As the Urban Roamer is about chronicling the sights, sounds, and stories from the urban jungle and beyond, beginning with this entry, a new feature on the site will deal with those adventures outside the Metropolitan Manila area called “Beyond Manila.” Enjoy!
The trip was long and the road was getting rougher as we approached our destination…we here being myself and 8 others who were invited to this tour. But it was a trip made worth it by the experience visiting one of the rising attractions up north in the Clark area in Pampanga, the Zoocobia Fun Zoo.
Operated by the Zoomanity Group, the same group behind the popular attractions Zoobic Safari in the Subic Bay area and Paradizoo inn in Mendez, Cavite, Zoocobia aims to bring about a fun and interactive learning experience as one gets to know the animals up close. One not only gets to see closely how animals behave, you also get to feed them too. One can experience having a flock of birds at your hand eating on the bird seeds lying at your palm, feeding banana to a bearcat, or even feeding some milk to a kid. (kid as in a young goat, that is)
But the Zoocobia experience is not just about the animals. The zoo offers a lot of activities as well like for the young and old alike. For instance, there is the Zooc where one can race down a sloping race track riding one of the gravity cars. Also being developed is the area called Clarkzilla, which specially caters to those into extreme adventure activities like 4×4 rides, airsoft games, and the ziplines.
The highlight of my visit there that day though would be a special event held in the evening called “Dinner in the Dark.” It was a unique event conceptualized to let people experience what it feels like to be blind as you are being led to the dining area and eat in total darkness, relying on your senses other than sight to appreciate the meal you are having. It was truly a different but enlightening experience as you don’t get to post a photo of your meal on social media but rather get to appreciate it thanks to use of the other senses to decipher what food is on your plate.
In a way, this activity would make one better appreciate what your other senses are doing when one of them, in this case the sense of sight, could not be used. Still, it is difficult not being able to use all our senses, thus one can understand better through this event the struggles each day of the people who have been deprived of the sense of sight.
Dinner in the Dark is not just about raising awareness about the blind. It is also about helping them as well. Thus, part of the proceeds from this event would be given to the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines to help the foundation in their efforts in helping restoring sight to its blind beneficiaries and raise awareness on eye donation as a way to help restore their sight.
It was truly a day not only for fun but also for enlightenment and learning that one could not expect to have in one day. But that day in Zoocobia made all these possible. Thus, my deep thanks to the Zoomanity Group and the people at Zoocobia Fun Zoo, as well as the people I’ve met in this unforgettable trip. This was one adventure that was for the books.
P.S. Why is the place called Zoocobia you may ask? Apparently, it’s a sort of word play with zoo and Sacobia River, the river in the northern part of Pampanga which is near the area.