The second cryptic clue for the 2011 Canon Photomarathon event went like this:
Big or small, we come in different sizes
Short or tall, we grew in spurts and phases
Round and round the circle of life goes
When we stops only God knows
We were thinking the poem has something to do with nature’s cycle and we couldn’t think of a better place to capture such images than at the Manila Zoo, the only major zoo in the metro since time immemorial.
Unlike Paranaque’s Coastal Road, the first place we visited for the shootout, Manila Zoo is a bit far from the Mall of Asia grounds where Canon’s Photomarathon is based. But we couldn’t come up with any other place to take photos in. With only two hours of shooting time; we hurriedly went our way, no lunch and all, lest we risk getting forfeited.
After two jeepney rides and a bit of walking, we finally reached Manila Zoo’s cavernous entrance gate. Much to our amusement and chagrin, a number of the participants at Canon’s Photomarathon were also there.
I never knew that the proper name of the zoo that everyone loves (and hate) is actually Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden. The fourteen-acre animal habitat has been around since the late fifties. In fact, it is the oldest of its kind in the whole of Asia.
It has been in much disrepair until it was renovated a few years ago. Manila Zoo now features a Kinder Zoo where kids can actually touch and pet the animals, a butterfly sanctuary, a water fountain garden and a nice lagoon for boating.
With a measly fee of Php40.00 for adults and Php20.00 for kids, this has been one of the favorite weekend places for families out to have a good time. And indeed it was jam packed that Saturday. I fondly remember going here multiple times as a kid but this has only been my second time here as an adult.
I wasn’t really able to document Manila Zoo as thoroughly as I would have liked due to the time constraints of the Photomarathon—concentrating more on doing animal portraits for the contest. I definitely would try and visit this place again for a more thorough documentation as to how it now fares compared to its spotty reputation in the past.