Albino Burmese python at Avilon Zoo

Avilon Zoo (Rodriguez, Rizal)


What is a zoo? Could we consider Calauit Island Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary (Palawan) a zoo? Is the best zoo in the Philippines? My choice? That’s pretty obvious from the title of this post. But I’m not talking about Ark Avilon Zoo, located beside Tiendesitas, Ortigas. I’m talking about it’s sister zoo, the bigger Avilon Zoo in Rodriguez, Rizal. (Perhaps you’re telling yourself Avilon Zoo is in Montalban, Rizal. That was exactly my thoughts, then I got confused because the end of our journey brought us to the town of Rodriguez, not Montalban. I later learned that Montalban is the old name of Rodriguez, Rizal.)

[See Map: Directions on how to get there]

I would say that the centerpiece of our weekend visit, at least for my son, is the Hill Mynah. We were wondering who was saying “Hi”. Then the same voice said, “Kumain ka na?” By the time we heard “Panget“, we already tracked down the culprit — the talking Mynah bird, black feathers with an orange beak and a yellow streak on its head, pretty much like a hair highlight of fashionistas (but unlike many of our homo sapien comrades, the yellow highlight on the Mynah looks great on it). Even without the label on the cage, you’ll still know its name. When you go there, ask “What’s your name?” You’ll be surprised to hear “Mynah”.

There are other familiar birds like the Ostrich and Flamingo. The long trip made me hungry and I thought the ostrich would probably make a nice lechon manok, er, ostrich. Some of us who are lucky enough to have grown in the province knows it’s wise to keep away from a mother hen when the chicks are around. Come too close and the hen will treat that as a threat to her children. What happens? Saw fighting cocks go at each other, with legs kicking and wings flapping? Mother hens do that too. Imagine if an ostrich behaves like that.

Anyway, there are many exotic names such as Pink Necked Green Pigeon, Victoria Crowned Pigeon, Metallic Pigeon, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Ring-Necked Parakeet, White Capped Parrot, Black-Headed Caique, Mt. Apo Lory, Black-Capped Lory, Red-Billed Toucan, Blue and Gold Macaw (as well as other species of macaws). There are sinister-sounding names, like the Cut Throat Finch. In terms of color, there’s the beautiful Red Masked Conure. And no, please don’t ask for pictures of those birds; it’s always better for you to see the real thing.

Mankind’s relatives are also fairly represented in the Avilon Zoo.

There are orangutans and monkeys. An island surrounded by a electric-wired moat, just opposite the orangutan home, holds the Muller Gibbon, Agile Gibbon, Concolor Gibbon and Lar Gibbon. And perhaps just like mankind, animals probably suffer from  strange psychological disorders like identity crisis — like that animal in Avilon Zoo that can’t seem to decide whether its a mouse or a deer, the Balabac Mouse Deer. (Then again, mankind gave them that name).

Big cats, of course, are there. Persian Leopard, South American Jaguar, Siberian Tiger. The lions, though, were too shy to come out.  Then I spotted the Spotten Hyena, animals with strong biting force, although this hardly occupied my mind. The first thing I uttered upon seeing the hyenas is this – Mufasa . . . say it again, say it again. If you don’t recognize those lines, it’s ok. Just go see the animated movie Lion King with your kids. I suggest you should, just to see how funny hyenas could be, of course through the eyes of Walt Disney.

Avilon Zoo seemed very ordinary at first. The short walk from the entrance, with only a handful of ducks and some arapaimas in view, was far from spectacular. Then going up the slope and into the heart of the zoo, I realized that there’s so much to see and experience. The landscaping looks good and there’s a lot of clean, comfort rooms (that alone is impressive). It was a great place to see the animals up close (you know how a Red Pacu, Sun Bear or Malaysian Tapir looks like?). By the time we reached the part where the snakes are, we had to leave. We had no more time to see the rest of the place.

The Avilon Zoo is open on weekdays (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and weekends/holidays (8 a.m. to 6 pm). How much? Entrance fee is P250 for adults and children (the rate doesn’t apply for those who don’t exceed a certain height). How to go there? Getting to Avilon Zoo isn’t easy. You could try the directions posted at the Avilon Zoo website, but I saw little help from it. From Quezon Circle, we took the route through Katipunan (Quezon City), turned right under the flyover, took the first U-turn, drove straight to the Sta. Lucia Mall after the LRT station, took the first U-turn, right turn at the intersection with McDonald’s, then, from there, relied on the goodwill of people in asking for directions. We’ll need more time to retrace our steps. Those who are familiar with the directions are most welcome to help.



