After spending over a year indoors and isolated, it’s clear just how important wide, open spaces are to the metro. Stepping out of the house not only gives you a much-needed opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, but it also offers a safer and more socially distant way to hang out and stay connected with family and friends.
It can be a challenge to find pockets of nature in the concrete jungle, so we’ve compiled a collection of our favorite open spaces in Metro Manila. Just remember to keep safety measures in mind and bring all your pandemic essentials: face masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer. Enjoy!
Ayala Triangle Gardens
Found in the heart of the Makati business district, the Ayala Triangle Gardens feels like a breath of fresh air in the land of skyscrapers. The beautifully landscaped park is home to more than a hundred trees that create a pretty canopy shielding park-goers from the bustling corporate world outside.
Nature-loving Makati folks can hang out at the open courtyard with friends and fur babies or lace up their running shoes for an easy jog around the 20,000-square-meter park. Great dining options are also available, from brunch spots and cafés to Filipino and Italian restaurants.
Bonifacio High Street
Even pre-pandemic, people have flocked to Bonifacio High Street to shop, chill out, people-watch, and eat outside. Art installations by Reg Yuson populate the one-kilometer stretch, making it an Instagram-worthy space for snap-happy individuals. The crowds are usually a fun mix of families, groups of friends, and business people coming from the office. Minors are now allowed to dine in Bonifacio High Street’s alfresco areas, so it’s the perfect place to bring the entire family, whether you want to have a picnic or fly a kite.
Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area
Many metro dwellers aren’t aware that there’s a sprawling wildlife park within Metro Manila that’s a haven for migratory birds and mangrove species. Found south of Manila Bay, the Las Piñas – Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) is a 175-hectare protected wetland with mangroves, lagoons, mudflats, and mixed beach forests. It consists of two primary islands known as Freedom Island and Long Island.
More than 41 species of migratory birds from China, Japan, and Siberia make their way here during the months of April to August. During the migratory season, species that can be spotted at the reserve include the Little Egret and Black-Crowned Night Heron.
Bird-watchers and nature-lovers may contact the Conservation and Development Division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Address: Freedom Island Trail, Parañaque
Rainforest Adventure Experience
Adventure lovers will enjoy the sprawling Rainforest Adventure Experience (RAVE), which composes of green spaces, fitness facilities, obstacle courses, a water park, playgrounds, and zoos. It’s a wonderful space to run, play, and burn off excess energy, especially for children who have been deprived of new outdoor activities. Every RAVE attraction costs separately, but there is no entrance fee to the park itself. Children over five years old are allowed in the park with supervision.
Quezon Memorial Park
Found in the center of a large and chaotic traffic circle in Quezon City, Quezon Memorial Park is a 27-hectare patch of green where Manila dwellers can take a break from the urban jungle. The national park surprisingly has a lot of interesting attractions inside, including a museum, a small amusement park, a children’s playground, and a bicycle track. Rental bikes are available, as well as dining joints, plant stalls, and other shops. Within the park is a towering art deco mausoleum with the remains of former president Manuel L. Quezon.
Address: Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City
Paco Park and Cemetery
If you’re seeking to escape the overwhelming hubbub of the city of Manila, Paco Park is the perfect respite. Formerly a municipal cemetery in the Spanish colonial period, the recreational park is now a pretty space with well-preserved ancient gates, beautifully landscaped lawns, and a small chapel. Get transported to the past and take a peek into colonial times at Paco Park.
Address: Belen, Paco, Manila
Any other suggestions for a morning or afternoon outdoors? A quick visit to these nature spots and open spaces in Metro Manila could be exactly what you need to destress and lift your spirits. Just remember to keep local regulations and proper safety measures in mind. Face masks and face shields remain required in Metro Manila.