August 16, 2006

A very wet picnic at the la mesa eco park

Last Sunday, a bunch of us went to check out the La Mesa Eco Park. Despite the forecast of rain and thunderstorms, and being the stubborn people we can be, we packed our picnic baskets and filled our coolers and off we went. I can't remember the last time I went on a picnic, so I was determined to make this happen.

Just as we feared it was muddy and wet. We couldn't use the rain-drenched picnic tables so we were left no choice but to lay out our blanket on the ground of one of the covered pavillions. I had packed some pineapples, grapes, chicken and tuna sandwiches, gruyere and gouda cheese and OJ. Joey brought spicy sausages and to-die-for nutella cupcakes while Jerrie brought KFC and ingredients for s'mores.

The kids were so busy running around and exploring that they had forgotten about roasting marshmallows for the s'mores. So we did this instead back at home that evening using the Iwatani portable stove. I think everyone should do this with their kids at least once. It is such a nice bonding experience. Of course it would be so much nicer done at a campfire surrounded by nature, rather than in your porch :) but still fun!.

The La Mesa Eco Park was a very nice surprise. It is a 33 hectare park by the La Mesa Dam with amenities such as mountain bike trails, a fishing pond, boating lagoon, saltwater swimming pool, orchidarium, and camp sites. Thankfully, while we were in the park the rain slowed to a slight drizzle. So the kids still got to fish, torment the ducks, explore the trails, and row around the lagoon.

As soon as you drive through the gates of the park, you are immediately greeted by lush greenery, a variety of flora and fauna under a canopy of trees, the cheerful chirping sounds of birds and other insects and a sense of serenity one can only feel in places like a rainforest such as this one. I couldn't believe I was still in Metro Manila.

I heard a nasty rumor that there are plans to develop housing projects on this piece of paradise. (Brings to mind the song Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell). I hope this never happens. It is the only sanctuary we have in the city of this sort. An escape from the concrete jungle which everyone needs once in a while.

The park is open everyday from 8 am to 5 pm. There is an entrance fee of P50 for non-QC residents, which does not include use of amenities. The fastest way to get there is via Commonwealth Ave. past Ever Gotesco and Batasan Pambansa. Once you pass the Fairview Market on your left, keep your eye out for the entrance to East Fariview Subdivision on your right where you will enter via Winston St. Once there, follow the signs.

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wysgal said...

Hey you went all the way to QC? Nice to know your VISAs got approved on time. =)

I've been meaning to go to La Mesa Park since forever ... nice to hear you enjoyed.

travel plaza said...

Wow! Great post Christine. I remembered the time we went camping and the kids made smores. And guess what? They made so many, I had to eat most of them.They just kept making them and handing them out until I felt quite sick!But it was awesome sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows and making smores. It is one memory I will always cherish and hope my kids will too:)

Ana said...

Good, now I have proof that it's actually nice there. The reviews I read before made me not go. I love smores although here in Phils, we don't have the graham that's sweet with the sugar bits.

christine said...

Wysgal, YES! I crossed the border with no trouble at all. I was given a one-day visa. heehee :)

Hi TP! Haha, what fun!I think the kids get a kick out of making them, rather than eating them no? Your kids are very blessed, and I'm sure they know that. :)

Hi Ana, yes it's pretty nice. Nicer than I imagined, as I was quite cynical about finding greenery, much less a rainforest and lagoons within this city. They've pretty much turned everything else into a concrete jungle. I'm an outdoorsy person, but this city isn't kind to people like me. So kudos to Belmonte and the sponsors who restored this park. :)

Anonymous said...

I had a good time! :) Glad you liked the cupcakes :)

I like the outdoors too...especially since I have a black thumb I can never have a garden, so I need to find others to visit, haha! :) I love being favorite thing to do outdoors is sleep. I know this may seem like a waste of a good outdoorsy day, but anyone who has ever slept under the open sky, with a fresh breeze lulling you, and birds chirping, will know what I mean...

vina said...

so the la mesa park really does not disappoint? or at least, it did not disappoint you.

i hope i can visit the place soon.

christine said...

Jo, I LOVED the cupcakes! :)

Vina, try to go, I don't think you'll be disappointed if you're not expecting Hyde Park. :) I hope more people visit and support the eco park so it doesn't get bulldozed for more profitable projects.