The “Nature Park in the City’s Heart”: the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife in Quezon City

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.

Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center

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.

Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center

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.

Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center

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.

Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center

The center also serves as a training ground for practitioners and students or veterinary medicine, zoology, botany, biology and natural science.

Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center

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.

Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center

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.

Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center

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.

Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center
Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center

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

For inquiries, call +63 2 89246031 local 236. For more details, visit its website or follow Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center on Facebook.

Food and nature-tripping at Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Nestled into east of Manila is a hidden haven for food and nature lovers. Called Burrow Cafe, it is located in the Antipolo Beehouse, a nature reserve set in a quiet residential subdivision away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

My daughter #ExhibitA and I decided to treat my mom out to Sunday brunch at Burrow Cafe. This mother-daughter-granddaughter outing is something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time but never found the time for until now.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

So last Sunday, off we went up Ortigas Avenue Extension towards Antipolo and into Beverly Hills Subdivision where the Beehouse is situated. Upon arriving at the Beehouse gate, we went down 76 steps (good thing I didn’t wear heels!) to a lush green courtyard with another flight of stairs leading to what seemed like an underground bunker.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

When we entered the cafe’s premises, however, we were treated to an abundance of light and greenery, thanks to the cafe’s large panel windows which let in a lot of natural light and give diners a relaxing view of the surrounding forest. Artfully laid out wood furniture, potted and hanging plants as well as other bric-a-bracs further accent the cafe’s nature theme while hammocks hanging from the ceiling provide some splashes of color and whimsy to the interiors. Outside, there is a balcony that overlooks a nearby mountain stream.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

There, my mom, #ExhibitA and I chatted about life and gossiped about mutual acquaintances (hahaha!) while enjoying our brunch made with ingredients sourced from the Antipolo Market or grown within the cafe’s grounds.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Our meal included:

Beef Short Ribs with Corn and Green Bean Risotto (Php550).

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Fish and Chips (Php420).

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Key Lime Pie (Php190).

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Home Brew Iced Tea (Php120) and Avocado Fruit Shake (Php180).

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Though quite tasty, food items are limited and a bit pricey. Given the cafe’s lovely and restful ambiance and warm, friendly service, however, I’d say dining here is well worth the expense and effort.

After all, nothing but the best for my mom and my baby girl.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe is located at the Antipolo Beehouse, 113 Beverly Hills Drive, Beverly Hills Subdivision, Dolores, Taytay, open Wednesdays to Thursdays from 8am to 4pm and Fridays to Sundays 7am to 4pm. Although walk-ins are welcome, table reservation is highly recommended through email (burrowcafe@gmail.com) or mobile (+63 917 6229795). For more details, visit the Antipolo Beehouse website.

Notes:

  • Beverly Hills Subdivision charges Php20 for cara entering the area so keep some change handy.
  • The resto is not wheelchair-friendly.
  • You might also want to check out the cafe’s retail area which sells reusable straws, homemade self-care products, zero-waste household ware and paper products.

Burrow Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my blog posts on breakfast joints around the metro: