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Destination #1: Lamesa Eco Park

A good way to keep the summer heat at bay is to head on down your favorite swimming hole and cool off or maybe stroll through a nice shady park with lots of trees and just relax amidst the lush environment. That is easier to do if you live in the suburbs but can be quite challenging if you live within Metro Manila. Not everybody is fortunate enough to live near a forest reserve, beach, lake or river, however options do exist if you want to cool off in a man-made body of water. There are a lot of alternatives near Metro Manila from the full blown water parks and water spas (ACE Water Spa, Splash Island to name a few), to the more modest commercial and private swimming pools, but most of these can be very pricey or requires some form of membership.

If you live somewhere in Quezon City, a cheap alternative is to head on to the Lamesa Eco Park. This is a publicly managed park and watershed reservation located in Barangay Fairview. It is the primary source of potable water in Metro Manila and is one of the few areas left in Metro Manila with significant forest area coverage.

The park accessible to the public is not that big and is comprised of walking trails, flower terraces, an orchidarium, activity areas (a zip line, archery, horseback riding, bike rentals among other things), a lake where you can go fishing and 2 swimming pools.

I have been visiting the park often enough over the years since it is quite close to where I live and I can say that the general upkeep is not as good as when it was first opened to the public after its major rehabilitation in 2004. The swimming pools are fairly well maintained since most of the visitors would go there specifically to use the public pool. Some areas were badly damaged during the devastation of Typhoon Ondoy (Tropical Storm Ketsana) and seems that attempts at rehabilitation after that has been slow.
The inner pool area with depths ranging from 4 to 8 feet

The inner pool area features a kiddie pool
There is an entrance fee of 80 pesos (50% off for QC residents) and a fee for the swimming pool of 80 pesos (alas no discounts for residents). The park is open from 8AM to 6PM with the swimming pool closing a bit earlier at 4PM (pricing and scheduling information accuracy can only be guaranteed at the time of this writing).

A garden snail slowly making its way on the stony path

La Mesa Eco Park 15-09-2008
A red eared slider basking in the afternoon sun

The nearest landmark when traveling to Lamesa Eco Park is Pearl Drive commercial complex along Commonwealth Avenue. Go along Pearl Street and take a right turn to Winston Street and left to Dunhill Street. Just follow the road until you enter the bridge (with a guard) going to the park.


  1. Wow, barely anyone in the pools! Do you ever use them?

  2. sadly now closed with ABS-CBN Foundation giving up their stewardship :-(