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.

New to being a plantita? Keep these tips in mind

Are you a plantita yet?

During quarantine, it seems that people all started cultivating houseplants. This is hardly surprising because plants do contribute to beautifying a space by providing spots of color or unique touches to the area. Since most of us are spending practically all our time at home, we are seized with the urge to improve the visual appeal of our abode with the use of houseplants.

Plantita Tips

Aside from their aesthetic contributions to our homes, houseplants also help in maintaining our health.

Some houseplants have known medicinal benefits. Aloe vera, for example, has been used to treat burns and skin, while the root of the ginger plant is used to help with digestion and nausea.

Plantita Tips

Aside from these, houseplants also help in maintaining our mental well-being. They give off a calming vibe that eases our stresses. Plants help to bring the outdoors into the home by reminding us of nature and wide open spaces. Also, since plants give off oxygen while taking in carbon dioxide, they help in improving air quality in our home.

Plantita Tips

If you’re a newbie plantita (or plant-parent), you might want to keep these tips in mind to make sure you get to enjoy your plant-babies, and their health benefits, for a long time.

1) Have the basics on-hand.

Plants basically need three things to grow and thrive: soil, sunlight and water. The availability of these requirements in your home should determine which plants you will choose and what gardening method you will employ.

Plantita Tips

If you have a large outdoor space for a garden, for example, you have the leeway to opt for larger plants that need lots of sunlight and soil. If you live in a condo, on the other hand, a smaller potted plant that does not require constant sunlight might be more appropriate.

2. Check your lifestyle.

Some people may have lots of time to devote to gardening and can take on plants with exacting care requirements.

Plantita Tips

Other may not have time in abundance, plants that are low maintenance may be the order of the day.

Plantita Tips

Luckily, there are products now available that help make plant care a lot easier such as self-watering systems and misters.

You might also want to consider if you have family members or pets that you may not always be able to control around houseplants. Pets may dig the soil from potted plants or chew on leaves, making themselves sick. Meanwhile, small children might pull off flowers or knock down potted plants.

Bearing in mind how much time and effort you can devote to the care of your houseplants, as well as the other living things that share the space with them, choose the ones that suit your lifestyle best.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

The plantita/plantito community in the country is growing and many of its members are more than happy to share best practices and useful advice to newbie plant owners. Search Facebook for groups on plants and gardening where you can post questions and ask for advice.

Your local plant nurseries are also good sources of information and equipment for plant care. Just ask the gardener about plant care tips.

You can also brush up on your plant care know-how by reading books or browsing plant care websites.

Being a plantita has its own unique rewards. Seeing your plant-baby grow and flourish will surely feel akin to a big accomplishment.

So with these tips in your plantita arsenal, you can face your plant ownership journey head on and enjoy the happiness it brings.

This post contains affiliate links.

Photos of plant nursery taken at D’Flora’s Garden along Katipunan Road, White Plains Subdivision, Quezon City.