People living in the city are usually deprived of fresh air. However, eco-living in Metro Manila is not as hard as it seems when you know where to find the best places to relax, hangout and unwind. If you need a breather without leaving the metro, here’s a list of five eco-friendly hangout places that are worth visiting:
The greenery that lies within the campus of the University of the Philippines Diliman is an eye candy to both students and nature-lovers alike. The central Sunken Garden in the campus comes alive on weekends with sports and fitness enthusiasts, people from all walks of life. You can also wander through the lover’s lane, UP Lagoon or walk through the grounds around Carillon. What makes this hangout spot even more exciting is that they are open to the public and the entrance is free. There are many food stalls around the area so you can do a food trip on the sides too.
Situated in the heart of Manila, Paco Park and Cemetery is a small and old circular park that has become a heritage destination. A jeepney-ride away from Intramuros, it is a perfect place for celebrations such as weddings and prenuptial shoots. Its garden setting also serves as a destination for leisure time activities.
Aside from its beauty, the park is prized for its historical value. Paco Park served as a burial ground for the victims of Asiatic cholera pandemic when it was completed in 1822. It later became a resting place of the Spanish high society in the late 1800s. Additionally, it was also the resting ground of four Filipino National Heroes including Jose Rizal before his remains were dug up and kept by the family in an urn in 1898 and later on enshrined in Luneta, Dec. 30, 1912.
The park is open to the public everyday from 7am to 5pm. Entrance fee is P10.
Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati
A landscaped expanse of over 20,000 square meters, the Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati is a calming and beautiful haven, within a concrete jungle that is the city’s Central Business District. An open courtyard, it is populated by over a hundred trees of a diverse mix, interspersed with lush greenery and inspired public art pieces from some of the leading local artists.
The urban park reserves a wide stretch of grass for kids to play around and families to set up picnic mats. Pets are also allowed in the park – a fact made obvious by the separate bin made specifically for pet waste.
Balara Filters Park
Among the oldest green spaces in Quezon City, Balara Filters Park was a popular destination for entertainment and recreation in the 1950s. It once held a fully-functional outdoor theater, the Anonas Amphitheater. However, the theater is now all overgrown and falling into ruin.
The 60-hectare park was neglected for decades until its renovation in 2003. Today, the park includes three large swimming pools, an elevated picnic grove, a kiddie playground and a windmill park. The park makes for some great photo backdrops and even the dilapidated architectures are very picturesque. It is a place for a quiet picnic while discovering its historical background
Washington SyCip Park
Another haven within Makati city, the Washington Sycip Park is the place to relax one’s mind. It is the perfect hang out whether you are alone or with a group. Built in 2006, the park was presented to Washington SyCip, a Filipino accountant and banker, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Philippine business community.
Among the amenities of the park include a gazebo, fish pond, and ample stone benches and restrooms. The park is also packed with a number of stone tablets with short quotations from SyCip himself, scattered along with a variety of plants and trees. Compared to other urban parks, SyCip Park is less congested which is an advantage to visitors who wish to avoid a huge crowd. Entrance is free and people can come as early as 6 am.
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