 1889. (c) 2013
Life-sized dioramas of the incident where the Bonifacio Brothers in trial. (c) 2013
Maragondon also is a place where the Bonifacio brothers were executed on May 10, 1897 in the mountains of Cavite. Today, the Bonifacio Execution Site is located in the foothills of Brgy. Pinagsanhan nestled within the mountains of the area.
The KKK which also depicts the battles of Andres Bonifacio during the Philippine Revolution. (c) 2013
The Tagalog word "Bayani" symbolizes the heroism of Andres Bonifacio. (c) 2013
Historical marker of Bonifacio Execution Site. (c) 2013
In addition, you may visit the historical Baroque church in Maragondon, the Our Lady of Assumption Church. It was built in 1611 and it is one of the National Historical Treasures in our country. 
The Our Lady of Assumption Church in Maragondon, Cavite. (c) 2013
Aside from its historical significance, the town also features the natural, rural beauty of the countryside. There are many mountains for hiking, beach resorts for excursion and wide rivers and dashing waterfalls. Maragondon got its name from the Tagalog word "madagundong" meaning too much sound because of the big rivers located within the town.
A mountain located near the Bonifacio Execution Site. Others said that it is Mt. Buntis. (c) 2013
The view of Maragondon River from a hanging bridge. (c) 2013
The verdant view of the mountains. (c) 2013
Enjoying the rural scenario with this dried rice plains. (c) 2013
A hanging bridge in Maragondon. (c) 2013
Therefore, my visit in Maragondon is one of the most memorable visits I've ever had five years ago. Aside from exploring the history, I also had the chance to discover my roots as a Caviteno and exploring the natural beauty of Cavite by preserving its rural ambiance and appreciating the historic roots of our province. 

Date of Travel: April - May 2013
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