Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kinder Zoo: Adventure Jungle inside Manila Zoo

I just celebrated my 29th birthday last weekend. Unlike the previous years, this time I didn't plan anything for my birthday because I don't feel like splurging especially now that I'm a stay-at-home mom. A week before my birthday, I received a blogger invite to attend a PressCon at the Kinder Zoo. To my excitement, I confirmed my attendance right away. Knowing me, I love going on a field trip. I love to explore. I love adventures.

About the Press Conference

Last Aug. 23, Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle opened its doors to the media to introduce their two famous residents, the Sulcata Tortoise and the Hyacinth Macaw.
Event poster.

The event started out with light snacks and brief welcoming by DZME Radyo Uno's broadcasters Mr. Andrew San Fernando, Ms. Ada Vina Cuaresma and Mr. Pocholo "The VoiceMaster" Gonzales who took turns in entertaining the audience. 

The buffet.

Mr. Pocholo caught the attention of everyone when he sampled his voice acting prowess by re-enacting the commercial of Bibbo Cheesedog, Batibot characters, singing "Ako ang Kapitbahay" and many more. I later learned that he's also the recently appointed brand ambassador of Kinder Zoo.

From left to right: Mr. Pocholo Gonzales, Mr. Andrew San Fernando and Ms. Ada Cuaresma.

Then followed by Ms. Grace Bondad Nicolas, Kinder Zoo's Marketing Director and Ms. Juana "Neneng" Lubrico, Operations Manager who took the floor to discuss the main highlight of the event.

Ms. Grace Nicolas and Ms. Juana Lubrico of the Kinder Zoo.

About Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle

To give you a short background about Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle, it is basically a private-owned half-hectare interactive zoological facility inside the government-owned Manila Zoo. It was put up since year 2000 by Mr. Joel Marcelo Gozon Jimenez, CEO of GMA Network, out of his passion for animals. Most of the animals came from his own collection particularly the parrots and tortoises. Unlike typical zoos, he specifically designed Kinder Zoo to be an interactive one where visitors could have a close encounter and deeper appreciation towards exotic animals. The unique feature of Kinder Zoo is that you can pet, feed and take pictures side by side those tamed animals. On top of that, they also have outdoor activities such as zip line, wall-climbing, horseback riding, swimming among others.

Picture with Mr. T

About Sulcata Tortoise

Let me introduce to you "Mr. T", the 50-year old and oldest Sulcata Tortoise in our country. The oldest 182-year old tortoise can be found in South Atlantic. To give you a little fun fact, tortoises are land-dwellers while turtles mostly live in water. Of all the tortoises, sulcata tortoise also known as African spurred tortoise is known to be the third largest species of tortoise in the world next to Galapagos tortoise and Aldabra giant tortoise. They are native to the African continent particularly in Sahara Desert. They can live over a hundred years, can grow over 1 meter in length, and can weigh over 100 pounds. Being herbivores, their diet mostly consist of green leafy vegetables, grasses, and other herbaceous plants. 

Here in Kinder Zoo, you can try feeding a sulcata and watch how he easily breaks a carrot in two. Just be careful with their sharp beak, although they won't bite on purpose.

The 50-year old Mr. T as compared to the 7-month old baby tortoise.

About Hyacinth Macaw (read as ma-ko)

Kinder Zoo is also proud to conserve seven (7) Hyacinth Macaw or Hyacinthine Macaw. It is known to be the largest Macaws or largest flying parrot in the world, a parrot native to Brazil, South America. Hyacinth Macaw has blue plumage, black bill, yellow eye-ring and yellow bare skin on its lower mandible which makes it easily recognizable. It can grow up to 40 inches long and has a powerful beak that can crush coconuts. Their diet is mostly nuts, fruits and various kinds of seeds. They prefer to live in palm swamps, woodlands and other semi-open wooded habitats. These parrots are considered as endangered numbering approximately 4,000 in the wild mostly due to habitat loss and heavy exploitation for pet trade as each macaw is worth almost P800,000. 

For the past five years, these seven macaws (4 males, 3 females) have been in Kinder Zoo's aviary to give them time to grow and mature and eventually identify who the potential couples are. According to Ms. Lubrico, sometime this year they will no longer display the macaws that they have paired up, 4 of them, as they will be transferred to their new breeding facility in Tagaytay. It has been their advocacy to breed and conserve these endangered animals.

