It was Monday and the idea of staying at home was not interesting. I was thinking of going out to escape from the warm weather, to discover a new place in the city, and to spend my long weekend productively.
La Mesa Eco Park is a 33 hectare public park located right outside the natural boundaries of the La Mesa watershed and 40 meters below the reservoir. The place caters to an exciting forest experience with its diverse species of trees and plants that grow in the area. With a variety of recreational activities available in the park, this is definitely a place for urban adventurers who are looking to satisfy their outdoor passions, without needing to spend too much.
See the tiny butterfly eggs and watch them metamorphose into a colorful imago. Inside the Butterfly Haven, these delicate, winged creatures beautifully flutter in the air. They are being fed with a solution of water and brown sugar.
Conquer the wind, challenge your fears, and fly like a superman with the adrenaline rush inducing zipline. The line crosses the stretch of flower terraces and allows you to view the serene water of the reservoir.
In the fishing lagoon, you can appreciate the different forms of life that thrive in the aquatic ecosystem. Lotus and lilies are beautiful sights floating on the fresh water.
I aimed for swimming, but I did not much enjoy the experience. I emerged from the pool after less than 30 minutes because the water was cloudy and smelt strongly of chlorine. The pool is 25 meters long and about 23 meters wide, with varying depths ranging from four to eight feet.
Horseback riding is great for children. The thought of riding the horse made me squirm so I let this pass. I also tried the bicycles that are available for rentals on a per hour basis. It has been long since I last rode a bicycle so my legs were very happy to strike the pedals. The area where you can wheel your bike is restricted; nevertheless, it was still a great experience.
On the steep side of the park are the flower terraces. There are poinsettias, bougainvilleas, and these six-petaled flowers that I could no longer recognize. Can you name it?
The rest are ornamental plants with colorful leaves like the San Francisco and Fortune. There are 117 stairs with a steel handrail at the middle; they are leading to the top of the hill where you can see the pacific, blue La Mesa Dam. I was tempted to snap a photo of the dam, but the sign that prohibits such action glared at me. I chose to respect the sign.
The orchidarium is abundant with fresh, green vegetation. The area is cool and shady. At this summer season, the orchids do not blossom with flowers.
Bringing of foods is allowed provided that you dispose of your thrashes properly to maintain cleanliness of the park. The nipa huts are open and welcoming of a relaxation and tranquil rest.
Amphitheater is a suitable venue for photoshoot and a challenging route for trail run due to its increasing elevation.
With its uphill and downhill slopes, the park is also a suitable training ground for trail running. As you explore the bushy trails, you will be serenaded by chirping birds, rustle of dried leaves, whisper of the wind, and sharp sounds of cracking and falling branches.
Interacting with nature is one of the great ways we can relax our mind and body from the busy, fast-paced, and stressful lifestyle of the city. Being one with nature helps us appreciate the value and beauty of every creature and their indispensable roles that make the chain of life alive.
The ecological park is a living reminder of our responsibility to advocate nature’s conservation to achieve sustainable development. After all, it helps preserve and ensure the steady supply of one of our essential needs everyday – water.
It is therefore urgent and important that we protect, respect, and treat it as an extension of our personal space, where we feel comfortable and secure.
How To Get There
Getting there is simple. From EDSA, board a bus that is bound to SM Fairview and alight at Pearl Terminal at City Oil Gasoline station along Commonwealth Avenue. Fare varies depending on your proximity, but if you are coming from Guadalupe, Makati City you will need to pay P35.00 (ordinary) or P40.00 (air conditioned). Then, ride a tricycle to Eco Park, P10.00 for regular trip (you need to wait for two more passengers) or P30.00 for special trip.
The park operates from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily, including holidays except 25th and 31st of December. It is located at La Mesa Dam Compound, Greater Lagro, Quezon City.They charge a regular entrance fee of P50.00 (persons below 3 feet are free) and P40.00 for Quezon City residents. This does not include fees for each activity. You have to pay separately.
Distance: 21.42 km
Average Speed: 16.8 km/h
Last Altitude: 92 m
via Sports Tracker