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Feb 28, 2012

Clark Zoo & Gravity Go Karts

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Get your adrenalin rush in this first ever gravity race karts in the Philippines--only in Clark. (Photo taken at Zoocobia Fun Zoo, Clark, Pampanga)
 Part 5 of Camiling-Clark-Subic Getaway

Clark is an economic zone (and a former military base) located at the heart of Angeles City in Pampanga. It houses the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (which was planned to become the new NAIA 1 Terminal in a matter of years). Clark also hosts the annual Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta usually held in February (second week).

In front of Zoocobia Fun Zoo in Clark, Pampanga.

WHAT TO SEE: Zoocobia Fun Zoo, Zooc Ride, Paradise Ranch, barracks, picnic grounds, Air Force City
WHAT TO EXPECT: fun animals, gravity race karts, vast lands under development

Gate to both Zoocobia Fun Zoo and Paradise Ranch.

Looking for an island hopping event? Check out Hundred Islands National Park!

On our second day, we went to Clark early in the morning. By around 8:30 A.M. we were already in Dau Terminal. From Camiling to Clark, it will take you about two hours via Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) (Student fare of P92). From Dau, we don’t have any idea on how to get there in Zoocobia Fun Zoo. What we just know is that it is located inside Clark. We didn’t know that Zoocobia Fun Zoo was actually in Sacobia Valley, far from the heart of Clark, and the roads going to Zoocobia were rough and not cemented. It takes one to ask directions on how to go there. A jeepney driver suggested we hire a jeep to go there, because there are no jeepneys passing that route (to Sacobia Valley). At first we hesitated that he just wanted to fool us, but yes it’s true. To go to Zoocobia by commute, you have to hire a jeep which is very expensive!

A peacock inside Zoocobia Fun Zoo.

Inside the aviary.

So we were directed to go to Clark Main Gate to ask about this. We hailed a trike (P50/trike) to go to Clark Main Gate. When we did this trip, I still didn’t know about the jeepney routes going to Clark Main Gate. But I will tell you the jeep that passes through the main gate in “How to Go to Clark + More Photos” for the sake of a budget-friendly trip later.

Birds flock inside the zoo. 

Feed the birds for only P20.

So from there, we hired a jeep for P1000 (I cannot negotiate with the Kapampangans there, they were not that “negotiable” with regards to that topic). And imagine it’s only for half day. If you have your private car, then it is better. Going there will take you about 15-20 minutes jeepney ride (moving fast).At first on the nice roads of Clark and then on the rough roads of Sacobia.Far indeed. But not a thousand-peso worth though.

Anyway, the driver pointed out to the mountains and told us Zoocobia was located there. The rough road to Zoocobia will unveil you the community of the indigenous people “Aetas”. You will get to see how our brothers live their simple ways. Some of the staff and workers in both Zoocobia Fun Zoo and Paradise Ranch were Aetas.

Birds for you!

To get the picture, Paradise Ranch is one kilometer farther than Zoocobia Fun Zoo on the same way. Once you arrived at the gate, you will see the Zoocobia Fun Zoo arch and you will have to pay (or in our case present our booked ticket) for your passes. The ticket already included both Zoocobia and Paradise Ranch but NOT the Zooc Ride.

We were lucky that we were the only ones being served by the staff guide. We can ask whatever we wanted to know and have more photos to be captured. Unlike in Zoobic Safari, it was hard to raise questions, or request the tour guide to take photos of you and the monkeys at the back. It’s because tourists there were like 15 times more, and it’s already crowded.

There are a lot of animals and birds that you can see in Zoocobia. What I loved that I did there was to feed a flock of birds (P20 per small bag of seeds). It’s awesome! Once you bring the seeds on your palm, they will flock in your hands to grab those seeds! It’s my first time to feed birds—a flock of birds! I was so tickled by their action, and it’s funny that they didn’t hurt at all. It just looks like it was a painful thing to feed them, but actually it’s not.

We also had some photo ops with an owl (P20 per photo op). Just be careful though when you get to put the owl in your arm, because its claws were sharp. I got bruised when I had that photo op with an owl, even if I wore gloves for protection.

The monkey!

We also did some ostrich watching (and they were very close to us, but I did not catch a chance to hold them, I was afraid they’re gonna pick my face and I’ll go home bloody, haha).  I cannot name all of the animals that we saw there, but some of them were the python, bearcat, monkeys, turtles and a lot more.

The blue naped parrot.

It's not a bear; it's not a cat; it's a BEARCAT!

After the fun animals, we headed to The Garden Maze, which is so boring for me. It doesn’t have any thrill, and besides the garden maze didn’t have tall bushes just like that one in Buckingham Palace. Just a closed fence. You’ll just see plants trimmed into animal figures though when you walk.

Real angry birds! I guess when you click this bird, it will follow a reverse projectile. Haha. (Exactly, the green one)

So there it goes, the ostrich head.

The price of finding the end (and not the dead end) of the maze was the Zooc Ride. Zooc Ride is the first ever gravity race karts in the Philippines. For you to enjoy this thing you’ll have to pay P100 first, for 1 lap; (50% discount for the succeeding laps). Since we spent much on our travel ride to get there, we just opted to try it for once. And it’s fun! Again, it’s my first time to ride a race kart—with no engine. We wore helmets when we did it, and we drove the karts smoothly. If you are into some extreme adventure packed racing, try not to use the brakes especially on the curves. It will really get your adrenalin rush! Fun indeed but “bitin”.

The owls. (It's not a mosaic, there are really owls!)

The three little geese.

So after we arrived at the finish line, we proceeded to the farm where miniature horses were taken care of. The staff told us that we can do horseback riding, but we refused since we already got that excitement in Zooc Ride. There was also a giant slide there but we didn’t try it because we’ll have to pay again for that.

An owl friend of Hedwig (Harry Potter's owl). Don't miss this owl photo op when you are there.

The ostrich!

Inside The Garden Maze.

If you plan to buy souvenirs when you get to Zoocobia, there are a lot of stuffed toys that you can choose to (animal designs). But if you don’t yet plan to buy one and instead you still want to burn some energy for another walk tour, then Paradise Ranch is nice suggestion for you.

Ready for an action packed go karting?

By the way, the ticket to Zoocobia when you don’t want to avail a promo is around P300 – P400 (kids do have discounts). But mind you, it’s only the entrance fee. You’ll still have to pay for the other amenities (like the gravity race karts) if you’ll avail them. The ticket to Paradise Ranch is P150 (excluding other amenities).

Head into the finish line and be the #1...for fun!

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