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8 Beautiful Parks and Gardens Around Manila You Should Visit Now

Get some zen in these serene and IG-worthy spots

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Photography: @shaniesideup and @chrisduran81 on Instagram (Main Photos)

We all know how busy life can get, and sometimes, we just need a break from the struggles we face each day. How do you de-stress? Some take a digital detox, others opt for longer hours of sleep, and there are those who find comfort in a trip to the beach just like me.

While going out of town is a great way to unwind, we don't have the luxury of unlimited vacation leaves and funds for trips. Fortunately, there are hidden gardens and charming spots around the Metro where you can take a much-needed breather and get closer to nature.

Check out these gems on your free time:

1. Chinese and Japanese Gardens

  • Where: Luneta Park, Roxas Boulevard, Manila
  • Entrance Fee: P10 per person

 

Yes, we know Luneta Park isn’t really a secret place, but have you been to its side parks—the Chinese and Japanese Gardens? For a small fee, you can wander around the less crowded parts of Luneta, and enjoy the interesting architecture amid the flourishing fauna that serve as background.

2. Kasalikasan Garden

  • Where: De Jesus Oval, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Free entrance

 

A play on the words “Kasali Ka Sa Kalikasan,” Kasalikasan Garden is certainly a respite for hardworking individuals within BGC. While the amphitheater-style park can be rented as a venue for a musical or a wedding, you can find neighborhood dogs being walked around the area as well as kids playing who live in nearby residential condominiums on ordinary days.

3. Arroceros Forest Park

  • Where: A. Villegas Avenue, Manila
  • Free entrance (just sign on the logbook before entering)

 

A forest within the Metro? Yes, it exists! Arroceros Forest Park highlights a wild selection of plant and bird species. The area is also rich in history—it used to be a place for rice dealers (thus the name) back in the 16th century, the site of Fabrica de Tabacos, and an American barracks. The government then bought the place and turned it into a haven for people who want a quick escape from busy Manila.

4. Track 30th

  • Where: Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Free entrance

 

Planning a quick jog or a few minutes of stretching before a long day? If you’re in the BGC area, then don’t forget to pay this park a visit. With a paved jogging path and lots of open green spaces, Track 30th is perfect whether you want to run before or after work. Open from six in the morning to 10 in the evening, you’ll have plenty of time to exercise and still get some other things done.

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5. Paco Park

  • Where: San Marcelino and General Luna Sts., Paco, Manila
  • Free entrance

 

Don’t let its history as a cemetery scare you—Paco Park has long shed its past of being a burial ground back in the 1800s. It has been restored as a park, a concert venue, and even as a place for weddings. If you live near the area, you can easily enjoy the greenery and the different Instagram-worthy spots within.

6. Balara Filters Park

  • Where: Katipunan Extension, Quezon City, Manila
  • Free entrance

A place to experience what old Manila was really like, the Balara Filters Park is among the oldest parks in Quezon City. It used to be a popular place for entertainment back in the '50s, housing three swimming pools, playgrounds, the Anonas Ampitheater, and even a windmill park. While some structures have fallen to disrepair, the area is rich with walkways and green spaces for quiet walks and picnics with family and friends.

Photo by Judgefloro via Wikipedia.

7. Washington Sycip Park

  • Where: Legaspi Village, Makati City
  • Free entrance

 

Home to skyscrapers, offices, and different establishments, Makati has its own share of well-loved secrets. There are several parks within the city that are perfect for an after work jog or a nice weekend walk. The Washington Sycip Park is quaint and lovely. It also has a hidden music system that plays relaxing tunes perfect for unwinding and reflection.

8. River Park, Festival Supermall

  • Where: Festival Mall, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
  • Free entrance

 

Southerners rejoice! About three years ago, real estate developer Filinvest Land has opened its newest addition to the Festival Supermall compound–a 2,300-sqm park with jogging trails, a flowing river, and green spaces which they call River Park. It’s a perfect weekend getaway for those who live in the South and would want a quiet time with nature. 

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