With the sweltering heat of the summer permeating the drab and grey streets of metro, it would be nice to go somewhere cool, fresh and green.
Well, wouldn’t you know it! Right in the heart of Quezon City is a place where you can escape to enjoy a bit of nature: the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center.
This 22.7 hectare area located in Diliman, Quezon City is a zoological and botanical garden, named after Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. It is one of the ninety-four legislated Protected Areas in the Philippines under the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Act of 2018.
It is also dubbed as the “Nature Park in the City’s Heart” being the home of various species of flora and fauna while still situated in a busy metropolis.
Here, park visitors can go exploring on pathways that weave through the park’s trees and open grassy areas, perfect places to jog or stroll while enjoying the peace and quiet.
With over 3,000 species of trees, some of which are endemic to the country, the park is also one of Metro Manila’s last remaining green spaces, which serve to mitigate urban air pollution and help counter the emergence of Urban Heat Islands (UHIs), metropolitan areas that are significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas due to the daily activities of urban populations concentrated in a small area.
Aside from enjoying the lush greenery, park visitors can view animals as well. As a wildlife rescue and research center, it serves as a quarantine area and rehabilitation center for wild animals captured while lingering in residential areas, or undomesticated animals confiscated from people involved in the illegal wildlife trade or exotic pet owners who are abusive to their animals.
The center also serves as a training ground for practitioners and students or veterinary medicine, zoology, botany, biology and natural science.
For park visitors who want to do a bit of sight-seeing or picture-taking, the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center also contains a manmade lagoon which houses various fishes. Within its vicinity is a picturesque Fishing Village which consist of five houses on stilts along the edge of the lagoon. These structures are patterned after fishing villages in Mindanao.
The park also houses other attractions which may be rented out:
- A Tea House that may serve as a venue for workshops, meetings and other small parties
- A 250-seater Amphitheater for larger gatherings
- Picnic sheds to shelter people during their visit
For plantitos and plantitas, the Bernie Dizon Botanic Fruit and Techno-Demo Center is also located within the park. Owned and managed by the country’s leading pomologist the garden offers high-quality cuttings and seedlings that will grow into fruit trees for home gardens or farmlands.
So if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, you won’t have to travel far. Simply visit the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center to enjoy that precious bit of nature.
The Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center is located along Elliptical Road and North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 5pm.
The following entrance fees apply:
- Adults: Php30
- Students: Php15
- Foreigners: Php100
- Senior citizens, PWDs and children below seven years old: FREE