Soon to rise: A park in the heart of the city

An urban forest park/cultural park is being built in Parañaque. This destination will also feature a creative hub with a museum, research institute, and a training facility. When it’s all done, it will be called the Nayong Pilipino Cultural Park and Creative Hub.

Yes, the name is familiar, especially to those who used to frequent the old Nayong Pilipino, or the Nayong Pilipino Cultural Park near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay. The new facility is owned and managed by the same organization that ran the theme park in Pasay — Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF), a government owned or controlled corporation (GOCC) created under PD #37 on 6 November 1972.

Laya Boquiren, NPF representative, says: “Gentle clearing will start in March and activation activities with partners from civil society will start in May 2021.” At the moment, the group is in the “planning stage and is working with a team of landscape architects and biodiversity experts,” she adds. The DENR-ERDB Urban Parks and Recreation Section is currently doing a soil analysis in the area. 

The park sits on a 9.5-hectare property just 13 kilometers away from the 175-hectare Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA). The project is a step towards the fulfillment of the UN’s SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. It is also aligned with the Generation Restoration campaign of the UN, which sets 2021 as the start of the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.

The intention is to build a venue where visitors can learn about the Philippines’ natural and cultural heritage, and to create a space for promoting sustainable tourism. As such, there will be nature trails and pathways where people can walk or bike, tree-lined areas and bird hides, playspaces and platforms for citizen-led biodiversity conservation activities. 

As an ecotourism site and learning hub, the Nayong Pilipino Cultural Park and Creative Hub aims to offer a space where Filipinos can nurture their love for nature and culture. It also endeavors to create more green jobs, stimulate creative tourism, and promote sustainable tourism through ecotours, birdwatching activities, and other similar endeavors.