12 thoughts on “Avilon Zoo (Rodriguez, Rizal)”

  1. i haven’t been to avilon zoo, but planning to one of these days. incidentally, it just so happens that a rowhouse i bought through pag-ibig stands in close proximity with the zoo. it is thus very likely that my family would see the place in the near future.

    as to the possible routes in going there, i know of two. the first is, coming from commonwealth avenue, one may enter batasan road, and then turn right in the batasan-san mateo road (this is the road that is located right after the entrance of the house of representatives). go straight ahead and upon reaching the junction between batasan-san mateo road and the nangka road (a puregold branch stands nearby), turn left towards the direction of san mateo. just follow the highway until montalban or rodriguez, rizal. then pass through the montalban church, its municipal hall, and upon reaching the gate of eastwood subdivision in san rafael, montalban, the avilon zoo is short distance away.

    the other route is through the litex road near commonwealth avenue. this road, which is quite scenic, goes through part of payatas, quezon city and all the way to erap city in montalban, rizal. but even before reaching erap city, there is a crossing which leads to the poblacion. take this road, which should be in the right side, and go straight ahead, until reaching the other end. turn left and follow the direction going to eastwood subdivision as narrated above.

    having said that, the easiest means of getting there is to get an fx or a public utility jeep either in cubao or sta. lucia, which carries the signboard of “montalban, eastwood.” after reaching the destination, get a tricycle to get to the zoo (i presume the tricycles parked in front of the eastwood subdivision go there, although it is always better to ask first).

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  2. reynato, thank you so much for taking time to discuss the directions. I’m sure this will help life less difficult for those planning to go there.

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  3. sayang you were not able to see the rest of it. my kids went crazy about the huge spider they have there. it was a bird eating spider i think. actually it was the only reason they want to go there..never mind that their mom is arachnophobic.he he

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  4. Mat, seems like you really had a great time. Talagang sayang we were not able to see the rest of the zoo. Morale of the story — go there real early, so as to spend enough time on each area. We didn’t realize it was that big. But hey, there’s always a next time. I hope they were not badly affected by Typhoon Ondoy.

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  5. Greetings!

    My son have a research project about Avilon Zoo, but I’m quite confused because there are two Avilon Zoo, are the owners of these two zoos related?

    I want to ask also if all the animals in Ark Avilon Zoo are also in Avilon Zoo, Rodriguez Rizal?
    There are many helpful websites (facebook and multiply) about Ark Avilon Zoo while in
    Avilon Zoo, Rizal… their website is not that informative.

    My son’s research project is about ANIMALS IN AVILON ZOO, Rizal (where in they held their
    field trip few weeks ago).

    I hope that you can answer my queries, I will definitely appreciate your help.
    Thanks! God Bless.

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  6. i would like to know the exact location of avilon zoo. will you please send me the vicinity map or location map. my family is planning to go there anytime next week. thank you so much!

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  7. You can easily go to Avilon Zoo if you’ll be coming from Q.C.. From Q.C. Circle travel straight towards to Commonwealth Ave. then turn right to Litex (Payatas Road) then go straight after that you’ll see the intersection of E. Rodriguez Hi-way (Montalban Hi-way)turn right there and go straight to J.P. Rizal (where Mercury Drug Rodriguez is located)turn left there then go straight going to Luver’s Market (Eastwood Subdivision entrance).then from this intersection you’ll be passing through a circle then go to the left turn direction going to Centella Homes. Before reaching Centella Homes you’ll be seeing the sign board of Avilon Zoo then turn left from there then go straight. You will see the Avilon Zoo.

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  8. As an American who can be a bit picky about things, Avilon Zoo is one of the best places I have ever found in the Philippines. They have done it so beautiful with such attention to detail. I am so surprised that is is not advertised more by the Dept. of tourism. It is a class act.

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  9. My wife and I own a house at Eastwood Residences and on one of my visits from Australia, we went to the Avalon Zoo and loved it. All the staff were very friendly and it was very well presented.

    There was some construction going on as they are growing but it was a great day. I highly recommend a visit to this zoo.

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