Skip to main content

Rediscovering Manila: Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden

       Manila is blessed with so many places for recreation. Whether you're hanging out with your friends bonding with your family, there are a lot of options here where you can go to. One of them is the Manila Zoo (formally known as Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden), a 5.5-hectare (14-acre) zoo located in Malate, Manila. Located along Adriatico St., Manila, the Zoo also has canteens, photo booths, souvenir shops, boating rentals at the lagoon and several playgrounds that cater to children and tourists. You can actually go picnic inside while enjoying the flora and fauna that can be found here.

Main entrance
       Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden opened its doors to the public on July  25, 1959. It serves as one of the educational centers in the country where the viewing public can observe, discover and learn interesting facts about the beauty of Philippine fauna and flora. Manila Zoo has a land area of 5.5 hectares and has a current population of about 500 animals.

Daily scene at the zoo
       As of this writing, entrance fee to the zoo are categorized to Manilan's and Non-Manilans. For those who are residing in Manila, the fee for an adult and a child above 4ft. is PHP50. Entrance fee for the child below 4ft. is PHP30. One should bring any valid ID to prove that you really are a Manila resident. I have been living in Manila for 3 years now and unfortunately, I don't have any ID that time to prove it so I ended up paying the Non-Manilan's rate which is PHP100. Children above 4ft. is also PHP100, otherwise its PHP50.


       There are 106 species, among which are 30 different kinds of mammals, 63 reptile species and 13 types of birds. In addition to popular zoo occupants such as an Asian elephant, variety of reptiles, Philippine deer, double-wattled cassowary, tigers, lions, hippos and a variety of birds. Manila Zoo also houses several endemic and indigenous species of animals like the bearcat, long-tailed macaques and crocodiles.

Maali, the world's loneliest elephant
       Maalis is arguably the favorite attraction among the animals in the zoo. Maali is an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and is the only elephant in the country. She was a gift for the late Ferdinand Marcos, then President of the Philippines at that time in 1997 when she was just 3 years old. Her home was once the grasslands of Sri Lanka. The zoo has been her home for  nearly 40 years. She is 42 years old this 2016. And for those four decades, she would not see her mother or another elephant again. Mali has lived all alone since 1977. And it’s clear she’s never considered this zoo her home.

       Animal rights advocates from all over the world have been protesting to free Maali and return her to the wild. In 2013, Hollywood actress and PETA member  Pamela Anderson even wrote a letter to President Ninoy Aquino requesting for Maali's release but no action has been taken yet up to this day. Beatles member Paul McCartney also wrote a letter to President Aquino requesting the same.

       Maali is the first elephant that I saw in my 24 years of existence. When I first saw her, although I'm amused, I can't help myself but felt pity for her. I knew she was lonely and has been longing for that life she had some 40 years ago. If I would become the President of the Philippines, I would have released Maali to the grasslands of Sri Lanka right where she belong.

From upper left (Clockwise): ostrich, hippopotamus, burmese python, and Philippine deer
       Then there's Reptile House where a varieties of reptiles cam be found. Attractions incluse a Burmese python, green iguana, Philippine cobra, estuarine crocodile, tortoise, sailfin water lizard and more.

        There's also an aviary that houses several types of birds which includes egret, macaw, parrots and more. As a friendly reminder, feeding animals is strictly prohibited.

Photo Souvenir shop
       Now to immortalize your visit here in the zoo, you can have your photographs taken at this photo souvenir shop where in you can choose whether you will have birds as your props or you can have the yellow Burmese python hang around your neck!

      It's a nice experience for me to go back to a zoo since the last time was when I am 11 years old. The park needs extra care and maintenance as the place looks old already to attract more tourists. It's recommended for family, especially the kids.

How to get there?

       Via LRT 1, the nearest station is Quirino Station where you can actually walk westward (towards Baywalk) about 300 meters. From MRT, you can get there via MRT Taft Avenue Station then transfer to LRT 1 EDSA Station then drop off at Quirino Station. From LRT 2, you can transfer to LRT 1 at Recto Station then connect to LRT Doroteo Jose station. There are jeepneys from Quezon City passing by España and Quiapo, take jeepneys with sighboard Harrisson/Vito Cruz and Mabini. Just request the driver to drop you off in front of the zoo. This is the same for jeepneys on Rizal Avenue (Avenida) and Sta. Cruz. From Baclaran, you can take the LRT and get off at Quirino Avenue station or better, just ride a jeep to Quiapo/Sta. Cruz/Divisoria with Mabini on the signboard (never the ones with Taft as they don't pass by in front of the zoo) 


Popular posts from this blog

Diwata Imacoto Beach | Rediscovering Oas, Albay

Summer has got to be my favorite time of the year. It means a lot of torrid sunlight, a lot of sweating and dehydration at some point, but there are so many ways to beat it and the open sea is the key. Behind the lush mountains of my hometown Oas in Albay province lies a haven many would think doesn't exist, even an Oas native like me. Up above its coastal areas, a paradise is waiting to be rediscovered. There I found the Diwata Imacoto Beach in the barangay of Cagmanaba. Its name was derived from the owners surname. With its crystal clear waters, white sand, and tranquil atmosphere, everyone will find it a perfect place to unwind without having to spend that much. The place is under-developed and I must say it is whole lot better that way.

