Amazing Avilon Weekend Part I – Ark of Avilon, Frontera Verde, Pasig

Amazing Avilon Weekend Part I – Ark of Avilon, Frontera Verde, Pasig

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Blame it on the rain.

After our long-planned trip to Avilon Zoo in Montalban, Rizal had been called off yet again, this time because of bad weather, Ren consoled her little boy by taking him to Ark of Avilon instead. :mrgreen: If you’ve never been there, it’s a small but unique, indoor zoo located at the Frontera Verde Complex in Pasig, just a stone’s throw away from Tiendesitas. Owned and operated by the same group as Avilon Zoo, we had been to the ark once before, so we knew that no amount of rain, not even a biblical flood, would keep us from enjoying a couple of hours of animal watching.

We went on a Saturday, and it was awesome. As our luck would have it, the soppy Sunday we were dreading turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day, so we seized the opportunity and charged to Montalban for that long-awaited, oft-postponed, trip to Avilon Zoo. Bummed out as I was at first because of the sudden downpour, the rain turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because we wound up enjoying two amazing Avilon trips, in just one weekend

An epic two days of exotic reptiles, mammals, and birds to shoot with my brand new, 100mm macro lens. As they say, “when it rains, it pours.” πŸ˜‰

Shaped like an ark, there’s no way you can miss this place. πŸ˜‰ Driving directions, zoo address, and complete contact details can be found at the bottom of this post.
Ark of Avilon

First Floor

Situated right next to the counter, this African Gray Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) keeps you company while you buy your tickets. I’m not much into birds, but if I were to ever keep one as a pet, then this would be it. They’re supposed to be very intelligent with great personalities.
Ark of Avilon

The lobby. Though you can’t really make them out from all the clutter, they had birds roosting on perches everywhere.
Ark of Avilon

Feeding station number one (PHP 30 per serving). Had I noticed that they offered food for the bearcats, I would have bought some. πŸ™
Ark of Avilon

Angry bird. This gregarious little dude was the only yappy one from the flock.
Ark of Avilon

Jenny the Orangutan. I felt bad for her, being made to wear those clothes and crocs for photo ops. I don’t know if orangutans mind being dressed up in human clothing like that, but I personally don’t think it’s necessary. In any case, I hope she’s happy here. 😐
Ark of Avilon

On either side of the ark, on the first floor, are these large enclosures housing mostly big cats like this Bengal Tiger (Panthera Tigris Tigris). There were two of them sharing the same enclosure, which I thought was a little small for one, let alone two mature cats. The other one was white.

With the room being so dark, I couldn’t get any more decent pictures of the large, predatory mammals, but they also had lions, a jaguar, a Malayan sun bear, and a few others that I can’t really remember right now. If I’m not mistaken, they had six or eight of these glass-fronted enclosures.
Ark of Avilon

Philippine Eagle Owl (Bubo philippensis). Handsome feller, ain’t he?
Ark of Avilon

White-Bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster). Badass bird. Kinda reminds me of Daniel Craig for some reason.
Ark of Avilon

A cute pair of owls.
Ark of Avilon

African Spurred Thigh Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata). Fairly common in the exotic pet trade, the sulcata is the third largest species of tortoise in the world, after the Galapagos and Aldabra Giant Tortoises.
Ark of Avilon

At the far end of the ark, opposite the entrance, is this awesome manmade pond with a bridge going through it. On one half is a crocodile, and on the other, a few giant Arapaimas (Arapaima gigas).
Ark of Avilon

What lurks beneath. Fully grown, these South American beauties reach lengths of over six feet, sometimes even eight in extreme cases. Wicked. 😈
Ark of Avilon

I LOVE these little guys. They’re so cute! About the size of a tarsier, this curious marmoset kept following my camera around. Thanks for posing for me little buddy! πŸ˜†
Ark of Avilon

Similar in size, appearance, and personality to marmosets, this Red-Handed Tamarin (Saguinus midas) was adorable as well. ♥
Ark of Avilon

How can you not fall in love with that face? πŸ˜€
Ark of Avilon

Second Floor

I love this picture. She looks so coy and demure. πŸ™‚
Ark of Avilon

These Palawan Hornbills (Anthracoceros marchei) are awesome. Black and bone white with dark eyes, they look like little skeleton birds straight from a Dia de los Muertos parade.
Ark of Avilon

I didn’t catch the name of this bird, but it was beautiful, with its tinted blue plume and feathers setting off its fiery, orange eyes.
Ark of Avilon

Another brightly plumed bird and a cock
Ark of Avilon

Feeding station number two (PHP 30 per serving)
Ark of Avilon

Hungry, furry contestants in the guinea-lympics. Ready…Set…
Ark of Avilon

Ark of Avilon

Zzzzzzzz…..*snort snort* Huh? WTF? What did I miss?
Ark of Avilon

At first, Ren was reluctant to feed the animals, but decided to jump in when she noticed that a few of the goats weren’t getting their fair share. πŸ˜†
Ark of Avilon

Ark of Avilon

Wagler’s Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri). In awe of its physical beauty, Ren fell in love with this pit viper, until I told her it was poisonous. πŸ˜†
Ark of Avilon

Palawan Mangrove Snake (Boiga dendrophila). A mildly venomous colubrid, we saw a few of these in the wild last year, on our trip to Sabang, Palawan.
Ark of Avilon

