Philippine Eagle Center
I got up to start the day early. This site looks pretty far from the city based on my map. I asked the front desk officer how to get to PEC. I have a list of directions in my little notebook whenever I travel as part of my preparations but verbal directions are more appealing to me.
How to get there:
Take a jeepney with a signboard Calinan. Fare is around Php 40. You can find these jeepneys along San Pedro Extension if that’s your starting point. There are also buses going there at the Annil Terminal. Travel time is about an hour and fare is Php 50.You can also ride vans from Bankerohan for Php 40. Ride a “habal-habal” or a single motorcycle to reach PEC. Fare is Php 15. Pay a minimal fee of Php 5 to the Malagos Water District. Walk a bit from there until you reach PEC. Pay Php 50 for entrance fee.
You may shop for souvenirs or buy local candies made from mangosteen and durian outside the water district gates before getting in. There are snacks available for sale at PEC but they are a bit pricey.
Formerly known as the monkey eating eagle (oh elementary days) due to some reports that it preyed exclusively on monkeys, it is now called the Philippine eagle and the national bird of the Philippines. It is considered the largest eagle in the world in terms of length, among the rarest and most powerful bird. It is critically endangered and killing is punishable by law of twelve years imprisonment. Its numbers have declined due to massive habitat loss from deforestation and illegal logging.
Philippine Eagle Center is a home not just for 36 Philippine eagles but for other species of eagles. You can also find other wild animals here like monkeys, deer and wild boars. The center mimics their original habitat with its luscious green surroundings. You can also find the famous waling-waling around. Names of personalities, organizations and visitors are embedded on the cemented pathway in return for their generous donations for the centers’ upkeep. The tour guide is free and friendly. He will accommodate your questions and will entertain you with his humor.
• Make sure you’ve read and researched enough about how to get here especially the fare rates to avoid getting ripped off.
• Wear long sleeves and pants or apply insect repellant before going. There are too many mosquitoes and fruit flies. They also bite.
• Take pictures during the guided tour and after. The tour is short. You might want to take pictures while enjoying the surroundings.
Next to PEC was an unexpected journey to the mountains ruled by Philippine eagles. Click here for the whole story.
Supposing you’ve already read my story about the mountaineering that I did, let’s continue. Mark and I looked for stalls on street sides that sell durian. Luckily, we found one. It was the last piece and the old woman who sells was very kind and friendly. It weighed more than one kilo and I paid Php 15 pesos, way way cheaper in Manila and other parts of the country. Since I haven’t eaten anything at all since morning, we quickly finished the fruit. We took off heading to our next destination.
Malagos Garden Resort
Malagos Garden Resort is located at Calinan-Baguio Road. As its name suggests, it is a garden resort. We did not go inside since we’re pressed by time and weather. Although here are some interesting highlights of the resort:
• Malagos Bird Park
• Waling waling Forest
• Bird Feeding and Watching Dome
• Butterfly Sanctuary
• Orchid Farm
• Petting Zoo
• Abueva Sculptures
• Gardens of Malagos
• Roberto’s Garden Restaurant
• View Deck Café and Grill
• Koi Café
There are also a number of options if you’re going to visit the resort. You may try the following:
• Resort admission. Adult Php 100, Kids Php 80. Monday to Sunday.
• Day tour with set lunch package. Adult Php 275, Kids Php 250. Monday to Sunday. Set Lunch usually consists of soup, salad, 1 Main Dish (with a choice of fish, chicken or pork), rice, dessert, a round of drinks.
• Day tour with packed snack package. Adult Php 175, Kids Php 155. Packed Snack usually consists of sandwich and juice.
• Day Tour with Malagos Garden’s Interactive Bird Show. Adult Php 125, Kids Php 100. Regular showing is ONLY on Sundays at 10:30 AM
• SUNDAY PROMO Lunch Buffet with Bird Show. Php 275/pax . SUNDAYS ONLY, includes the Malagos Garden’s Interactive Bird Show.
Abovementioned packages include access to Bird Park, Bird Feeding Dome, Butterfly Sanctuary, Orchid Park, Abueva Garden and Playground.
Apart from what were mentioned, Malagos Garden also boasts its locally made Malagos Chocolates, Malagos Farmhouse Cheese and Malagos Fruit wine.
Mark took me to the terminal station where multicabs pass the Ulas crossing. I dropped there and took a jeepney going to Toril. From there, I took a habal-habal going to Eden Nature Park. Fare was around Php 60. The trail was smooth and easy though a little bit steep since we’re going to the foot of Mt. Talomo. We passed by houses, elementary schools, fruit stands, etc. It was a drizzling when I arrived and tourists, locals and foreign were busy taking pictures, queuing in the reception area and chatting. I queued as well, took some flyers to see what I could do there aside from zip lining. You have two options when you visit Eden Nature Park; either stay for a night or have a quick day tour. When you choose day tour, you have two options again; either have lunch or snack included in your fee. I chose to have a snack since it was a little bit late in the afternoon and it’s obviously cheaper. I paid Php 200 (Php 170 for kids) for entrance and plated snacks and Php 120 for the guided shuttle tour. Buffet lunck is available for Php 520 and Php 330 for kids. However, I wasn’t able to experience their zip line due to bad weather.
The tour lasts for about an hour covering the entire area of the park with three stops. I wasn’t able to take photos while the shuttle is running but I did take videos.
This 80 hectare nature park is basically filled with over 100,000 pine trees and is about 95% man-made. At 3,000 feet above sea level, cabins here don’t need air-conditioning anymore.