If you’re like me, sometimes you feel so stressful that you will try looking for a good venue to unwind and escape the bustling city life. You might spend, go to a far way place… a beach perhaps, Baguio, or somewhere far with mountains, forests. However, travel preparation and the money that you’ll spend might even add up to your stress. So, what should you do? You don’t need to spend that much to unwind. You can visit the Arroceros Forest Park. The Arroceros Forest Park is located in a very accessible area; situated beside the LRT Central Terminal Station, adjacent to the Pasig River and take note - it’s had no entrance fee.
I considered this place, an oasis. They say that it once occupy a bigger area, however urban renewals took its toll from the park, but still it’s a good venue to relax. Amidst its busy location, the park is located in a very peaceful corner of Manila.
It's just one jeepney ride or just take an LRT and get off at the Central Terminal Station. A few walks ad you can now escape the stressful city life. The first thing that you will notice is the big wall the surrounds the park. It gives you a sense of privacy. And when you entered the park, you will feel that you were transported to a new place. The 1.1 hectare mini-forest is home to a variety of 60 types of trees which includes the narra, kamagoong , red and white lauan, mango, ficus rubber trees as well as the Indian neem tree. A large building (The Manila Education Center) is the only clue that makes you think that you’re still in the City of Manila. It would be better if you brought a camera or a binoculars. You see, local and migrating birds are always present at the park and this is a good place to do some bird watching. If you are into arts, the place is good to do some sketch works. There’s a nice view of the Pasig River where you can draw, take pictures, or just sightsee.
There is a main road around the park, but some small dusty trails can bring you a more sense of adventure. Dried leaves and grasses covers these trails as if you’re in a real forest floor. Marvel at the sights of the trunks of the large ficus trees and its eerie yet lovely root system. As you go deeper in the park, you will not hear city sound, but instead, you will listen to birds chirping in the canopy and the gentle winds brushing tree leaves. There is also a small fish pond in the middle of the park where you can feed the tilapia with some bread crumbs. Small stone benches can be found everywhere, located around the park if you just want to sit and relax.
Bring the whole family, friends and even a loved one and have a picnic or just marvel and feel the forest. Have a breath of fresh air and feel Mother Nature once again.