La Mesa Eco Park

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

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La Mesa Eco Park
East Fairview, Quezon City
+63 (02) 430-4051 / +63 (02) 430-5207/ +63 (02) 430-5207 (telefax)
13 June 2010

The first I visited the La Mesa Eco Park, I was with my photography forum friends to do a pre-nup shoot (I was just a photographer on the side lines...just someone who took pictures behind the main photographers). I was able to take enough pictures that time, but when I got home I realized Nathalie and I weren't able to take pictures at the lagoon area, so nearly a year after the first visit, Nathalie and I decided to re-visit the park.

The La Mesa Watershed is vital to the people in Metro Manila as this was the main source of water for the whole region. Covering an area of 2700 hectares, 700 hectares of which was the reservoir, and the remaining 2000 hectares surrounding the reservoir were forest. For a forest that big, it attracted many "enemies," and because of poaching, illegal settling, and illegal logging, the watershed has been ruined. In 1999, the ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. through Bantay Kalikasan (Nature Watch) partnered with MWSS (Metro Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System) to create the "Save the La Mesa Water Shed Project." To date, there are still about 158 hectares to be planted, and many people and companies have helped to replant trees to make the watershed back to its old self.

One part of the area was transformed into an Eco Park, which aims to provide people of Metro Manila a great outdoor experience, while educating them how to love and preserve nature. With an entrance fee of only p50 (a little over 1usd) per person (Quezon City residents can get tickets for discounted price), people can spend the whole day having a real forest experience.

Trail. Entering the park, one can either ride the service or walk. I think it would be better to walk because you can make stops along the way - taking pictures of trees, flowers, and yes, even insects, too!

Kiosks. Because the Eco Park experience involves a lot of walking, there are several food kiosks in the area serving snacks and refreshments. Also, during weekends, there were a few kioks selling products - like this organic beauty product / food kiosks.

Huts. The park is very much popular to groups and families because not only can they spend a great day of fun outdoors, they can also do picnics. Families can choose if they want a hut, or a table with some chairs... or if one fancy the traditional picnic, guests can bring their own blankets as well.

The park also has a swimming pool (which had a different entrance fee of p80), but since we didn't bring any swimming outfits and we didn't want to spend money just to take a picture, I have no picture of the pool area.

Modes of Transportation. This park being located in one of the biggest cities in Metro Manila, generation of today don't really get to experience old modes of transportation, and in this park, guests can take the horse-drawn carriage, which can take them around the park. The picture below is the service that takes guests in and out of the park. We took this service on our way out of the park as our legs and feet were already tired.

Outside the main park are more attractions:

Boat Lagoon. For p100 per 30 minutes, groups of 4 people can take the boat ride. Not only was it a great way of bonding with friends and loved ones... the ducks swimming in the lagoon also added some delight to the ride.

Extreme Sports. Slowly, the park is also attracting groups of people who wanted to do some team building activities, and for people who fancy some adventure, they can try wall climbing and taking the zip line ride. The zip line ride isn't as scary as the other zip lines I have seen (because the line wasn't too high from the lagoon), which makes it a good training ground for first timers. There is also a paintball area nearby.

Picturesque View. Many couples have done their pre-nup shoot in this park as it provides a good ambiance and background needed for these shoots. There are no fees to pay (other than the entrance fee/s) in case one wants to do a model / pre-nup shoot, but as always, every concerned group should coordinate with the office first to secure a form especially if one will bring photography materials like tripod, lighting, etcetera. Just to avoid any delays (since the guard on duty might not permit such materials inside the park), it is better to come prepared.

If you want to visit this park, you can check this site for the directions.

*** Jenn ***

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