Dinner in the Dark and Owl Show in Zoocobia

Travel blogger Karla shares her memorable experience having dinner in the dark and watching the owl show in Zoocobia.

It’s not my first visit to Clark — in fact, I’ve already made an Ultimate Guide to Clark list some time ago. But like any good tourist place, Clark still has surprises up its sleeve. This time around, I got to visit places with Lakbay Norte 8. Our first stop was Zoocobia, one of the most unique family fun parks I’ve come across lately.

For one, while Zoocobia is primarily a zoo, it is also a completely immersive educational experience (more on this unique point later). It’s geared towards large excursions both from tourists and from organizations such as schools, churches, and other groups. Zoocobia is located in a pristine patch of nature, on the lush foothills of the Freeport Zone. If I were to sum the trip up in one word, it would be “phenomenal”!

What to see in Zoocobia

The sad thing is that we didn’t have nearly enough time in this park as we’d like to have. So we started off with an exciting 400-meter gravity thrill ride called “Zooc”! This is pretty much like the “Luge” in Singapore or Calgary Olympic Park. It’s the first of its kind in the Philippines, too! Such rides have always been awesome for me, and I enjoyed it as much here.

We were also supposed to do a camel ride, but I’ve already done one in Marrakesh so I wasn’t too keen on experiencing it again just because it was already late and dark outside. Zoocobia has a lot of bird exhibits, including love bird and ostrich enclosures. You can even buy love birds that are trained singers!

For those looking for an unusual take on animals (albeit one that is a little creepy, depending on how you look at it), Zoocobia also has a “Menagerie”, a collection of stuffed animals preserved after their death. There are animals here that would otherwise be dangerous to meet in the wild, such as a Bengal cat, a monitor lizard, an iguana, and more.

In case you’re raring to meet a real-life version, though, there’s a bearcat encounter where you can feed this cute-yet-wild animal! They’re not totally dangerous, though, as they love a bit of playtime with homo sapiens.

As the clock winds down, we decided to do something really weird, really meaningful, and really immersive (here comes that part!).

Dinner in the Dark

There’s much that has been said about blind dates, but this one’s really pushing the limits! You may have seen the concept of “going blind” for a dinner in some movies, but being the one doing it really takes the cake.

A little background. The idea was floated by the Zoomanity Group, the team behind the creation of Zoocobia. They’re also moonlighting as a humanitarian group, and the Dinner in the Dark was created to create awareness of one’s sense of sight. As they say, we never really appreciate things until we lost them. And since it’s a proven fact that eyesight deteriorates with age (or can totally be lost through various reasons), the experience is geared towards us appreciating our eyesight more.
It wasn’t my first such engagement since I had already done a “dialogue in the dark” experience in Hong Kong. They are both trying to teach and portray the same thing, but the experience was substantially different. We were told what to expect in an orientation, and we were then given time to take a bathroom break because once the dinner started there was no turning back. All gadgets were turned off, to make sure their light does not break the experience.

Our group was divided into four groups, each consisting of eight people. This means we had to share the dinner with strangers, and we don’t even know if we’re sitting beside our friends or not. We were then blindfolded and assisted one by one into a room. Here, we were sat down around the table.

Dinner was about to begin.

Up to this point, I was slowly appreciating the idea of the blind dinner. We had to learn to trust and to rely on instincts. I was not sure if there were steps, or if there was anything I should be wary of. We were completely in the dark! This was the case even when our blindfolds were taken off. I thought my eyes would adjust, that we could see silhouettes at least. Surprisingly, not even ambient light was coming through. We were really blind, for now.

We were told that blind people rely on clock points for direction when they eat. To the 12:00 mark is the whole set, 1:00 is water. The rice is located at 6:00, and the food is right beside it.

I struggled a bit (I’d like to think we all did). At first, I couldn’t even find my plate! But the meal turned out to be very lovely. It’s true that your senses heighten considerably when your sight is lost!
Our meal tasted like sticky rice, cordon bleu, and corned butter with vegetables. Those who finished their plate completely got a prize! Thing is, the whole meal was very filling and I didn’t get to finish it. Overall, it was a good experience.

Back Into the Light

Right after we left the dinner, we watched the Owl Show which was done in multiple parts. The first part was the parade of animals, which was followed by a skit that doubled as a cultural demonstration. It was a fun learning experience! Then we saw a fire-breather and the “Fire Nation”. It was a fascinating display.

There was a lights show, which led to the grand finale! The dance they performed, along with the accurate level of technology, was really amazing. I loved it a lot, and for me it is a must-watch.
Park Info

Zoocobia is located in Calumpang, Mabalacat City. Entrance fee is PHP 295 for adults, while kids below 3 feet are free of charge. They are open from 8AM to 5PM, 7 days a week.

The Owl Show is open every Saturday evening, from October to January and from March to May. The Zooc ride is PHP 100. The Dinner in the Dark is a seasonal thing, so prices may vary depending on the time and location (it is also being held in other Zoomanity properties).

If you want something awesome and unique, make sure to check out Zoocobia!

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    • Author Bio
      • Karla Ramos is a former preschool teacher turned travel blogger/ travel consultant and social media manager. She writes at Karla Around the World and Hungry Travel Duo. People call her an energizer bunny, a never-ending source of energy and laughter, who is a lover of adventure. She was bitten by the travel bug early on and enjoys talking about my action packed and adrenaline filled experience. While traveling, Karla loves to experience local culture, trying out local cuisine, meeting new people, most of all adventure. Follow her Instagram karlaroundtheworld and facebook karlaroundtheworld.

What do you think about Zoocobia? Do you have any plans to travel north? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.



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The Girl with the Muji Hat: Dinner in the Dark and Owl Show in Zoocobia
Dinner in the Dark and Owl Show in Zoocobia
Travel blogger Karla shares her memorable experience having dinner in the dark and watching the owl show in Zoocobia.
The Girl with the Muji Hat
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