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Spending time in nature isn’t the first choice for summer activities, especially for those who live in Manila. When temperatures rise, most people head to the beach or pool and swim in the cool waters to beat the city heat. But more and more youngsters are enjoying Mother Nature through activities like trekking in nearby mountains, camping, and even glamorous camping or glamping, which has grown popular recently. This dry season, why not forego your usual route and try something different without leaving Manila?
There are a lot of nearby spots in the metro where one can enjoy nature. Check out our list below of where to have a picnic, or go camping and glamping in Manila this summer.
Rainforest Adventure Experience (Pasig City)
Visitors can take dozens of pictures at the RAVE flower field. (Image: Rainforest Adventure Experience)
Known as Pasig Rainforest to locals, Rainforest Adventure Experience (RAVE) was built in 1977 when the local government decided to build a recreational park from an actual rainforest. Today, RAVE has a total land area of over six hectares and has plenty of attractions such as pools, zip lines, and a wall climbing area.
This summer, if your schedule is too tight to even travel to the nearest beach, RAVE is the ideal place to be. This massive park has a picnic grove where you can enjoy the afternoon breeze. They also have a camping area with a tree house, a flower field, and a lagoon where you can take an early morning or afternoon stroll. Prepare to shell out PhP200 for a three-hour stay, which allows you to use one of the cottages in the area.
La Mesa Eco Park (Quezon City)
Guests can spend the day or the evening at La Mesa Eco Park. (Image: La Mesa Eco Park)
For Quezon City residents, La Mesa Eco Park is one of the most popular recreational areas for spending some down time with Mother Nature. The park is part of the La Mesa Watershed Reservation, a reservoir where most of the city gets its water. It has existed for years, but was forgotten and snubbed by locals due to lack of supervision. In 1999, private and public organizations teamed up to restore the park and in 2004, it was officially reintroduced as La Mesa Eco Park.
Today, the 33-ha. park is one of the locals’ favorite go-to places. The wide expanse of greenery makes it a great picnic spot for family and friends. Boats, a fishing area, and a zip line are also available in the park. Those who want to camp overnight must coordinate with the park management, and pay a fee of PhP200 per person.
Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (Quezon City)
Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center has a lagoon in the city. (Image: Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center)
Another contender from Quezon City is Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center. This park is located in the heart of the city, along one of its busiest highways, the Elliptical Road. This 80-ha. land is known for its zoo that houses rescued animals such as pythons, various kinds of birds, monkeys, and even reptiles.
The rest of the park is covered with various kinds of trees. It has a wide stretch of land that makes it an excellent spot for picnics and games like Frisbee. Visitors can use the small huts scattered around the area for free. The manmade lagoon is open for boating and fishing, but can also double as a lounging spot.
Marikina River Park (Marikina City)
Run alongside one of the most awarded rivers in the country at Marikina River Park.
If you live at or near Marikina, Marikina River Park is your go-to place. It is known as the biggest sports and recreational park in the country in a natural setting, and is one of the most awarded rivers in the country.
Despite the flooding that this city has experienced, Marikina River Park is alive and properly maintained, thanks to the efforts of the local government. In the morning and the afternoon, families gather here for a quick jog. The area around the river is also a nice place for picnics. The park comes alive at night as restaurants and various establishments open its doors with the glistening river as its background.
Rizal Park (Manila)
One can revisit history while enjoying nature at Rizal Park. (Image: MNL The Place to Be)
Rizal Park, more commonly known to Filipinos as Luneta, is one of the most popular parks in the country. Despite the notion that it is only for picture-taking or for history aficionados, Rizal Park boasts of several spots perfect for a lazy afternoon.
The park houses several gardens that you and your friends can visit during the day like the Japanese garden, Chinese garden and orchidarium. There’s also a children’s playground where families can visit with their kids. Open-space grounds serve as picnic areas for families who bond on the afternoon and on the weekends. After touring the park, visit the central lagoon which turns into a musical dancing fountain at night.
Quezon Memorial Circle (Quezon City)
The Quezon Memorial Shrine at Quezon City Circle
Quezon Memorial Circle is a dream destination for nature and history lovers. Circle, as locals call it, houses several museums that pays homage to former President Manuel L. Quezon and Quezon City. The newly opened Quezon City Experience (QCX) is also a must-see, with its modern installations that depicts the beauty and history of Quezon City.
This 27-ha. land also is a great spot for nature and fitness lovers. Come by early in the morning and join the masses that dance their way into fitness. You can also jog around if you want, and join other runners in the morning or at night. There are also several spots in Circle where you can relax with your family and friends, play a game, and enjoy a meal.
As these recreational parks prove, one can bond with family and friends this summer in places other than the beach.
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About Patricia Marie Prado
Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.
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