With tourism booming in the Philippines, the government has been slowly phasing in a new era of ecotourism, which is working a treat. Not only does this protect the environment and the people, but the newer generation of tourists and travelers understand the absolute importance of protecting the places they go to.
Ecoparks are therefore becoming popular here in the Philippines, so this will be a conversation about these much-needed patches of green amongst the rise of civilization. Time to go ahead and explore the La Mesa Ecopark!
Many in the Manila area are working professionals and unfortunately turn their noses up at the opportunity to experience nature. However, the La Mesa Ecopark is definitely worth a visit. The local governing bodies have worked really hard on this Ecopark adjoining the La Mesa Dam, one of a series of dams that provide water to the whole of Manila.
As with most parks, there is the open option of a picnic with friends and loved ones. A healthy mix of local and traveling families are seen here on a regular basis relaxing in the shade of the greenery present here. However, what sets this Ecopark apart from the rest is the presence of other options, giving you a range of exciting, fun-packed options when you begin to feel restless.
There are a surprising number of food stalls here in La Mesa, ranging from the famous ‘dirty’ ice cream, cotton candy, to even mini-chains of popular Filipino food chains. If you do not want to make the extra effort to cook and prepare a packed picnic, fret not! Go to the Ecopark anyway and make your purchases there and let yourself relax amongst greenery in your time out of the daily grind.
(Don’t forget to take your rubbish with you and throw it away appropriately!)
Visit the Butterfly Garden
Within the insect kingdom, there are not many that people think of when ‘beauty’ and ‘grace’ are mentioned. Butterflies, however, fall in both those categories. They spend their days fluttering from flower to flower, occasionally landing for a drink or some rest while their delicate, fragile wings glisten in the sun.
This particular Butterfly Garden has approximately 500 butterflies within its enclosure, which becomes apparent once you step into its boundaries. Butterflies are everywhere with a few even landing on your head and clothes. The people manning this butterfly trail are quite knowledgeable, so if you do have any burning questions, feel free to ask!
(Entry fee is ₱30 per person. Do NOT touch the butterflies at any cost, they are delicate and will be put under a lot of stress if you do touch them, which will likely cause death)
There is a public pool area that has two pools, which are very, very popular on the warmer days of the year. Be warned, they do close at 4pm so if you do want to swim, make it quick! Entrance fee is ₱80 for adults, ₱40 for kids, regardless of whether you swim or not.
For the lovers of adventure, do not fear, there are things for you to do here! Fishing and boating are allowed on the lake, with the rates at ₱100 per boat (up to four people) and ₱20 for rental of a fishing rod for the day. Bungee jumping, ziplining, horse riding and archery are a few of the other things available at the Ecopark, too!
Address: La Mesa Dam Compound | Greater Lagro, Quezon City, Luzon 1118
Entrance fee: ₱25/person
La Mesa Ecopark is living proof that even in a bustling city like Quezon City (as is the wider Metro Manila area), patches of green are more than welcome by the people. Skyscrapers may be the sign of growth, but this Ecopark, and the people who visit it is evidence that relaxation is just as important.
Visit La Mesa Ecopark the next time you’re in Metro Manila! Don’t forget the sunscreen and insect repellent and just have a good time!