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Ninoy Aquino Park and Wildlife Nature Center in Manila in the Philippines

Updated on July 13, 2011

Ninoy Aquino Park and Wildlife Nature Center

The Ninoy Aquino Park and Wildlife Nature Center is located in Quezon City. Part of metro Manila it is well known and most taxi drivers know the way. Like everywhere in Manila it is reachable by a progression of Jeepneys but this is time consuming.

The Park was first established in 1954 and originally covered a much wider area. Today it is just under 65 hectares. Not all of this space is devoted to animals but is a decorative and relaxing Park.

The entrance fee of 8 Pesos or so seems pretty pointless as it cannot be enough to pay the wages pf the person selling the tickets let alone the other staff within the park.

The Ninoy Aquino Park and Wildlife Nature Center serves as a rescue center for endemic and exotic wild animals. Regardless of the title given, this collection is a zoo.

The intentions no doubt are good and I don't doubt that the staff are both caring and dedicated but the place is a mess. Almost in its entirety it is using the Evil Philippine Dog Cage as a model in which to house the majority of animals.

There are some excellent aviaries set within the park. These have been built on the funds raised by donations from local companies. Why they could not have diverted some of the funding across to improving the other housing will no doubt remaim a mystery. This collection probably holds more Brahminy Kites than any place I have ever visited (a close second would be Manila Zoo). I do wonder though. Why? As a rescue center surely one of the aims is to reintroduce the sick and the injured once they are fully recovered.

If I was to believe that the occupants of the Rescue Centre were only here for a temporary stay it might make conditions just acceptable. This is not the case though. This is long term.

I have visited this collection previously and noted that some species are no longer there. There was a Cacomistle here on a previous visit which I thought unusual. The Bearded Pig has gone too now.

The barriers are mostly good but the signage is truly awful. It may as well not exist at all and given another year that which does remain will have rotted away.

The Ninoy Aquino Park and Wildlife Nature Center is not alone in its lack of funds. In other Philippine collections I have seen which have University connections there is just no money. The staff strive to do the best with what they have. Dedicated people. I cannot even begin to imagine the frustration they must feel.

Collections such as these should stand apart and set examples. This does. Sadly it is a bad example. If animals were to be rescued from Manila Zoo or Malabon Zoo they would inevitably end up here....and here they would, mostly be worse off. This emphasises a point I have made several times. The anti-zoo fraternity seem to think that you cannot rescue something to a zoo but only from one. This would not be the case here. It is all in a name at the end of the day.

 There are a number of entrances to the park. This is the one I used on this visit.

 A run of smaller cages. Basic and boring.

 Reasonable basic aviaries.

Old sign

 An old sign...but one of the better ones.

Dog Cages

I truly hate the 'dog cage' design. The animals are just there. Existing from meal to meal. Nothing else. 

The Bearded Pig is No More

Palwan Bearded Pig

The pig was no longer here. I would like to think it has been included in a breeding programme and moved on to assist.

A sign here would have helped. An explanation. It never was a good enclosure. 

Some of the 'Best' of the Signage


 In its way this is an attractive looking sign but is largely useless. If it supplemented other signage which included the scientific name, range and a few interesting facts it would play a part. There again this sign is mostly in English which fails to recognise that many Filipino only read Tagalog.

There are barriers in parts but not in others

Philippine Brown Deer Enclosure

Some Good News

Whilst I was preparing this report I learned that there are plans to really turn the place around and spend some money turning the Centre into a showcase.

I hope this comes about so that on my next visit I will have pleasant things to say.

DENR to make Quezon City wildlife park a 'biodiversity showcase'
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced yesterday its plans to transform the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center (NAPWNC) in Quezon City into a “biodiversity showcase.”“We intend to make NAPWNC a ‘model biodiversity conservation area in an urban area’ where people, particularly the youth, can learn more about Philippine biodiversity and appreciate the necessity of protecting them,” DENR Secretary Lito Atienza said.The DENR said the Philippines has long taken great pride in its diverse natural wealth – the country has more than 14,000 species of plants, 9,000 of which are flowering plants."Worldwide, the Philippines rank fifth in the number of plant species. We also rank fourth in bird endemism, which means that these birds are found only in the Philippines. And we rank fifth in mammal endemism,” Atienza said.Recently, Atienza signed a memorandum of agreement with Palafox Associates, represented by its founder, managing partner and principal architect Felino Palafox, to facilitate the preparation of the NAPWNC conceptual master plan that will include detailed site engineering, landscape architectural design and urban design.The DENR said around 3,000 species of trees that thrive in the country are found in the park, 100 of which are endemic to the country such as narra, molave, kamagong and ipil. As for plant and animal species that cannot thrive


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  • grand old lady profile image

    Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

    When I was a student at UP Diliman eons ago (I am now a senior citizen) I loved Parks and Wildlife. They used to have cows roaming around freely, and I love all kinds of animals and the place was pretty and well maintained. I hope they will redesign this place so it is animal friendly. It's sad that they only have those tiny dog cages.

  • Peter Dickinson profile image

    Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

    Thanks Ben - I love the Philippines. It can be a crazy place at times but the people are wonderful, the food delicious and the country interesting.

  • Ben Zoltak profile image

    Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

    Finally Pete...someone has afforded me a trip to the Philippines! You can't beat a Peter Dickinson zoo perspective... you are like my own personal Attenborough! At times O feel like the bearded pig, especially after I eat fried chicken.

    Thanks for the zoo tour my friend.


  • Peter Dickinson profile image

    Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

    g - I agree.

  • profile image

    7 years ago

    raise the entrance fee.collect more funds to improve the park