Paradizoo, a theme park and garden cum animal farm and zoo, has opened its doors to the public every weekend for a three month-long festival celebrating three sectors of agriculture—floral, vegetable, and livestock—called “The Power of Three.”

By Angie M. Veneracion

Each month highlights one “Power,” with resource persons and industry experts invited to discuss the best agricultural practices for that particular sector. January featured free seminars on the art of bonsai, flower arrangements, and plant care, while visitors in February enjoyed seminars on alternative and preventive medicine, health, and wellness as well as vegetable production techniques and industry opportunities. March features seminars on rabbit farming, egg production, and honey bee farming.

Located at Mendez, Cavite, Paradizoo  has many diverse attractions that can appeal to all ages and interests. There is an interactive zoo where children and adults can feed and pet animals, including Voltes V, their five-legged cow, and an albino buffalo; the more adventurous can try riding horses and camels. Farm animals and livestock like rabbits, pigs, goats, and cows, as well as fowls like ostrich, turkey, and ducks are raised at the farm in separate cages while chickens are allowed to roam freely. They are bred for meat, as pets, or as stock to continue breeding operations, and may be bought from the farm.

The Flower Garden, where assorted flowering plants are landscaped into topiaries, hedges, and beautiful floral designs, provides color to the farm. It features a butterfly garden, a bee farm, an eclectic garden, a meditation area, and a perpetual park pet cemetery.The Vegetable Farm is planted to pineapples, root crops, leafy, and other culinary vegetables. Hydroponic and vertical gardening are also used to grow lettuce and other leafy vegetables. It has a water impounding facility and uses a drip irrigation system.The sprawling farm also has an orchard planted to coffee, bananas, and fruit trees. Integrated with the trees, ornamentals, and vegetables are assorted herbs and medicinal plants.Within the farm are stores where its produce of honey, milk, ornamental plants, herbs, vegetables, and small animals may be bought. It also has a coffee shop where the farm’s special “Paradisoup” is served, and a souvenir shop with interesting items like hats, stuffed animals, and T-shirts.

On opening day, the ribbon cutting ceremonies were led by Zoomanity president and CEO Robert L. Yupangco with deputy COO JB Badon and guests, which included Dr. Max P. Guillermo, president of the Tarlac College of Agriculture; Art Veneracion, Jr., president of the Association of Rabbit Meat Producers (ARaMP), Inc.; Bella E. Dimayuga, president of Bellestar Promotion; Atty. Felix Cabral of Oishi Corporation; and bonsai artist Atish Sarker. A monkey dance to welcome the Year of the Monkey added to the festivities.

While full-scale organic and natural farming is not yet in place, preparations are being made for this eventuality. During the opening ceremonies, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Paradizoo, represented by Yupangco, and the Tarlac College of Agriculture, represented by Dr. Guillermo, was signed. The agreement concerns agricultural technology transfer and on-the-job training at the farm for students of the college.

Yupangco said that he wants to inspire children to be farmers by providing them with interactive experiences at Paradizoo. He added that everyone has the responsibility to take care of the environment, which he believes we have only borrowed from our children.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s March 2016 issue.