Blue-Tongued Skink (Tiliqua sp.). I took about a million shots of this little guy, trying to catch him with his blue tongue out, but this was the best I could get. Too slow on the trigger. πŸ™
Ark of Avilon


Formerly located at the main zoo in Montalban, Petissimo is Avilon Zoo’s petshop where they sell all kinds of captive-bred animals. On this visit, I saw water dragons, a few species of snakes, rodents, and birds on sale. Though more expensive than *ahem ahem* other sources, all animals sold here are legally registered with the DENR. πŸ˜‰

A beautiful Blue-and-Yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna) exhibiting signs of feather-plucking. πŸ™
Ark of Avilon

Stop plucking your feathers handsome fella!
Ark of Avilon

Gorgeous Scarlet Macaw
Ark of Avilon

Facebook profile pic
Ark of Avilon

“Hello Clarisse.”
Ark of Avilon

Stunning Rainbow Lories. Feeding on those watermelon slices, you could barely tell bird from fruit!
Ark of Avilon

If Avilon Zoo were the main course, then Ark of Avilon would be the amuse-bouche. Small but fun, the collection of animals here is interesting, especially for such a limited space. Seriously, when was the last time you saw White Bengal Tigers, Lions, and giant Arapaimas in an indoor zoo shaped like an ark? Though a few of the enclosures seemed a little small, especially the ones for the big cats, they’re beautifully designed and well-maintained. In general, the animals looked to be in good health and spirits, which for me, is the absolute most important thing.

Considering that entrance to the much larger zoo in Montalban is only PHP 400, entrance here is a little pricey at PHP 300, but it’s still a great way to spend a couple of hours, especially if you have kids. The animal feeding opportunities alone make it worthwhile I think.

A small taste of things to come, join us on our complete Avilon Zoo adventure, which we experienced the very next day. πŸ˜‰

Ark of Avilon

Frontera Verde Ortigas Avenue Corner C5, Pasig
Tel: 706-2992 / 706-2993
Facebook: arkavilonzoo
Email: [email protected]
Operating Hours: Mon-Thurs: 9AM-6PM, Fri-Sun: 10AM-7:30PM

Zoo Entrance Rates

Regular entrance fee: PHP 300
Children shorter than the counter: PHP 200
Infants 12 months and below: FREE
Senior citizens and PWDs: 20% discount
Advanced tickets (tickets purchased here or at Avilon Zoo prior to your day of visit): Less PHP 100

How to Get There

  1. Driving along Ortigas Avenue towards C5 (E Rod Jr Ave), turn right onto Frontera Drive. It’s the street right before E Rod Jr Ave.
  2. Make the first left onto Road D. The zoo, shaped like an ark, will be on your right.

More on Philippine Animal Encounters

Amazing Avilon Weekend Part II, Avilon Zoo, Montalban, Rizal
Swimming with Whale Sharks in Oslob, Cebu, Philippines

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There are 8 comments for this article
  1. Vera at 8:54 am

    My parents and I took my nephew to ParadiZoo in Mendez, Cavite last week. We’ll soon take him to these Avilon zoos too. Thanks for the review!

  2. JB Macatulad at 8:30 am

    You’re welcome! I just posted pictures of our trip to Avilon Zoo in Rizal:

    Avilon Zoo

    The place can be hard to find, so I included detailed driving directions at the bottom of the post. Have fun! πŸ™‚

  3. aRj at 11:05 am

    Beautiful Photos! i have to visit here soon!

    i’m not a bird expert, but if all my years of watching Discovery Channel serve me right, i think the other macaw is a “rainbow macaw.”

    (i wonder if there are macaw’s in macau?)

    have you been to the giant bio-research in Sucat? you can see the arapaima’s face to face there. πŸ™‚

  4. JB Macatulad at 11:27 am

    Thanks for the tip! I googled it and I think you may be right. πŸ™‚

    Yup, I’ve been there once a couple of years ago and loved it. Those arapaimas are huge! The place looks deceiving from the front because it doesn’t seem that big, but once you enter an entire world opens up. I was actually thinking about it the other day and am planning a return trip soon to take pictures and blog about it. πŸ™‚

  5. Aaron at 10:04 am

    The last two birds in the pictures are SCARLET MACAW and RAINBOW LORY respectively… to address them correctly. Nice pics! ^^

  6. shannon at 2:38 am

    does anyone happen to know what the “scarlett” macaw could be a hybrid blend of?? true scarletts do not have the greenish color to the top of the head nor is their bodily plumage the reddish-orange that is shown in these pix…true scarletts are just that, Scarlett red and the head is clear red, no green atop, no black at forefront, bodily plumage brilliant bright tropical Red….I ask because while I do not think the pictured macaw is a true scarlet, there are all kinds of macaw crossings going on these days, I DO think the pictured bird is one Beautiful hybrid and would certainly be interested in finding one as close to this colorization to add to my own feathered family…..

    Beautiful pics!!!!…what was the BearCat???? would have loved to have seen that….

  7. JB Macatulad at 8:38 am

    Thanks for stopping by Shannon! Sorry, but I’m afraid I know next to nothing about birds. Hopefully one of the more knowledgeable people can answer your question. πŸ™‚

    There wasn’t enough light for me to get a good picture of the bearcats, but they had two on leashes roaming the main hall. You could feed them for a fee. Here’s more information on them: Binturong

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