Traveller, Photographer, Mountaineer, Human

Photowalk in Manila Zoo

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August 13, 2011

The elephant at the zoo entrance.

Manila Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Metro Manila. I remembered visiting it with my family when I was a kid.  I don’t remember much about the animals but that it was sort of fun to visit.

On getting a DSLR (Canon 60D at that time), I decided to do my first ever photowalk in Manila Zoo and Intramuros.  I invited my friend Felix to accompany me and loaned him by bridge camera (Fuji S4000).

We met up at the zoo entrance and paid the entrance fee of Php40 or so.

Looking at the state of the zoo, it is clear that it has seen better days.  The facilities are not that well-kept and the number of animals have gone down, especially the exotic (non-endemic) animals.  Some cages even have pet or farm animals featured (e.g., guinea pigs, carabao and horses).

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On the left side of the zoo are the reptiles and amphibians (snakes, lizards, crocodiles, etc.)

Iguana reflection

The left and middle parts are mainly for birds (including the parrot included in this random photo).

The part farthest from the entrance are reserved for mammals, including a very smart monkey, the aforementioned pet and farm animals, a tiger in a big enclosure, as well as hippos.

There are some plants in the zoo but nothing out of the extraordinary, mainly there to provide shade and some beautification to the place.

Gumamela (Hibiscus)

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There is also a small lagoon where, for a fee, you can rent a flat boat and row around it.  And, of course, business as usual, there are vendors inside the zoo.  Mostly selling food and refreshments while others are selling souvenirs, like the monkey stuff toys below.

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At that time, I only have two lenses (the 18-135mm kit lens and a 100mm macro).  I started with the 18-135 for the convenience the zoom affords but I saw that I get much much sharper pictures using the 100mm macro.  I also learned that a 135mm lens on a Canon APS-C (216mm equivalent) is not long enough for a zoo (especially for the tiger at the big enclosure).

After we’re done with the zoo, we went to Fort Santiago in Intramuros but that is for another post.

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