La Mesa Ecopark is quite near where I used to live in Fairview, Quezon City. I had never bothered to go there before, thinking it was just an ordinary park.
I didn’t realize how wrong I was until last weekend when I went there with Couchsurfing friends!
This 33-hectare public park was established to save the La Mesa Watershed Project, a major source of drinking water for millions of Metro Manila residents.
Aside from picnicking, the following are the things you can do in La Mesa with friends or family members (or just by yourself, why not).
Swimming. There are swimming pools here, but they close at 4pm. Entering the pool area costs P80 for adults and P40 for kids, whether you will swim or not.
Biking. This is for free, if you bring your own bike. There are rentals costing P50-90 per hour, but you can only use their designated biking area; quite a laugh actually, for you to rent a huge bike, for example, just to go round and round.
The fenced bike area can be used by those who want to learn how to bike, though the rough and uneven surface, no helmets for use, and the lack of a guide can be dangerous to learners.
Boating and Fishing. There is a small lake you can boat around in. Rate is P100/boat (max 4 persons). As of posting though, it is closed because of a construction going on. The fishing rod can be rented for P20/day, and you also have to pay for your catch (P80/kl).
For the more adventurous, here are other things to do.
Wall climbing. This is open to both adults and children. When we were there, I saw a 9-year-old child climb the wall pretty quickly. The rate is P100 per climb. There’s someone to belay and hoist you up if necessary. (As of May 2013: This is no longer available at the Ecopark.)
Zipline. Yep, they have one now! It’s not really as exciting as the one in Tagaytay, Subic, or Danao, Bohol, but it’s enough to let you know how it feels to go on a zipline. Rate: P100.
Paintball. We did this! And I’m quite happy that I hit a lot of our opponents. The marshall even told me (when I took out the last member of the other team) that I was quite a sniper. ^_^ The rate is a bit steep: P350 for 50 paintball bullets and P500 for 100.
Our P350 was only good for two games (probably because most of us were trigger-happy!). We also didn’t like the helmet; the glass was kind of blurry (a bit old and used), but like the zipline, it was enough of an introduction to the sports. (As of May 2013: This is no longer available at the Ecopark.)
In lieu of wall climbing and paintball, the Ecopark has two new attractions: archery (P50 for three arrows) and bungee jumping (P120). I haven’t experienced these yet though, so try it out and let me know in the comments how it was!
If you’re going there with your family, bring food! There are just a few kiosks selling foodstuff so don’t expect to fill your belly here. Bring mosquito repellent as well. I got bitten a lot.
For more information regarding La Mesa Ecopark, check out their website. You can also just call the following numbers (don’t forget to add +63 if calling from outside the country, or +02 if calling from outside Manila): 430-4051, 430-5207, and 430-5207 (telefax).
The entrance to the park is P40 for QC residents (with proof of residence), P20 for Quezon City students (with valid ID), and P50 for everyone else. Children below 3 feet are free, as well as senior citizens who are residents of Quezon City.