Located in the center of Quezon City is a quick getaway from the busy life of the metro. Here’s a place where you can refresh your smoke-filled lungs with scents of green leafy trees; relax along the banks of its calm waters, or just hang out at the tree-canopied benches with your friends and family and enjoy a picnic or two.
The 65-hectare park is named after the slain Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. Originally under the Quezon Memorial National Park in 1954, it was then transferred to the Parks and Wildlife Office of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The park was then christened as the Parks and Wildlife Nature Center in 1970.
An oasis in the middle of the city, The Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife is a sprawling recreational area dotted with huge trees, fields blanketed by green grass and crisscrossing stone paths. Its centerpiece is the serene man-made lagoon where Great Egrets (Tagak) and other birds frequent. An amphitheater and gazebos on stilts are also located within the lagoon area. The gazebos can be rented and closed for private events. The amphitheater, however, had seen better days. Play areas can also be found in the inner parts of the park.
Huge aviaries housing eagles, parrots, peacocks and hornbills to name a few are also spread throughout the park. The Wildlife Rescue Center, which is almost a mini-zoo, contains confiscated, retrieved, donated, sick, abandoned and injured animals. It is open to the public on specific days. Several indigenous plants can also be found inside the park.
Families having picnics, friends hanging out, children running about and lovers wanting to spend quiet times together often fill the park during the weekends. The entrance fee is quite affordable, being a measly Php8.00. Time spent inside the park is certainly worth every centavo of your money.
While there is really nothing extraordinary being offered by the park, the fact that it exist at all in the busy streets of Quezon City is good enough. The grating sound of the city is totally eliminated when inside its gate. You’d be surprised that you’re in the city at all. It just transports you magically back to your grandma’s quaint province, among the tall trees, wild flowers and windy fields.
The park, however, is far from perfect and there is really much to be improved; the amphitheater, the aviary and zoo cages can benefit from a good renovation. Given enough budget though, the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife can really be a beautiful haven for the city weary Juan dela Cruz.
The best time to visit the place is during the early mornings or late afternoons. Although the gates closes at 5PM, they still allow guests already inside to linger 'til nightfall. Time enough to buy an ice-cream from the many Sorbeteros stationed inside or simply sit on the benches along the lagoon and enjoy the view as the blazing sun reflects its fiery glow on the lake’s placid mirrorlike waters.
Address: Quezon Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City in front of the Philippine Lung Center
Landline: 924-6031 | 924-6035
The Park opens from 7:00am to 5:00pm
Zoo opens at 9:00am and is closed during Mondays