I woke up that morning broke, but eager to explore.
With some running gear on, I walked out of the house with a destination in mind - a park which caught my attention on my home the other day. Checking good, old reliable Google map I took mental notes on how to get there on foot and threw away all worries that I’d get lost. (I’m quite bad with city directions, you know :P)
Roughly 4 kilometers away from home, after an hour of dodging cars and wandering around like an excited field tripper, I arrived at the main gate of Makati Park & Garden. Opened in April 2000, this serene, well-manicured escape within the city was a project of former mayor Jejomar Binay.
There are no entrance or parking fees to be paid. The guards, were quite welcoming and got curious when I took out my camera to take photos. It was one of the few things that fit inside my teeny tiny waist pack from Nathan Sports. (Okay, I just need to talk about it a little bit because this is a good brand. My waist pack’s a discontinued model – Shadow Pak, but it’s still quite reliable, contents don’t bounce off and after moving around, I actually forget I have a mound of essentials strapped near my butt. :P)
So the guards, were friendly and even asked where I came from since I had this excited, goofy expression on my face after seeing my immediate surrounding which was even more awesome than I imagined. I was surrounded by trees, flowers and shrubbery. No vandals on walls, clean grounds, friendly street sweepers and best thing of all – no crowd!
They found it funny that I actually just came from a neighbor city but acted like I just arrived in the country. I think that when you stop being excited about things, life becomes heartbreaking-bland so I try to find things that excite me each day, such as this park. :)
|Flowers, I love them alive!
|Stone benches with a good view of the lagoon where you can relax, preferably when the sun's down :P
I ignored the heat and the thirst that was settling in my throat as the sun pierced through the tree branches. I had a cap on and felt enamored to roam some more.
Even stone paths allows runners and walkers to be able to circle the park. I perceive it to be around 500 meters per round. :P There's also a bunch of gazebos where small groups can gather.
Another happy sight for me apart from the plants and enormous trees was the view on top of the amphitheater Supposedly a venue for events, it can also be used for stairs training if you're planning a hike soon.
I climbed up, peeped curiously over the edge and was surprised to see...
|(left) 50-meter pool; (right) kiddie pool
Ahh, the turquiose man-made wonders of Makati Aqua Sports Arena (MASA)! :) It's just next door and is open to the public from Tuesday-Sunday, 8 AM-12 noon, then 1 PM-8 PM. Non-Makati residents like me will have to pay a hefty 150 Pesos while fortunate residents only have to pay 50 Pesos (ID required).
There's a 7 Eleven across MASA where I bought some Pocari Sweat (37 Pesos). It was an excellent choice for rehydrating after a long hot walk. After that, I was ready to walk home again.
|Pasig River's one of the views when you take a stroll along JP Rizal Avenue. It's not actually a pretty scene with
the dark water and garbage along the bank.
To cap off my adventure, I boarded a motorized boat (different from the Pasig River Ferry service) that transports passengers from Guadalupe to Mandaluyong. I didn't know it existed and only found out about it that morning while I was walking along JP Rizal Street and happened to glance at the water. The boat had a green roof, a color I love so dearly, which is why I was drawn to it. The short ride lasted for barely a minute and cost just 4 Pesos. From Mandaluyong, I hailed a tricycle home (30 Pesos). At 11:00 AM, the heat just became overbearing!
|Friendly boatman gamely posing for a souvenir shot :)
Makati Park & Garden
Dr Jose P. Rizal Extension, Makati (across University of Makati)
Open daily until 9:00 PM (forgot what time it opens)
When walking along JP Rizal Street, walk in the morning and walk with a brave swagger. Standard precautionary measures must be taken.