The friendly and playful brilliant-blue Hyacinth Macaw.
Other Features of Kinder Zoo

Aside from the two animals highlighted at the event, we were also able to get a close encounter and take photos with other animals inside the Kinder Zoo.

Picture with the grass owl.

Picture with Gabbie, the 1-year old baby gibbon.

Baby riding on a tortoise's back.

Other animals.

Picture with the Rufous Hornbill.

Picture with the Toco Toucan.
Picture with the Scarlet Macaw, Blue-and-Yellow Macaw and the two red birds.

Picture with the Caiman Crocodile.

Picture with the Albino Burmese Python.

I'm so happy to have spent my birthday inside Kinder Zoo. I was even able to take photos with these animals and got a complimentary photo for free! 

Kinder Zoo Jungle Adventure entrance.

Activities you can do inside Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle.

The entrance fee is P100 where you can take a tour around the zoo, pet, feed and take pictures. Or you can pay P250 and enjoy all the other outdoor activities as well. Visitors need to purchase entrance tickets to Manila Zoo first before being able to purchase tickets to Kinder Zoo. Manila Zoo's entrance fee is P50 for Manilans and P100 for Non-Manilans.

Of course the event won't be complete without a photo op with some of the 'celebrities' of Kinder Zoo.
Picture with Ms. Grace Nicolas, Marketing Director of Kinder Zoo.

Picture with the Voice Master, Mr. Pocholo Gonzales.

Having a child gave me an excuse to be a child-at-heart and allowed me to revisit the places that I wasn't able to experience before, just like going on a zoo. We had actually visited two zoos early this year and one of them was Manila Zoo. We didn't enter Kinder Zoo since it has a separate entrance fee and we brought our two helpers with us that time. That's why I'm so blessed to receive an exclusive invite here at the Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle. Thanks Ms. Grace!

Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle

Located inside the compound of Manila Zoo
M. Adriatico Street, corner Pres. Quirino Ave., Manila
Contact numbers: 522-6179 or 475-5775

Mommy Sally

Friday, August 22, 2014

Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life!

Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we write about the World Breastfeeding Week 2014 - Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life and share how breastfeeding can help the Philippines achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals developed by the government and the United Nations. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic.  Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.

I love to read anything that concerns about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding had been close to my heart since the time I became a mom 20 months ago. It's just so addicting that I would never get tired of breastfeeding my baby until she weans by herself. 

Last Aug. 2, I joined the Hakab Na event and saw posters and message boards regarding the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and that was my first encounter about these nationwide concerns. I read through them and was proud to know that indeed breastfeeding has a way to achieve all these 8 goals.

WBW's 2014 theme - Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life!

To give you a brief background, these eight (8) Millennium Development Goals (MDG) were set up by the government and the United Nations way back 1990 to eradicate poverty and promote healthy and sustainable development at a global level by year 2015. This year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) tagged the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)'s theme as "Breastfeeding: The Winning Goal for Life" to respond to the current MDG countdown process by calling each and everyone to participate in the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding.

Message boards to show how breastfeeding can help achieve MDG.
The said eight (8) goals are as follows:
  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Hakab Na, Big Latch On 2014 Experience

Hakab is the Filipino term for latch, the most important aspect of breastfeeding, which describes how a baby attaches itself to a mom's breast to nurse. I have been breastfeeding my child for 20 months now and have seen so much goodness in doing so, thus breastfeeding has become part of my life's advocacy. 

Official poster

Breastfeeding Pinays (BFP), a Facebook group where I belong to, had organized a breastfeeding awareness activity called Hakab Na! 2014 where all moms would gather together in one place and breastfeed their baby at the same time, at a synchronized time of 10:30 am based on the rules set by the Global Big Latch On. It is a challenge made to set the record for the most women breastfeeding simultaneously across all countries with the goal of making breastfeeding in public the norm. The event is usually held during the World Breastfeeding Week, between Aug. 1-7. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Hunting Tips at Books for Less Warehouse Sale

Hoarding books. That's my latest addiction which I imbibed from a fellow mommy friend Edel. I'm thankful to her for giving me a head start on the journey of book hunting for our kids. The importance of book reading was then reinforced by the seminars that we have been attending, particularly the talks by The Learning Basket. Books are indeed windows to the world and I'm glad we had a fairly good start at that. I'm proud of my 20-month old toddler for being able to say or blurt out some lines in the books that I've been reading to her. The only effort we need to do is to read at least a few minutes each day every day and our babies will soon be able to read back to us. It's really an amazing and magical sight to behold.

