The current Manila City government started renovating establishments and spots in Manila calling it “Bagong Maynila” (New Manila). One of the notable projects they did are the Manila Zoo and the National Museum. But those aren’t the only places they’ve renovated to make them Instagram-worthy.. There are also some neglected spots that they flipped. There are old vehicle dumping ground and filthy spots that people lounge to and chill now. Most Filipinos are aware of the new mayor’s push for a clean-up of the city of Manila. As of writing, total of more than 3,000 roads in Manila were cleaned up of illegal structures, vendors, and impediments. People were taking notice of the new administration’s persistence in cleaning and clearing public spaces. The clean areas call attention to the dirty areas, demonstrating how beautiful Manila could be. Furthermore, here are the list of some renovated spots in Manila
Arroceros Forest Park
The Arroceros Forest Park in Manila is a riverside park. This “Manila’s last lung” built in 1993 has an expansive 2.2-hectare landscape. Despite its small size, it is an important city feature because it provides fresh air to the Lawton community. It is the city’s only nature park and is located in a historic district of Manila. The newly redeveloped Arroceros Urban Forest Park in Manila has been formally opened to the public by the Manila City government. You can observe the sound of birds and insects, as well as the fallen leaves, flowers, and the koi pond. There is also a meditation area where you can get introspective in all aspects. Manila residents and nearby areas are now visiting the play to hang-out and bond with their loved ones. It indeed is a haven for Bagong Maynila residents seeking the peace and serenity of a forest.
Manila Hidden Garden
Last February, a new park just opened in Bagong Maynila. It provides an accessible retreat for city dwellers looking for an open and safe space in the pandemic. Parks near Liwasang Bonifacio and the iconic Manila Central Post Office in Manila City are no longer run-down, filthy, and neglected. Surprisingly, the lush new park next to the Andres Bonifacio Shrine was previously used as a dumping ground and parking lot. Now, a lot of people are walking their pets in the area. Some couples are even using the place to date. Students also meet in Manila Hidden Garden. However, despite the plants around the area, the air is not fully clean. It is right beside a main bridge where vehicles pass by. The smokes are still flowing through the park and best to wear facemasks for protection. Hopefully, the residents and city government can plant more and maintain the park.
Hidden Garden Cafe
The Manila City government also created a Cafe in Manila Hidden Garden. It is made to provide more jobs to the residents and also to become a safe place to pass time. Hidden Garden Cafe in Bagong Mayila offers homegrown coffee beans. Buying coffee from them is also helping the local farmers that provided the ingredients. The menu has very affordable snacks and drinks people can choose from. What’s special about this is they included staple Filipino meriendas. Such as the empanada and suman. For as low as only Php 30.00, you can already satisfy your cravings. If you have family or group meetings, you can dine in for 2 hours for only Php 800.00 worth of purchase. Or you can enjoy their alfresco dining while sipping a hot or cold coffee. We enjoyed our afternoon snack here with chocochip cookies and muffins. Check the photos for menu:
Kartilya ng Katipunan
The Andres Bonifacio Monument Park, aka the Kartilya ng Katipunan or Heroes Park, is a public park and plaza. It’s just north of Manila City Hall, and south of Mehan Garden and Liwasang Bonifacio. The monument, which fronts Padre Burgos Avenue, is dedicated to Filipino revolutionary Andrés Bonifacio and the Philippine Revolution. Members of the engineering department of the Manila city government cleaned up the area. The obstructed bronze monument commemorating Emilio Jacinto is now visible thanks to ongoing cleanup and removal of illegal vendors. It was transformed into a promenade by the addition of greeneries. A musical dancing fountain is also illuminating the park at night. Thus making the plaza have a very romantic vibe. Students and couples are sitting on the additional chairs and benches at the back of the monument. There are also garbage bins all around to make sure that the people are disposing wastes properly.
The newly renovated Kartilya Park, provided Manilenos a clean, open space to relax safely amid pandemic. Kapetolyo by SGD officially opened its doors to guests on International Coffee Day. It is situated behind the Bonifacio Shrine and a stone’s throw away from Manila City Hall. Kapetolyo offers the finest Philippine coffees from participating smallholder coffee farmers. It is one of the new cafes in Bagong Maynila. You can choose whether to dine in or to chill outside the coffee shop. There are benches and tables outside for people who prefer an Alfresco dining. The aroma of the coffee will entice you to get inside, the same way it did to us. Moreover, the hanging light bulbs cleverly positioned around the spacious area added to the cafe’s romantic ambiance. Although it looks modern due to its contemporary and minimalist approach, It still gives warm vintage vibes.
How to get there
- Take a ride from LRT1 bound to UN Ave or Lawton, Then, walk or ride a tricycle going to your destination. These places are just near to each other
Via Taxi/Grab Car
- Ride a taxi or book a GrabCar from any point of Metro Manila or Nearby Cities. However, this will cost more money considering the heavy traffic and distance.