Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

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.

Entrance of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

Entrance of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

The left side of the entrance of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

The left side of the entrance of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

Bust of Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr welcomes visitors to the park

Bust of Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr welcomes visitors to the park

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.

White-Bellied Sea Eagle. According to the informative tarpaulin near the cage, the white-bellied sea eagles are not true eagles which have feathered legs. They are giant kites, a near relative of eagles.

White-Bellied Sea Eagle. According to the informative tarpaulin near the cage, the white-bellied sea eagles are not true eagles which have feathered legs. They are giant kites, a near relative of eagles.

Brahminy Kite. Brahminy kites have long, sharp curved claws but they have weak feet. They cannot take large preys. However, they are experts at snatching prey in flight. The Brahminy kites in Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center are abandoned, confiscated and rescued. All of these according to the tarpaulin hanged near the cage.

Brahminy Kite. Brahminy kites have long, sharp curved claws but they have weak feet. They cannot take large preys. However, they are experts at snatching prey in flight. The Brahminy kites in Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center are abandoned, confiscated and rescued. All of these according to the tarpaulin hanged near the cage.

Philippine Hawk Eagle (local name banog)

Philippine Hawk Eagle (local name banog)

Changeable Hawk Eagle

Changeable Hawk Eagle

Philippine Eagle Owl (local name kuwago). The Philippine eagle-owl was formerly called Philippine horned-owl. It is the largest owl in the Philippines and can reach up to 20 inches in length.

Philippine Eagle Owl (local name kuwago). The Philippine eagle-owl was formerly called Philippine horned-owl. It is the largest owl in the Philippines and can reach up to 20 inches in length.

Blue-Naped Parrot (local names loro, periko and picoy)

Blue-Naped Parrot (local names loro, periko and picoy)

Rufous Hornbill (local name kalaw)

Rufous Hornbill (local name kalaw)

Green-winged Macaw

Green-winged Macaw

Other animals are in smaller cages where they sleep or stare at the visitors nonchalantly.

Wildlife Rescue Center of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

Wildlife Rescue Center of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

Philippine Sailfin Lizard (local name ibid)

Philippine Sailfin Lizard (local name ibid)

Philippine Palm Civet (local name musang)

Philippine Palm Civet (local name musang)

Malay Civet (local name alamid)

Malay Civet (local name alamid)

Saltwater Crocodile (local name buwaya)

Saltwater Crocodile (local name buwaya)

Red-eared Slider Turtle

Red-eared Slider Turtle

Albino Ferret

Albino Ferret

Burmese Python

Burmese Python

Visayan Monitor Lizard (local name bayawak)

Visayan Monitor Lizard (local name bayawak)

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.

Part of the lagoon of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

Part of the lagoon of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

Part of the lagoon of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

Part of the lagoon of Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

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.

One of the trees found in Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

One of the trees found in Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

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).

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