Tuesday, March 07, 2017

[Travel] Zoomanity’s Zooper Cruise: History and Environmental Awareness

The view from Valenzuela Ferry Boart Station.

March 04, 2017 – Manila, Philippines.

Long time ago, during the early Philippine History, there was a magnificent river that served as the center of economic activity as well as livelihood with its clear waters, abundance of fishes and a venue of trade and travel in the heart of the country’s most powerful city, Manila. Sadly, most millennials today, including me that was born in the late 80s, never got the chance to witness its glory. As the economy and industrialization progresses over time, the once clean and living river became polluted leading to its demise in 1990s leaving traces of rich history along its banks. How can the generation today appreciate its value? Why some groups like the Zoomanity Foundation still hoping that this nature treasure be revived and conserved?

Zooper Cruise offers a very unique experience under the Zoomanity Foundation with an aim to educate its participants about the rich history and beauty of Metro Manila through a journey along Pasig River via ferry boat cruise. Throughout the cruise were lots of trivia, activities and sumptuous snacks and dinner while seeing the historical edifices along the river’s banks providing more expanded consciousness to participate in the government and Zoomanity Foundation’s aim to conserve this heart of the city, to make it alive again for our generation as well as those generations to come. It is one of the newest projects of Zoomanity Foundation which comprises of four pillars: Education, Entertainment, Environmental Conservation and Exhibit.
Last March 4, 2017, I was one of those who were blessed to be invited for a Zooper Cruise experience. I could say that it was one of the most educational even I have attended. Most of us know how highly polluted the Pasig River is, so who wants to cruise along? After reviewing Zoomanity’s mission and vision, my interest was captured more because of my love for Manila and Philippine history, I knew the Pasig River has a lot to tell.


With the very accommodating Engr. Grace of Tag Media, co-blogger Nikko and my mother.
Arrived early at the ferry. Cozy ambiance.

The captain and owner of the ferry, Engr. Ed Bondad giving a talk.

Mr. Robert L. Yupangco, CEO of  Yupangco Group of Companies.


Coast Guard Station Pureza



Escolta Station.



Plaza Mexico.

My fellow bloggers Nikko and Rhodora.

The meeting place was at the Valenzuela Ferry Station located in Makati and the starting point of the tour. Looking through the windows gave me a feel of amusement seeing less to no garbage and water lilies floating in the river area. I wonder how beautiful this river back to the Spanish Era. The hostesses of the cruise then introduced Engineer Ed Bondad, the captain and owner of the cozy air-conditioned ferry bus we are in. He gave us information about the brand new ferry boat that could cater almost 152 passengers and how ferries could serve as an alternative transport throughout Metro Manila. Thinking about keeping away from traffic on EDSA or Manila? Why not? Also, the captain of the boat taught us so many historical trivia as the ferry cruised to different boat stations, bridges and historical buildings. This event is a great way to know more about renaissance history of Metro Manila which could be promising if given attention by both local and foreign tourists. The CEO of Yupangco Group of Companies to where Zoomanity Foundation is included, Mr. Robert L. Yupangco also gave an encouraging speech for us to support the advocacy.


Post Office Main Building.

Our first significant landmark is in front of the Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the President of our country. We were warned not to take pictures for security. He mentioned some interesting stories about the buildings that we passed by. Among these are the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, St. Jude College and Parish, Hospicio de San Jose, old Department of Budget and Management Building as well as the bridges like Ayala Bridge, McArthur Bridge and Quezon Bridge. Did you know that the person who designed the Quezon Bridge and Eifel Tower were the same? It was Gustav Eifel. The crew and staff also let us experience the river in the outside balcony of the ferry to take pictures and appreciate it even more as we approach the Escolta Station in Binondo and tour the area.

Polland Hopia Factory.
Sta. Cruz Church.
The inside of Crown Prince Seafood Restaurant in Escolta.
Some of the foods served in Crown Prince Seafood Restaurant. The soup and the chicken dish were not included because I have no decent picture of the two.

Mr. Robert Yupangco, CEO of Yupangco Group with the cruise staff and crew ended the night in closing remarks.
Upon arriving at Polland Hopia Factory, a very good delicacy store in Escolta, many of the tour participants fell in line to buy Chinese and Filipino food delicacies specially their many flavored hopia. We then headed to the beautiful and classy Sta. Cruz church to have brief prayers and respect. I was indeed awed by the classic buildings in Escolta, the architectural designs were timeless with the knowledge that this district was once the center of economy and trade in the country. To top it all, dinner was served at Crown Prince Seafood Restaurant with authentic and delicious Chinese Cuisine from appetizers to desserts.


Heading back to the ferry with smiling faces, we received an extended ice cream dessert followed by a trivia contest. Prizes were given to those who can answer the trivia questions correctly. Engineer Ed gave another speech about more learning of how important is the role of Pasig River not just in the environment but for the country’s economy and tourism. Zooper Cruise is a way to educate the students as well as every one of us of to be aware and help conserve the Pasig River and its huge contribution to Philippine history. Grateful guests gave donations with a happy heart.

Some of those notable guests were former secretary of Tourism, Mr. Vince Carlos and Presidential Appointee (Board of Directors) Mr. Ed Santos. The last remarks were given by Mr. Robert Yupangco himself thanking everyone with encouragement to support Zooper Cruise for the Pasig River. Along with Engineer Ed and the crew volunteers, the night ended in good spirits in everyone.

Attending such event served as an eye opener for us to value mother nature, to conserve and try to revive the treasure we once had as well as to appreciate the history behind. This cruise is recommended for the youth to engage in to develop their awareness of the advocacies.

I would like to thank Zoomanity Group and Tag Media for the amazing experience. For more details and inquiries, you can contact Tag Media, the public relations of Zoomanity Group at (02) 899-9819/ 899-9824/0917-9521371 or at their website  www.zoomanity.com.ph. For events and services, send inquiry to Ms. Grace Nicolas through her E-Mail: grace@tagmedia.asia or call 09166299381.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...