Last week, I went to Beijing and unwind. Kidding.
I was in a patch of land at the very heart of Manila-Luneta.
I remember how my family used to excitedly pack for a picnic on a Saturday afternoon and head straight to Luneta Park or presently Rizal Park. While my Titas and Titos chat relentlessly in their distinct Ilonggo-Cebuano Hybrid accent, we, the youngsters (then), would see the whole park as an infinite paradise with so much to offer- from the dancing water fountains, Batang Maynila Park, and our family’s favorite- The Filipino-Chinese Friendship Park otherwise The Chinese Garden.
As years passed by, it was very sad to see how the park has drastically changed. The vibrant colors were soon then rusty, and the life was literally taken out of the garden.
Today, through the efforts of the Manila City Government, I have visited/revisited the Chinese Garden was awestruck at what I saw-a newer and improved park where exuberance has found itself back- The Sleeping Giant has awaken.
Moreover, the garden has now been opened for recreational and physical activities that any Maynileno can join- from the relaxing and meditative Tai-chi classes to the ancient warring techniques of Arnis. Bring in friends for Chinese inspired photography shots, or just you and your good ol’ novel.
The American Society of Landscape Architects cites the research:
“A University of Chicago study found that communities with lower incomes, higher poverty rates, and higher proportions of racial and ethnic minorities also had the “fewest opportunities for community-level physical activity.” Lack of green space is then not just about unfairness, it’s about health. Low-income communities may have higher rates of health problems like obesity and asthma in large part because they don’t have parks.”
It would be very interesting to note how a simple spot can ensue dramatic results. Parks aren’t just some artificially placed plants and decors; it is a living and a thriving community. A breathing mechanism for urban life to sustain itself.
Visit the nearest parks now!
- Chinese Garden of Friendship: A Good Portrayal of the Chinese Culture & Heritage (theboomerangels.wordpress.com)
- How to Commute to Luneta’s Art Space (ageofthediary.wordpress.com)