La Mesa Ecopark
Quezon City, Philippines
La Mesa Ecopark Quezon City Reviews
La Mesa Ecopark Jul 12, 2009
"La Mesa Watershed in Quezon City is the primary source of drinking water of about 12 million Metro Manila residents. The property is owned by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), a government agency. La Mesa Watershed is 2700 hectares, 700 hectares of which is the reservoir and 2000 hectares of which is the surrounding forest. This forest is the last remaining one of its size in Metro Manila and serves as its carbon dioxide sink. La Mesa Watershed, therefore, is vital to the city, not only because it is a primary source of drinking water, but also because its forest functions as the lungs of Metro Manila, providing it with clean air.
Due to lack of funds, illegal settling, poaching and logging, La Mesa Watershed came into disrepair and ruin. In 1999, ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. created Bantay Kalikasan (Nature Watch) and, in partnership with the MWSS, undertook the Save La Mesa Watershed Project. The project aimed to rehabilitate, reforest, preserve and protect La Mesa Watershed. The total area that needed reforestation was 1500 hectares. Today, eight years since the project started, only 158 hectares remain to be planted. Bantay Kalikasan’s strategy of actively involving the general public in the project, through its Adopt/Protect-ATree/ Hectare programs, was key to its success.
To sustain the Save La Mesa Watershed Project, Bantay Kalikasan, in partnership with the MWSS and the Q.C. Government, rehabilitated and renovated a 33 hectare public park located right outside the natural boundaries of the watershed and 40 meters below the reservoir. In September 2004, it was renamed La Mesa Ecopark and reopened to the public. All revenues generated by La Mesa Ecopark are utilized for the continuous preservation and protection of La Mesa Watershed.
La Mesa Ecopark envisions a better environment for our children. Our mission is to spread environmental awareness through education and advocacy. La Mesa Ecopark is a venue providing for healthful outdoor recreation and a true forest experience. It is a living classroom and laboratory for environmental education and aims to be a center for biodiversity conservation. In 2006, over 280 different schools from all over the country, some coming from as far as Laoag, Bohol and Cebu, trooped to La Mesa Ecopark for their educational school field trips. Today, the park continues to be a popular destination for family outings and picnics; a more healthful alternative to shopping malls."
>>>La Mesa Ecopark, just about 2 rides from my place. Recommended sites for travelers & adventurers & nature lovers. great sights & attractions, fresh air, cool breeze and exciting experiences.
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♥ Mark This Park ♥ Sep 21, 2008
I so needed a break from the city. Well, I've actually been planning to take a vacation somewhere even for just a short time. I just couldn't move myself to do it because I wanted to have a camera with me. Well, last August 21, I was able to purchase my very own. Now, I don't need to borrow from friends, or scurry whenever someone is taking group shots just so I could get my own remembrance of this or that place. The timing couldn't get anymore perfect when word got around that our company's going to host a tree-planting activity somewhere in Quezon City. Well, what the heck, it's still gonna be in the city but at least, it's an outdoor activity, away from this monitor, away from work.
Moving forward to my story, last Sunday, September 21, 2008, Citizen of the Planet/World members from Teleperformance went to La Mesa Ecopark for a tree-planting activity. Of course, I was one of them. The moment our Human Resource department released the e-bulletin about the activity, I responded right away. Well, let's just say, they got me when they said that the entrance fee to the park will be waived for the first 100 volunteers to register.
I really don't know how to get there since it was also my first time to see the park. The company bus was used to transport the volunteers from the office to the park, and back. From what I've learned from my boyfriend (who happens to be a co-worker and an official travel buddy), it's not that hard to get there if you choose to commute.
So here's a brief description on how to get there. If you're familiar with EDSA, you just need to get to the QUEZON AVENUE MRT STATION. Once you're there, you can just ask around where the FAIRVIEW-bound FX's are. I assure you that it's just within the perimeters of the station so there's no need for you to walk too far. Once you have settled yourself in the FX, just tell the driver that you need to get to UNITED EAST FAIRVIEW SUBDIVISION. You should also tell him that you need to be dropped off at the area where you can ride a TRICYCLE to LA MESA ECOPARK. FX drivers know where this is. Then, of course, you know what to tell the tricycle driver: LA MESA ECOPARK, please! ^_^
The admission fee to the park is 50 pesos for adults/kids. It is free for kids 3ft and below. Special rates apply to the city's residents.
Just a few tips once you're inside the park premises. Make sure that you dispose of your trash properly. There is a fine of 500 pesos if you're caught littering. Smoking is allowed in some areas, but then again, dispose of the ciggy's butt properly. You have to remember, this is a park where everyone is concerned about the trees, rivers, dams, and everything that goes with nature. There are a few food stalls near the swimming pool area so you don't have to worry about your meals and snacks. However, you may want to carry a bottled water since you're gonna do a lot of walking (2700 hectares = 700 of which is the reservoir + 2000 for the forest). It was perfectly cloudy when we were there but I can imagine how hot it can get if it's sunny. Well, you can always choose to stay beside and under the trees for some cool air. As for me, I needed to burn lots of calories so I chose not to drink too much water. After a long walk around one small area, I bought a coconut from one of the vendors in the park, and had it chopped so i can drink its juice and eat its meat... 'au-so-naturelle'!^_^
Aside from 'being one with nature', planting trees, helping in cleaning up the area, trekking, and taking pictures, there are more fun activities you may want to try, such as:
- swimming---in salt water, which means it's more safe than chlorinated water (80 pesos for adults, 40 pesos for kids)
- biking (min of 50 pesos/hr)
- fishing (pay for your catch at 80 pesos per kilo, rod rental is at 20 pesos per day)
- paddle boat ride (100 pesos for 30 mins), where you can feed the geese (20 pesos per pack of feeds)
- zip-line (100 pesos)
- wall climbing (not sure how much)
- paintball (not sure how much either)
- table/chairs for picnic (120 pesos)
I believe there is a museum, and a butterfly hatchery somewhere in the park. There's also a fitness and mountain bike trail with several exercise stations. One more amenity that they are still working on is a mini golf course. So what more can you ask for, right!?
Too bad we didn't have enough time to really roam the entire park because a day just isn't enough. I would love to go back there and do every single activity I can. Overnight camping is allowed as the park has available amenities for that. You can still opt to pitch a tent though which can be more exciting!^_^ Don't count on the idea of bonfires though because I'm not sure if they are allowing that, tee-hee!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my little review on the park! In case I was able to entice you enough to go there, well, I hope you enjoy as much as I did!
Part of the Citizens Of The Planet/World travel blog