Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center is a sprawling zoological and botanical garden in the heart of Quezon City’s political and cultural hub. The park is named after Philippine senator Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr (also the father of current Philippine president, Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” C. Aquino, III). The almost 65-hectares of protected green area along Quezon Avenue contains a lagoon, a botanical garden and a wildlife rescue center.
Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center is a wise alternative for those who want to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon lying on a banig (woven mat) in the midst of greenery, breathe fresh air in a not-so-clean city or to acquaint oneself with flying, crawling and slithering animals.
To the left of the main entrance and in the rescue center are birds and other animals endemic to the Philippines. The birds are housed in what looks like three-story roomy metal cages where they can fly or rest with relative ease.
Other animals are in smaller cages where they sleep or stare at the visitors nonchalantly.
Perhaps the most popular part of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center is the lagoon and its surroundings. The lagoon and the reflection is affords are great background for selfies, nuptial photos, barkada get-together or teleserye shooting. All of which I witnessed when I visited.
Elsewhere in the park are trees that dwarf humans. Concrete and wooden benches and bahay-kubo dot the park to provide respite to weary legs and ankles.
Where: Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
When: The Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center – Mini Zoo is open daily, except Mondays. On the days it is open, the viewing time is from 9am to 4pm, except Thursday when it closes at 3pm. The park opens early in the morning.
How: From any MRT station, ride a train bound to Quezon Avenue. From the train station, go to Eton Centris where an area for jeepneys is located (the most common mode of transportation in the Philippines). Ride a jeepney bound to UP, Philcoa, Fairview or Commonwealth. The trip will take around three to five minutes. Alight the vehicle across Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center before the jeepney hits the Elliptical Road.
How much: The entrance fee is P8.00 (US $0.17) for non-students and P5.00 (US $0.11) for students. Entrance fee for vehicles: buses, P25.00 (US $0.55), cars, P15.00 (US $0.33) and motorcycles and the like, P8.00 (US $0.17).