       There are many good beaches in Albay and  I'm just glad that my hometown had a good share of it. People from all over the town frequented this beach especially during summer. People from neighboring towns have also had experie…

Burj Park: A Patch of Green in Downtown Dubai

With all the massive and high-rise buildings spread all over the city, it's a breath of fresh air to find a green spot in the middle of the city where you can simply lie down in the grass under the shade of few trees while marveling at the ever changing skyline of Dubai. Just around the Burj Khalifa you'll find this tiny park called Burj Park.

       There are bicycles in the area that are up for rent. The place is also a venue for mini concerts and events. At the time I went here, there is a stage being set up for an event. The place is also ideal for yoga or zumba classes and provides a resting place for joggers around the area.
       Just beside the park is the newly opened Dubai Opera, a state-of-the-art venue for opera, theatre, concerts, art exhibitions, orchestra, film, sports events, and seasonal programmes in Downtown Dubai's Opera District. The stunning architecture adds to the already  amazing structure of the whole Downtown Dubai complex.

      In the …

Rediscovering Oas, Albay: Barangay Cagmanaba

Oas is a first class municipality in Albay province. I was born and had grew up there. Most of my fondest childhood memories were here. Up above its coastal areas, a paradise is waiting to be rediscovered. It's the barangay  of Cagmanaba. With its crystal clear waters, fine white sand, and islets, it could be the next top tourist attraction of the province. We're lucky to saw it in its still virgin state.
Where is Oas?
      Oas is in the Bicol peninsula, southeast of Luzon. From Manila, you can take a bus from the terminals in Cubao or Pasay and embark on a 10-hour journey to the south. Or, to make life easy, get on a plane to Legazpi City, hail a bus at Legazpi’s terminal and after an hour on the road, hop off at the public market of Oas. Well-traveled men and hobbits, when asked of places to see in Albay, would perhaps not mention this town. Their list, most likely, will include the regulars: the world-famous Mayon Volcano, the Cagsawa Ruins of Daraga, Misibis…

The Waterfall, Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall is more than just the largest mall in the world by total space. Aside from home to the world's most luxurious brands, a massive aquarium, it also features unique concepts and design that the world has never seen. One thing that surely caught mall-goers eye is The Waterfall. This massive waterfall runs through the four levels of the mall and features art sculptures of human divers made of fiberglass creating the illusion as if they really are diving from the top to bottom.

       Dubai Mall being so vast, the Waterfall is a very good meeting point for families and friends. Coffee shops and retail outlets overlooks the waterfall. Some palm trees were also set up to to make the ambiance of a desert oasis.

       With expansions going on, we can only expect that Dubai Mall will be adding more attractions to keep up with the interests of the growing visitors of the mall.

How to get there?
       Take the Metro Red Line and get off at Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Station. T…

Ligñon Hill Nature Park | Rediscovering Legazpi City

Legazpi City is the capital of Albay province. It is often called as the City of Fun and Adventure. Why? First, the city  is a land of happy people. Tourists can say how warm and welcoming the locals are. The city is also blessed with natural tourist spots which drew thousands of local and foreign visitors. Mayon Volcano is definitely the Hall of Famer when it comes  to the top destination the tourists want to see  but in recent years, a lot of tourism projects and developments were done hence boosting the growth of the city. One of the places you should  visit whenever visiting the city is the Ligñon Hill Nature Park in Bogtong, Legazpi City.

       For years, the hill had become one of the most visited landmark in he city. The summit rises to about 512 feet (156 meters). It offers a 360 degree panoramic view of the Mayon Volcano, the downtown Legazpi City and neighboring towns, and the Albay gulf. The place is perfect for sightseers, adventure seekers, and to those who want…

Bambusetum | Kawa-Kawa Hills | Ligao City, Albay

On the slopes of Kawa-Kawa Hills in Tuburan, Ligao City, Albay lies another attraction that has been drawing thousands of visitors since it opened in 2014. The place is called Bambusetum. From the name itself, it is quite easy to guess what it is about. It's a one hectare sanctuary for a variety of the mighty grass we all know, the bamboo. It adds a generous amount of green to the already lush and verdant fields of the hill. It is made possible thru the DENR, the City Government of Ligao and Cong. Fernando Gonzales.

       I so loved green and everybody knows that, but what's fascinating about this bambusetum is that it serves a gene bamboo bank and plantation to propagate the said grass and therefore ultimately creating a bamboo forest, and bingo, a tourist attraction.

       The bambusetum houses local species such as Anos (Schizostachyum lima), Bayog (Bambusa merrilliana), Bikal (Schizostachyum dielsianum), Botong (Gigantochloa levis), Buho (Schizostachyum lumampao,…