Last Wednesday (June 21, 2017), we were lucky enough to witness a contract signing ceremony between the Paradizoo Theme Farm in Mendez, Cavite and the representatives from TESDA as the Zoomanity Group decided to build a farm school in Paradizoo which aims to provide a free educational program to students and farmers to take farming to an all new level! The contract signing was lead by the Zoomanity Group President / CEO Robert Laurel Yupangco and DA ATI Center Director Ms Marites P Cosico. The event was also attended by different well-known people in the field of Agriculture such as the Calata Group Chairman/ CEO Joseph Calata, Calata Vice President Parker Ong, Chief of Staff of Sen. Cynthia Villar Atty Rhaegee Tamana , government officials andf Zoomanity Group Officers.
It was merely a two-hour drive from Manila to Paradizoo Theme Farm in Mendez, Cavite. Guests were warmly welcomed by the Zoomanity Group President himself , Mr Robert Yupangco. Paradizoo is a huge theme farm in Mendez , Cavite that covers an entire 12 hectare of land that offers a combination of paradise and zoo, hence the name “Paradizoo“. The place is indeed a perfect venue to unwind and embrace the beauty that nature has to offer. Paradizoo has many different attractions and it’s just few hours drive from the metro but what makes it more interesting is the fact that it is not just your typical farm or zoo because it will soon become a learning institute for Agriculture.
A Farm School will rise soon which aims to teach students and farmers to raise their knowledge about farming and to take them all into an all new level by teaching them the proper and the modern way of farming including practices like vermiculture, bokashi soil, the hydrophonics farming and a whole lot more. In addition to that, Mr Yupangco of Zoomanity in partnership with other Agriculture companies are planning to transform the theme farm by putting many other high-end attractions including the “Glamping” , modern Greenhouse and more
Prior to the contract signing ceremony some guests were invited to talk about the program and the services that will benefit the farmers in return
TESDA and Department of Agriculture (Agriculture Training Institute) DA ATI Center Director Ms Marites P Cosico explains how they are more than willing to accredit this soon-to-rise Paradizoo Farm School. The school aims to offer a free education program that will help students and farmers to attain the proper education and training to improve not just their skills but also to broadened their knowledge about the modern agriculture practices. According to Ms Cosico, the Department of Agriculture is exerting their full effort to promote and build more learning institute in our country. So far, there are almost 300 TESDA Accredited Agriculture learning institution in the country and they are aiming to build at least one farm school per municipality.
“Farm is the business and farmers are the businessmen” ~ Atty Tamana. Atty Rhaegee Tamana emphasized that our country badly needs a proper education about agriculture. Contrary to how farmers are normally depicted, they are not the workers but the businessman in their own farm and that’s the first thing that should come up in our mind. Farmers are also entrepreneurs but the reason why they are not embracing the kind of success they should have is because most of them were not properly trained. The lack of training and education from the universities are the one to be blamed. Most of the agricultural courses only offers written modules but they do not provide hands on training! With a farm school like this in Paradizoo, it will aide the need of our soon-to-be farmers by providing the right education and training for them.
Calata Group Chairman and CEO Joseph Calata partnered with Zoomanity Group in this particular educational campaign to promote and help farmers about the modern method in farming and how they can efficiently and conveniently sell their harvests! Aside from the high end methods, he also mentioned how farmers can embrace the modern technology to improve their sales and their productivity. One thing he emphasized is the mobile apps they they recently launched which is called “Krops” and “FarmHelp“. These apps will give Filipino farmers access to any information about plant and animal diseases and the weather forecast, and also guide him on where to sell his products or buy his farm supplies. They were also planning to launch an Uber-inspired app which allows buyers to locate the nearest farm trucks where they can buy the freshly harvested goods/crops.
Dr Jojo Auditor spoke in behalf of the municipality of Mendez and tell how they express their full support in this educational program and campaign by TESDA and Zoomanity Group. He said that the government is supporting this partnership in full extent and also expressing their intention to build similar agriculture projects to help the farmers in Mendez to improve their farms.
After the contract signing, we all had our lunch and Mr Yupangco enthusiastically offered us a quick tour in Paradizoo Farm to witness some of its attractions!
A TOUR IN PARADIZOO
Aside from witnessing the meaningful contract signing event that will be very beneficial to the farmers, another thing that I really appreciated the most in this event is the quick tour in Paradizoo. According to Mr Yupangco, the 12 hectare land was nothing more but a huge meadow but instead of turning the place into a huge commercial property, Mr Yupangco decided to turn it into a paradise. The Paradizoo in Mendez Cavite observes a so-called “Balanced ecosystem” by maintaining a natural habitat among animals and plants. It also offers a lot of unique animal-friendly attractions including the Farm Frenzy where guess can cuddle and buy some animals such as rabbits, ha,sters amd love birds.
Interestingly, the first time I saw a Camel was when we had a quick tour in Baluarte ni Chavit in Ilocos but we can barely see it because the cage was too far. This is my first time to get an upclose encounter with an actual camel haha.
It is also interesting to note that one of Paradizoo’s newest attraction is the so-called Camel Ride and I guess that’s very self-explanatory.
Meet Voltes V, a five legged cow!
We also spotted an Albino Carabao from afar
You will also notice these Bali-inspired pots with colorful flowers and leaves floating on them! What an interesting sight indeed which compliments well with their colorful gardens!
The colorful garden of Paradizoo makes it a perfect destination for Prenups and Garden-inspired weddings!The first picture by the way is their Wedding Pavilion
The Bonsai Garden
A chess-inspired landscape
There is also an area in Paradizoo that is called “Plant Me Home” where guests can select and pick vegetables and flowers fresh from the garden plots and taken them home
A guy plotting the land
Mr Yupangco also showed us this part of land where they are planning to construct the modern and high-end Greenhouse in cooperation with Calata Group
Some unfinished construction that will rise soon. They are also planning to promote the so-called Glamping, the newest trend today which means “glamorous camping” , a luxurious camping experience.
There’s also a pet cemetery in Paradizoo
Behind them is the actual place where the Farm School is about to rise! As you can see, the construction is now ongoing so we could expect to see it very soon!
Mr Yupangco pointing out some changes he wanted to make in his Farm through the blueprints!
WHERE TO STAY IN PARADIZOO
If you are planning to visit Paradizoo whether for a Company Building or Family getaway and you want to stay overnight, Paradizoo offer some interesting accommodation too! They showed us some of their Themed houses!
The “Banig” inspired room!
This rustic inspired house is complete with all living amenities and adorned with wooden and banig-inspired furniture
For bigger group, this Log Cabin may suit you well.
It is ideal for 4 pax but it could fit up to 8 people (additional fee will be applied)The room is also furnished with rustic furniture
For solo or couple who just want a simple room, this budget friendly Caravan room might suits you! It is a small yet airconditioned room!
How To Get To Paradizoo
►Take note that the entrance fee to Paradizoo is Php150 per person
►Rates for their rooms will vary depending on the type and capacity of their guests. You can contact them at 847-0413 or visit Zoomanity.com.ph for details
►If you are coming from Manila, simply ride a bus that is bound to Tagaytay. This will drop you off to the town proper of Olivares. From there, ride a jeepney that is bound to Mendez and tell the driver to drop you off at Paradizoo. This will not take you directly to the Paradizoo but will drop you off to the road that will lead you to this place. From there, ride a tricycle and ask the driver to take you off in Paradizoo!
HEY! We are not yet done!!!! We also get the chance to visit the Residence Inn and Zoori attraction in Tagaytay but I am going to post our experience and my first “Zipline ride” in my next entry!