Robert Yupangco, the visionary head honcho and mastermind of the Zoomanity Group of companies, personally met with us during our visit at Paradizoo and Residence Inn Tagaytay properties. We were actually invited there to witness the 4th Farm Tourism Conference being held at Paradizoo from July 14 to 16, 2016 and attended by several delegates from all over the country.
Among the many known farm spots in Tagaytay, Paradizoo was chosen as one of the featured successful farm tour destination during the 4th Farm Tourism Conference.
The Zoomanity group also took the opportunity to show us the Residence Inn property so we could also see how they are fully engaged in farm tourism. So aside from petting and feeding animals, tasting their meals cooked with fresh poultry, livestock and fruits and veggies directly sourced from the Paradizoo farm itself, we also got to experience almost the same within the few minutes at Residence Inn munching on their pancit and pineapple jam spread on toasted bread, a short tour of the many animals showcased there, and the zipline highlight to end the tour with lots of shrieks and laughter as we coursed through the amazing zipline overlooking the Tagaytay lake.
The Zoomanity theme parks, which can be found at different parts of the country and even two abroad, are focused on farm and agri tourism where people can get up close and personal with both animals and plant life. However, the farms were built more as an advocacy geared in promoting best practices in living a better and healthier life.
They actually originated as just vacation or rest houses of the owners but since Robert Yupangco is highly passionate to do more for the country, he decided to open his farms to the world to serve as sort of his playground to introduce his dream of making the Philippines and all its 7,000 plus island a huge resort to benefit everyone who wants to capitalize on eco tourism which can shape the country to become sustainable as well as nature-friendly.
We also met former Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Mina Gabor, who is the main organizer of the Farm Tourism Conference event. She may no longer be part of the agency but her efforts in promoting Philippine tourism continues to be wide-spread as this is not the first time I met her involved in tourism initiatives. The last time we met was during the Drive Tour Caravan conducted by the Automobile Association of the Philippines where we toured the different farms within Cavite which specializes in organic and natural farming.
Bryan Benitez McClelland, Founder of Bambike, was also there with one of his famous bicycles primarily made with bamboo frames. Bambike is a socio-ecological enterprise based in the Philippines that hand-makes bamboo bicycles with fair-trade labor and sustainable building practices. The bamboo bike builders (aka Bambuilders) come from Gawad Kalinga, a Philippine based community development organization for the poor, working to bring an end to poverty.
|Meet Cobi, the Zoomanity theme parks resident Bonzai plant expert from Bangladesh|
|This is one of the reasons why I seem to favor visiting Residence Inn - My photo as one of their promotional signage at teh entrance|
I have so many videos to share as it really is also my priority to feature travel stories focused on Philippine destinations. I believe we should always include farm tours as part of every itinerary aside from visiting historic, cultural and culinary spots. Making farm tourism successful would mean creation of jobs for many farm or agriculture entrepreneurs which can directly contribute to a better economy for the Philippines since we would not need to import our food sources, and we can locally produce our very own processed foods sourced directly from the farm themselves.
Eliminating the third party is actually mutually beneficial since it allows the farmers to sell their produce and livestock or poultry at better prices while earning more at the same time. Consumers on the other hand are able to increase the value of their money since the farm products are now available at much affordable prices.
|Having snack with Robert Yupangco, owner of Zoomanity Group of Companies, tells us his future plans and encourages us to actively promote his properties|
|Robert Yupangco with some of his Zoomanity managers|
You may all reach out to us if ever you are interested in visiting their many properties for tour, team-building or any other activities including purchase of their many products for both plants (seeds, fruits, vegetables, bonzai, etc) and animals (poultry, livestock, and others).
Robert told us of their upcoming plans to have a Pasig river cruise starting from Makati and going all over the Metro including Intramuros and Binondo incorporated with a food tour. That is something worth trying out soon and might as well become the motivation to improve the condition of our river and maintain its cleanliness. Traveling via the Pasig river has been an option but not too many are inclined to do so due to the condition of the river especially its foul smell, but since the means of transport is a top of the line air-conditioned ferry boat, then people might think otherwise.
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Videos will soon be uploaded at our official YouTube channel at http://www.YouTube.com/user/wazzuppilipinas