Old See-Saws

Do kids these days know what a seesaw is? Do they even know what it is like to play in a real park?

There are no more proper public parks in Metro Manila.

The Parks and Wildlife (renamed to Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center) in Quezon City is now a sad dump. The Quezon City Memorial Circle grounds are riddled with spit.

I have not yet checked out the La Mesa Ecopark in Fairview. It is not very accessible to take your kid out on a daily/random afternoon walk.

The Sunken Garden in the U.P. Diliman is now unswept, unmaintained dusty/sandy earth with dwindling patches of buffalo/carabao grass (much like the current president’s head of hair). The Freedom Park of the U.P. Los Baños puts the Sunken Garden to shame.

The Ateneo de Manila University campus grounds are lush with greenery, but are not a public park.

The Ayala Triangle Gardens/Park in Makati and the lawns of Boni High Street in adjacent Taguig are miniature oases of green. Traffic to and around Makati is hell.

Cemeteries seem to be among the few remaining “park” options. The Holy Cross Memorial Park in San Bartolome (on the way to Novaliches) has remained more or less constant since the 1980s. I suppose the Libingan ng Mga Bayani has, too. The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig looks like a nice place for my toddler to run around in, while developing a sense of history (if he’ll retain the memory). However there are no seesaws at memorial parks.

The kids around Metro Manila today play on rubberized plastic mats in indoor, air-conditioned play centers at dime-a-dozen malls.

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