Who would have thought that beneath the hustle and bustle of a very busy city in Metro Manila lies an ecological park where one can commune with nature, take a dip into the cold water of a pool surrounded by huge trees, get together with family and friends, experience boating ala Burnham park in Baguio City, bike their way to good health, or simply while away time? Believe it or not, there is such place right in the heart of Fairview in Quezon City and it is called the La Mesa Ecopark.
The La Mesa Ecopark is located in East Fairview Subdivision, in Quezon City. It is in the heart of the La Mesa Dam Watershed which is the source of the Metro Manila water supply. The park which used to be a neglected area was recently developed to become a haven where Quezon City folks could escape from the euphoria of urban living. The entrace fee to the La Mesa Ecopark is very affordable P40/adult. Quezon City residents who can present valid ID are even treated to a discounted rate of P20/adult.
Once inside the La Mesa Dam Eco park, the first thing that would greet you is the abundance of huge trees that line up a small asphalted road leading to the main park. Inside the main park, there are practically everything that you could wish for in a nature park. The picnic area is a spacious area covered by the canopies of tress providing a much needed shade under the sun.
Another attraction of the La Mesa Eco Park, is a fishing lagoon where one can enjoy the experience of actual fishing. There are fishing rods available for rent and when you are lucky to catch a fish, you can pay for your catch for a fee of P80/kilo. Perfect for lunch!
Aside from this fishing lagoon, there is also an ochidarium where various plant species can be found. Adjacent to this orchidarium is an amphiteater of sorts, where concerts and other events can be held.
The La Mesa Ecopark also rents out function halls or pavillions where parties and other celebrations can be held.
There is also a biking area where families can enjoy biking together within the ecopark. Biking rates are pegged P50/hour (Kiddie Bike), P60/hour (BMX)
Now, comes the 50 year old swimming pool, where one can enjoy the warm water amidts the cool weather provided by the trees. Entrance to the pool is P60/adult and P30 for kids 4.5 below. A bit of advice though, if you are going there on a weekend, make sure to come early since the pool is not that big enough to accomadate a huge volume of swimmers. As early as 9 am on a Sunday, the La Mesa Ecopark administrators had to stop accomodating swimmers since there were already more than a hundred of people inside.
Overall, the La Mesa Dam Ecopark is a very good place to unwind and relax on a Sunday afternoon. A cheaper alternative to posh urban resorts sprawling all over Metro Manila and the nearby suburbs.
For more information, visit http://www.abs-cbnfoundation.com/kalikasan/ecopark.htm.
To get there, here is the location map.
More pictures here.
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