Villa Adoracion is a private zoo set in the heart of Quezon City.

Text and photos by Clarizza Jan C. Raquion

Additional photos by Jeffrey C. Lim

Anniversary celebrations are par for the course for any organization, but when the Stingray Club of the Philippines (SCP) recently celebrated its first year anniversary, it chose to do so in a secluded yet magnificent private jungle/zoo in the heart of Quezon City.

Members from across the country gathered at Villa Adoracion to share experiences and stories as they toured the venue and renewed their commitment to pursue its goal of promoting the keeping of, and educating others about, this magnificent fish from the Amazon river while fostering camaraderie among its members. Offered as a grand prize for the celebration’s raffle was a majestic white pearl stingray. Other activities included sharing ideas about proper ray keeping.

An Exquisite World of Birds

Villa Adoracion was originally constructed to be a resthouse, and the family’s patriarch and matriarch began by collecting plants and birds as a hobby. Current owner Frederico Bernardo Valdez’s father Nestor upgraded the facilities upon being inspired by the bird habitats in Jurong Bird Park, Singapore.

He also began breeding the macaws, something Frederico continues, while helping to preserve certain endangered species. It was inevitable, he smiles. “Nature took its course. More and more birds started breeding so we kept upgrading the cages to suit their needs. While we didn’t choose the animals, with the newer ones, we do try to choose the ones suited for our climate.”

These days, they have macaws in different colors, and hornbills, white cockatoos, and an ostrich. A special cage for the macaws allows them to fly freely and exercise their wings. “We are proud of all our birds,” Frederico says, “not only the endangered species but also those we were able to breed successfully.”

It’s evident how well-cared for the creatures in this private zoo are; currently, it is not yet open to the public, though provisions are being made for the security and safety of the animals prior to opening it up to limited tour groups. The private zoo is providing and taking good care of all the animals they have. Now its open for the friends of the owner only but I hope soon it would be open for the public to see the beauty of the macaws. n (With reporting by Clarizza Jan C. Raquion)

This appeared as “A Zoo is Born from Inspiration” in Animal Scene’s September 2015 issue.