Arroceros Forest Park

Weather :

Timings : 24 hrs

Time Required : 1 - 2 hrs

Entry Fee : No Entry Fee

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Arroceros Forest Park, Manila Overview

Situated on the Antonio Villegas Street (formerly known as Calle Arroceros) in the central district of Ermita in the city of Manila, Philippines, Arroceros Forest Park is a hidden secret and a verdant oasis in the heart of the concrete jungle of the metro city. Abound with shady dense green trees, coupled with the eerie yet tranquil silence and peppered with beautiful brooks, the forest is considered to be the green lung amidst the chaos and cacophony of the hustling city.

Flanked on the riverside of the River Pasig, the park was developed in 1993 and sprawls over a vast 5.4 acres of urban forested land. Sheltering a wide variety of ornamental plants and some very rare breeds of avifauna, Arroceros Forest Park is also dubbed as ‘Manila’s last lung’ as it is the only nature park in the city. The park is managed and maintained by the City Government of Manila in partnership with the private environmental group- Winner Foundation. Providing a refreshing change from the heat and pollution of the city, the lush green park is one of the prime attractions of Manila thronged by both the locals and tourists alike.

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History of Arroceros Forest Park

At the earliest known time, the land occupied by the park currently was used by the Chinese settlers as their residential area. The neighborhood was called Parian during the Spanish rule. Later, in the 19th century, a tobacco making factory was established here which was called Fabrica de Arroceros, which was owned and operated by Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas. Then, in the American era, it was used as military garrison and as barracks. After World War II, however, these barracks were transformed into the headquarters of the Department of Education.

Then this land was brought over by the city Mayor Alfredo Lim in 1992 for P60 billion on behalf of the city. A memorandum was signed between the City of Manila and Winner Foundation to develop the site as a nature park and finally Arroceros Forest Park was established in 1993. Some of the trees were carry overs after the remnants of the war but also, reforestation was practised at large scale. In 2003, the Mayor ordered the closure of the park to pave way for the construction of school administration building. However, after a lot of petitions and protests, it was reopened in 2007. The forest park currently boats of over 3000 trees.

Description of Arroceros Forest Park

Designed by renowned landscape architect Wilfrido Dizon and the Bulacan Garden Corporation, Arroceros Forest Parks currently shelters over 3500 trees of diverse species, which include acacia mangium, molave, acacia auriculiformis, African tulip tree, agoho, anahaw, banyan, mahogany, bunga de china, narra, dapdap, eucalyptus, ficus benjamina, fire tree, Indian tree, kamagong and yucca etc. There is also no dearth of fruit trees in the campus - avocado, banana, santol, caimito, coconut, guava, macopa, mango etc. The park is also home to several ornamental plants and is a habitat for rare avifauna species like the long-tailed shrike, pied fantail, brown shrike, zebra dove, Pacific swallow, and yellow-vented bulbul etc.Besides, it has paved pathways and trails to allow walks and treks. In addition to that, it also has a fish pond and a bridge to add to the ambiance.

How to Reach

Arroceros Forest Park is situated adjacent to the walled city of Intramuros, adjacent to the Manila Metropolitan Theatre in the heart of the metro Manila. The nearest station to the park is the Central Terminal Station from where, the destination is within walking distance. It can be reached from Rizal Park and southern Manila via Padre Burgos Avenue route. It is also accessible from northern Manila via Quezon Boulevard and Quezon Bridge. The park is also in close vicinity of Lawton Bus Terminal and the Pasig River Ferry Lawton Station.

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