Dam(n), it’s La Mesa!

Agosto 2, 2007

Do you love nature trips?

Yesterday, August 1, I became an instant photographer for a colleague. I did it willingly, since I love nature trips. We went to La Mesa Eco Park, which is located in East Fairview, Quezon City. I knew of the existence of La Mesa Watershed and heard about the park inside, but I didn’t know that the park had been there since the time of the Marcoses. It was only when I was asked to take photos did I do a little reading about La Mesa and learned that in April 2004, it was rehabilitated and made into a nature park, thus, the birth of the La Mesa Eco Park.

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La Mesa Eco Park offers numerous amenities that visitors can enjoy. It’s known as the only park in Manila that has salt-water (said to be healthier) pools open to the public. Aside from the pools, there are picnic and biking areas for families to enjoy. Marvel at the flower terraces or go fishing at the nearby lagoon.

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The salt-water swimming pool, the stairs that lead to the top of the flower terraces, and the fishing lagoon.

The park has a fitness trail, too, for the health and fitness buffs. In front of fitness trail entrance is a man-made lagoon that is covered by green moss (I don’t know what it’s called). It’s actually my favorite area. In the middle of the lagoon is a sculpture of Neptune and Aphrodite riding a giant sea turtle (pawikan), honed by—according to our tour guide—national artist Napoleon Abueva. It’s a beautiful creation. Looking at it from the back, it seems to be moving away from you; like it has a definite destination and the sea turtle is determined to bring its passengers where they want to go.

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The path to the Fitness Trail, NA’s sculpture–front and back views.

There’s a boating area a few meters away from the Eco Center (Pangasiwaan), with a view of the old dam at one side. Another must-see/must-visit area is the Orchidarium. It’s an enclosed trail with varieties of orchids placed in various parts of the circular sanctuary. I’m sure it’s a sight to behold when the flowers are in bloom. It’s my second best. You can spend long quiet hours to just relax or hide from the scorching heat of the sun, with only the birds and butterflies to keep you company.

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The boating area, entance to the Orchidarium, shaded from the noon star, a bench to rest as you go around the orchid garden.

It’s nice to know that a place like La Mesa Eco Park exists in the heart of the metropolis. But there’s still a lot to be done to improve it. And we can give our own little share by visiting this nature park. The entrance fee is around 50 pesos. Not only will you be helping preserve and maintain it, you will also be one with nature. Go and try, spend at least a day in La Mesa Eco Park—on a Sunday perhaps, with your family or friends. It’s a nice place to escape the buzz and pollution of the city. 🙂

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