Monday, May 6, 2013

A Weekend in Subic

        I was in Subic yesterday with my folks and this is the second time that we went far out of town together since my two siblings moved out from the nest to raise their own families. So this is like an annual bonding time for us - a chance for my parents to spend more time with their two young grandchildren.

                Cam whoring during the 130km ride.

              Subic bay from the balcony of our hotel.
              It's not a beach trip this year.

       If you have parents who are in their 60's and kids that are 3 and 4 years old, some activities that are popular in Subic just wouldn't be appropriate. Like the Tree Top Adventure (ropeslide), hiking or camping at the Pamulaklakin forest, etc.

       So with our overnight stay in Subic my folks chose to see the Zoobic Safari. But we took the night safari to avoid the heat of the blazing summer sun. The consequence: bad photos. LOL ! I hate using flash and the animals certainly wouldn't hold still for you.

        Fortunately there was still enough light to photograph this tiger in a nearby cage while waiting for the tram to take us around Zoobic. It's good to see a real live tiger this close. They are elegant beasts with fierce faces and their black stripes are like tattoos of a tribal warrior. A full grown tiger can easily overpower a man with their body mass, sharp claws and teeth. I certainly have a great respect for these creatures.

     The only animal I got to touch are the camels. Thanks to their long necks their heads can go beyond the fence . You can feed them with leaves that you find in the zoo. Make sure they're real leaves hehe.

      One of the creatures in the zoo that fascinated me is this male black and white tegu lizard. Interesting scales. They look like beads woven in an ethnic pattern. I've read that they make good exotic pets. They are intelligent and are able to recognize their owners. They can grow up to 5 feet in length and can live 15 to 20 years. I imagine myself  having one, carrying one in my arm while walking in a park. After 20 years I'll have a nice taxidermy tegu or a really nice bag hehe.

       At the end of the safari is a show which I think is best held at night because of the fire performances like this one by Aetas, indigenous people from the mountains of Central Luzon. Also in the show is a parade of animals kept in Zoobic. Animals like the otters, the civet cat and the bearcat are presented on small floats pushed by keepers, other animals are carried, such as reptiles and some birds. Some animals were trained to run or walk along the runway that is between the stage and the audience. We saw ostriches, geese, cattle, horses, albino water buffaloes, deers, goats and racing greyhounds. The last animal presented was the white tiger, handled by two keepers. Probably the tamest of all tigers in the zoo.

       Zoobic Safari first opened in January 2004. Their night safari, if I'm not mistaken, started only in October 2010 and are held only on Saturdays. So it may still need some improvements with regards to lighting and visibility. Zoobic hosts the only Tiger safari in the Philippines and to watch these fearsome creatures being fed, up-close from a secured jeep, is a really thrilling experience that you can enjoy with your family and friends. 

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