In an era of rapid and somewhat unchecked urbanization, it is always the city’s open green spaces that are endangered the most. The case is no different as to what has been going in Metro Manila in recent history, as open spaces had to give to way to the needs of a city’s alarmingly overflowing population.
But thankfully, there are bright spots to this otherwise grim story as efforts are being made to preserve and enrich the remaining green spaces in the city. For this entry, we will be visiting yet another one of those places known as the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center.
Despite the name, it is ironic to note that this facility was opened way back in 1970 by then Pres. Ferdinand Marcos. Of course it was not named yet after his senator/nemesis but was called the Lungsod ng Kabataan Recreational Park, so named because right next door to the Lungsod ng Kabataan (the popular name before for the National Children’s Hospital) before it was renamed in 1986 to its present name.
This sanctuary serves as home to different species of plants and animals, some of them were those rescued or taken into custody for treatment and care. After all, the park is home to the Wildlife Rescue Center under the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the Department of the Environment. While the flora and fauna may not be as extensive as what can be found in places like the Manila Zoo, the species there are still interesting for one to check out.
In addition, the park also boasts groves, gazebos, and a large lagoon where one can even fish. The surroundings and the facilities has made the center a popular venue for gatherings, (especially those pertaining to the environment) picnics, and photoshoots as well. Or you may chance upon students who find use of the park as a place where they can practice whatever performance they need to do for school.
On the flipside though, some parts of the park look like they have not been maintained well enough. Which is a pity considering the untapped potential of the place if it were spruced some more.
Still, the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center is still worth a visit if you are looking for a quiet place where you can commune with nature. The serenity of the place in the midst of lush greenery would be something that makes this place stand out among the remaining green places in the city.
© The Urban Roamer