BY ALMA J. BUELVA
ALONG the busy Sucat Road in Parañaque is a place that bravely calls itself "Lost Eden". We suspended our disbelief and entered, ready to be disappointed. But each step we took brought us closer to some interesting animals that made the trip worth our while.
Operated by Bio Research, Lost Eden is not exactly our idea of paradise. The painted scenery on the walls and the hodgepodge man-made attractions clash with the flora and fauna. A little help from our appointed tour guide, however, boosted our appreciation of the place and we willingly allowed ourselves to be led in different areas inside the recreational and educational park.
Lost Eden currently is huge on pigeons. The variety of pigeons is extensive and our guide said some even cost as much as P250,000 for one bird! It is definitely a pigeon lovers' paradise.
But the bird that caught our attention was a golden pheasant that personifies the legendary “Ibong Adarna.”
But there are also other exotic birds to see from ostriches, guinea fowls, peacocks, peahens to geese and mallards and other kinds of ducks. The place also boasts of having quite a number of so-called “pineapple chicken” from China which are supposed to be good for keeping evil spirits away. For this reason, the pineapple chickens were carefully placed at the far end of the park near the side of the Manila Memorial Park.
Exotic fishes and some farm animals are also present to add variety, as well as bees and butterfly farms. The park also features the classic tandem of turtles and hares.
Lost Eden is open daily and charges an entrance fee of P180 per adult. Bio Research also runs a store inside with goods just like the ones available at its mall-based stores.
If you want a quick escape to a somewhat rustic destination without leaving the city, Bio Research's Lost Eden fits the bill. Just don't expect to see real dinosaur bones and learn to enjoy the small, unique experiences the park has to offer like clutching a pigeon in your hands and kissing it before letting it fly away or hoping a butterfly will land on your shoulder for luck. Also, keep an eye on the heritage tamarind tree that is over 200 years old.