Finding Peace and Breath of Fresh Air at Arroceros Forest Park

4 minutes read

The pandemic has served as a harsh teacher, reminding us how short life is. It’s importnant to appreciate each and every minute we have because each day is a precious gift. We should treasure and take advantage of any chance that comes our way in light of this realization.

Arroceros Forest Park, also known as Arroceros Urban Forest Park, is the visit of my second try, and this time I’m determined to go there. Unexpected circumstance thwarted my first attempt, but I believe that second chances are given in life for a reason. I’m grateful today for the chance to finally take in Manila’s last lung’s beauty and tranquility.

Welcoming entrance to Arroceros Forest Park.
Welcoming entrance to Arroceros Forest Park.

Arroceros Forest Park is not too difficult to get there. Take the LRT 1 to Central Station. The park, which is on Antonio Villegas Street, formerly known as Calle Arroceros, is just a short walk away from there. The beauty of the Pasig River is further enhanced by the park’s closeness to Lawton Park and Ride Terminal and the foot of the Quezon Bridge.

Breathtaking view of Quezon Bridge from the serene vantage point of Arroceros Forest Park.
Breathtaking view of Quezon Bridge from the serene vantage point of Arroceros Forest Park.

Finding a place to truly connect with nature in a busy city like Metro Manila has gotten harder and harder. Subdivisions and shopping centers have displaced trees as development has taken over. It’s uncommon to find places that are easily accessible where one may just take a deep breath and connect with nature. As an exception, Arroceros Forest Park offers amidst from the concrete jungle.

As soon as I enter Arroceros Forest Park, I’m struck by how much abundance greenery there is. 61 different tree species and about 8,000 beautiful plants can be found in the park. Visitors are encouraged to escape the chaos of city life by the serene atmosphere that is created by the sheer variety of plants. It provides a refreshing change of pace and serves as a reminder of the value of keeping wildlife in our urban environment.

Awe-inspiring guardians of nature: Towering trees at Arroceros Forest Park.
Awe-inspiring guardians of nature: Towering trees at Arroceros Forest Park.

I come accross a pond full of graceful koi fish as I go around the park’s paths. It makes me feel calm and satisfied to watch them play and swim gracefully in the water. The sight is mesmerizing and offers a brief break from the worries and stresses of daily life.

Koi fish gracefully glide through the waters of Arroceros Forest Park.
Koi fish gracefully glide through the waters of Arroceros Forest Park.

In addition to its natural beauty, Arroceros Forest Park is also filled with history. Because it was formerly a trading site for rice selling during the Spanish era, the name “Arroceros” is a reference to rice dealers. In the Parian, Chinese traders left their mark on Calle Arroceros, which used to be where the park is now. It eventually turned into one of the first streets to witness buildings undergo modernization. Ancient Chinese artifacts found nearby are of archaeological value, adding to the area’s importance. It’s a place where nature and history coexist together.

Arroceros Forest Park’s future, however, is uncertain. The park has previously been threatened with demolition in order to build a teachers’ dormitory and an administration facility for the school. The city authorities later intended to turn the park into a school gymnasium. The park has been saved for the time being thanks to environmentalists’ efforts, but its long-term preservation is still in doubt.

Arroceros Forest Park needs to be protected above all else. It offers city people a refreshing reprieve from the scorching heat of the sun by acting as a necessary shield. Additionally, it provides a haven where one may retreat to and recharge despite the hectic daily routine.

Relaxation and tranquility abound as people find respite in the embrace of Arroceros Forest Park.

I’m thankful for having had the chance to witness Arroceros Forest Park’s beauty and tranquility as I come to an end. It serves as a place of reflection on the wonders of nature and the gift of life. But it’s future is uncertain, and protecting it will depend on the collective voice of all of us.

Please support and sign the petition to #SaveArroceros if you think it is important to keep Arroceros Forest Park intact. By working together, we can protect this priceless green haven in the middle of Manila for future generations. Cherishing life and the blessings that nature bestows on us is important.

When packing for your trip, you might want to consider the following items:
  1. Face mask
  2. Tumbler to stay hydrated
  3. Backpack
  4. Selfie stick for you great photos
  5. Action Cam
  6. Powerbank

Lorence Laudenio

Lorence is an IT grad who loves to travel. He shares tech updates, trends, and his travel journey, aiming to inspire others by blending his passions.

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