A quote to inspire. Got it from the internet.

For more than a year now, every time I would pass by a second-hand book store, I would spend some few minutes browsing through the children's books section and would only leave until I get to find a good book at a good price. The more I practice my book hunting skills, the better I become in looking for great finds. 

Two weeks ago, I heard from a certain Facebook group about Books for Less having a Warehouse Sale. I especially got so giddy when I learned that all books are priced at P10.00 each, whether it's a children's book, pocket book, literature, etc. Another good thing is that the duration will be for the whole month of August, Mondays to Saturdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, except Sundays and Holidays. I told myself that I will definitely drop by their warehouse sale one of these days.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dental Care Tips by Lotte Xylitol

Last Wednesday July 30, I attended a short Dental Care talk by Lotte Xylitol at Kitchen's Best Home Patisserie in BGC. I felt so honored to be invited by Mommy Ginger, together with other mommy bloggers, to this intimate bloggers' meet-up.

Group picture with some of the mommy bloggers, as the others had already left after the talk.

Anything that could increase my knowledge as a first-time mom, I would love to attend and dental care is one of them. I can't say that I have a perfect teeth, although I still have a complete set of teeth, I do have lots of restored ones. And because of that, I want to really take time to learn more about how to properly take care of my child's teeth so that she'll grow up with a healthy smile.

Official poster to this mini event.

What is Tooth Decay?

First, let's define what tooth decay is. Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, is the bacterial infection that causes demineralization and destruction of tooth enamel resulting from interactions between teeth, food and bacteria.
Got this illustration from the internet

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Every time we eat, especially fermentable carbohydrates or sweets, the food breaks down into simple sugars which will then work with bacteria, thereby producing acids that dissolve minerals inside our tooth enamel in a process called demineralization. It happens when minerals are being lost faster than they are being regained.

We must also take note that the longer the food stays on our teeth, the more acids will be produced. Thus we must avoid frequent eating especially those sticky and retentive type of food such as potato chips and biscuits that get stuck in crevices of our teeth. If you will be asked to choose between chocolate or biscuit, it's better to eat chocolate because it just melts and can be easily washed away with water.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Breastmilk Storage Bags Review

To commemorate World Breastfeeding Week (Aug. 1-7) and National Breastfeeding Month this August, let's have a topic about breastfeeding.

Feeding 6-month old Baby A in a standing (cradle) position.

I haven't been talking about my breastfeeding journey for quite some time now. I'm proud to say that I'm still continuously breastfeeding my almost 20-month old toddler and have no plans of stopping as of yet. Some would ask how long will I breastfeed Baby A and my default answer would be, "as long as possible". 

I invite you to read my previous posts here, here and here to learn more about my breastfeeding journey.

Feeding 19-month old Baby A in sleeping (Australian) position.
Overview on my Breastfeeding Journey

I'm thankful for having a good start at breastfeeding that I didn't experience lack of supply nor even oversupply. My milk supply has stabilized on its own, producing only what my baby needs. And the only secret I did was to follow what I learned, "to start pumping only after 6 weeks of direct feeding". Little did I know about the concept of milk donation as I only store milk at the refrigerator for a few days' consumption and never had any excess to try storing in the freezer. Not until my friend explained how fulfilling it was to be able to donate milk and help other babies that I felt the need to buy breast milk storage bags. 

I made this infographic when my milk supply was still at its peak, Baby A at around 4 months old.

The very first breast milk storage bag that I used was Baby One where I bought it online for only P479 at 80's when baby was still 1 month old. I didn't experience much complaint about its quality as I rarely store milk. Actually there's still a few pieces left until now. Then slowly I also received samples of different brands from else where. The latest brand I encountered was the HoneySuckle breast milk storage bag which I volunteered to give it a review.
Sample breast milk storage bags I have for comparison:
Jingle Jungle, Mom&Baby, HoneySuckle, Baby One and Pur

Let's Review

For a more realistic and unbiased review, I did my best to inspect each of the different brands' features and took note of their differences and similarities. That's when I realized that the current brand that I was using has the least quality while the rest have almost similar features.