Since it's a holiday today, we had time to bond by having a morning walk in a "forested area" of Alabang in Muntinlupa City. It's not entirely a forest, but because it still has a fair amount of vegetation and several large trees, one might think that it does look like a forest. I'm referring to Filinvest Corporate City.
You will notice many cities today, particularly those in Metro Manila, do not have large parks with forested areas. In the US, a good example of a forested park is of course Central Park which is found in New York City. This huge park in the Big Apple is well known in the world and many tourists wouldn't miss it. New York may seem very urbanized, but it still has such a park whose beauty they are still able to maintain. If we could only have such a park here in Filipinas where many families would be able to stroll. Because as I have noticed this morning, while my family and I were strolling through Filinvest's shaded areas, there were only two other families who were taking a morning walk there though an hour has already passed. So for those who are in charge of public parks and nature preservation, this should be a wake-up call, because it is beautiful to see families bonding together, enjoying nature, rather than see families go to malls often, or are too busy enjoying gadgets at home. Sad but true: families today spend more time in social media that they have almost forgotten what the natural world has to offer. Nature is always the best location for some family bonding.
Filinvest actually is not a park. Its huge lots which still have several large trees, many of which are acacia (A. plicatum), are still unsold or unleased. And this has been so for decades. Alabang was once a huge forest. Daddy Pepe used to live in the Las Pinas-Parañaque area with his Alas relatives when he was still a little boy. They used to pass by Alabang whenever they go to Unisan, that is why he has clear memories of how Alabang used to look like back then. The forest seems to reclaim the vacant lots often, and Filinvest's gardeners try their best to minimize it.
Now, going back to our family walk. Our meeting place is in front of Acacia Hotel Manila. We were to wait for my husand who was coming from his night shift. We arrived early, so while waiting for him, we decided to go inside the lobby. I noticed that there was no chair in the lobby. Other hotels have chairs in their lobbies even for inquiring guests. The only available seats there were meant for paying customers who were to take their breakfast. I was compelled to order food because it would seem awkward for us to stay there without having to eat, hehehe! I ordered some French fries for my kids and brewed coffee for me. That's the only things we could afford from a five-star hotel, hehehe! Anyway, we follow the adage "live within your means".
Daddy Pepe arrived a few minutes later, then waited for us outside as we finished our unplanned "hotel breakfast" (Acacia's French fries tasted very good, and they were big and fresh; we really loved it!). Afterwards, we saw Daddy Pepe waiting for us in a huge, grassy lawn in front of The Mondrian Residences and Parque España. He was hunting for some grasshoppers and butterflies and also looking for rare birds nestled in some trees there (yes, there are unfamiliar birds all over Alabang). We then marched through the shaded length of East Asia Drive. This beautiful street is surrounded by large trees left and right. And there were hardly vehicles there. There were still no buildings, and it has been that way for years. While walking, we saw some wild flowers, but not as many and not as varied as those we saw in Susana Heights last month where we also had a morning stroll. The kids got to enjoy these as well as various forest insects thriving in grass covered with dew. They were running all around chasing butterflies here and there! There were some acacia trees that were not very tall yet, that is why we got to hold their branches and yellowish flowers. There was also an occasional breeze that swayed the trees and shook up their dried leaves. That is why we were showered with leaves as we marched through East Asia Drive!
|The tallest christmas tree we have ever seen so far!!! WOW!!!|
Inside the bazaar, the atmosphere was festive. A huge Belén, the traditional Filipino Christmas decoration, was on display. An acoustic band was playing as shoppers were buying tickets to get inside the bazaar proper. The event was also giving away freebies. We got some from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the bazaar's sponsor.
So if you want to stroll through nature without having to travel too far, there's always Filinvest Corporate City. It's not meant to be a park, but it has been like one for many years already. It's a haven for bikers, joggers, nature lovers, and families!