Tuesday, September 12, 2006


It was once a parking lot until developed into a one-hectare rainforest-like park. Named The Orchidarium, it is a repository for orchids, as well as a variety of blooms, scents and greens; a project of the Clean & Green Foundation, Inc., headed by its president and chairperson, the former First Lady Amelita M. Ramos.

This park features a walkway that passes under the Trellis of Waves, a corner where clinging vines hang. Along this trail are different varieties of flowers and ornamental plants such as the Song blooms (Song of Thailand, Song of Korea, Song of Jamaica, and Song of India) and the Palm species (Anahaw, Fishtail Palm, Blue Palm, Pinanga, Majestic Palm and the McArthur Palm).

For those seeking a soothing respite from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila, there is the Reflection Point where one could meditate with the surrounding exotic greens and refreshing waterfalls.

For the children and young adults, there is the Rocky Trail, which has a facility for sport wall-climbing. They can also go fishing at the Mystic Lagoon where bamboo poles can be rented.

The Orchidarium was the beneficiary of a three-year initiative by mobile phone leader Nokia to enhance the park. The "Nokia Nurtured Zone" is dedicated to preserving the park's various flora and fauna, and is a venue for educational activities for young kids. There is also the Butterfly Pavilion sponsored by Nokia. A program called "Mondays with Nokia" is regularly held to teach schoolchildren the value of preserving the environment and one of its most precious resources: water.

The park also offers Reflexology Walk — a pathway of healing stones that is part of the Nokia Nurtured Zone. Visitors are suggested to walk barefoot and enjoy soothing properties of the reflexology walk.

There is also a restaurant right at the center of the complex, for those who may want to enjoy a meal amidst the beauty of Nature. The current Lush Life and Garden Bistro will be taken over by Barbara's Restaurant this coming October. Barbara's main restaurant is located right near San Agustin Church over in Intramuros.

They also used to present live jazz performances here at The Orchidarium; there are no plans to bring back this music feature at this time.

The Orchidarium is located at the corner of Orosa Street and Finance Drive in Rizal Park (or Luneta); telephone numbers are 527-6376/6378 for further information.

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posted by Señor Enrique at 7:37 AM


Blogger BW said...

Very refreshing indeed. I always like the lush, the abundance of vegetation. Great place to sit around a garden table and chat with family or friends or just reading something. Is there fishing too? I hope it's a catch and release deal!

September 12, 2006 9:37 AM  

Anonymous g.knotee said...

good to know there are still green patches around Manila. we need to plant more trees and build more parks.

September 12, 2006 10:00 AM  

Blogger christine said...

It's so nice to see that there are still some nice parks or places like this in the urban jungle that is Manila. My friend got married in the Orchidarium and it was beautiful! But I have yet to visit during the day and really explore.

September 12, 2006 10:43 AM  

Anonymous bugsybee said...

Wow, paradise in the midst of Manila's urban madness! I sometimes think the DOT puts too much focus on foreign tourists (of course, they bring in much needed dollars). Shouldn't we encourage our own local tourists to explore virtually unknown spots like this one? Sayang.

September 12, 2006 10:59 AM  

Blogger ipanema said...

This is beautiful. My goodness, there are still beautiful places to discover in Manila. I've been to Rizal Park eons ago...lol.

Beautiful photos Eric, love the greens.

September 12, 2006 11:20 AM  

Anonymous kyels said...

It is indeed beautiful! In bustling Metro Manila, there is still such a peaceful place, it's definitely good for the citizens.

I love the greens Eric. Really nice and soothing!


September 12, 2006 12:28 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

It is really a nice place to bring the entire family to enjoy say, a late afternoon in the park, BW.

Yes, I agree, G. Knotee.

BTW, over in Makatgi behind the Philippine Stock Exchange is a somewhat similar green sanctuary, but what suprised me is that the security guards won't even allow me to take a photo of a Balete tree. Outrageous!

Yes ... I heard the place can be rented for wedding banquets as well, Christine! I can imagine how beautiful a wedding reception could be in this place, especially if festively decorated with even more flowers!

September 12, 2006 3:24 PM  

Anonymous Major Tom said...

Just the kind of place that I would be looking for often; to escape the urban noise for sometime and have time for personal reflections. How I wished i'd be living nextdoor to a place like the Orchidarium. Maybe I just have to visit it someday.

I thought it is just a perfect place to bring a good and cripsy novel and lie in one of those neat benches we often see on parks...

September 12, 2006 3:25 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You're right, Bugsybee. The locals will benefit much from enjoying all these lovely places in our own backyard, so to speak.

Indeed, there are enough wonderful attractions in and around Metro Manila for foreign tourists and baikbayan friends to visit :)

With corporate participation like Nokia, Ipanema, our parks are getting much needed subsidies for maintenance, as well as funding to create educational programs for our children much like the Nokia programs!


Make sure you make a point to visit these places that I feature, Kyels; I'm sure you'll enjoy them.

And who knows? You might even be inspired to jot down a quick poem so bring along your pen and notebook besides the camera :)

September 12, 2006 3:35 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Come to think of it, Major Tom, other than reading a book, one can also bring a sketch book and pencils or guitar to practice some chords. There are enough benches, plus anyone can bring one of our local banig (bamboo mat) and unfold it on the grass and relax :)

I even saw a family who brought along some food and had a picnic in there!

September 12, 2006 3:42 PM  

Blogger cruise said...

thnx for sharing. di pa ako nakkapunta dyan at ngayon ko lang narinig na meron palang ganyan sa luneta... i'll check it out.

September 12, 2006 8:59 PM  

Blogger Iskoo said...

mukhang masarap nga pumasyal dyan, gusto ko landscape, mga halaman, puno, at wildlife. mukhang mag e enjoy ako dyan sa Orchidarium

September 12, 2006 10:40 PM  

Anonymous shedotcomph said...

wow! I should try and go there :) It must be nice - as depicted in your pics :) Thanks for sharing :)

September 12, 2006 11:05 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Gives new meaning to the phrase, pretty as a picture(s).

September 12, 2006 11:16 PM  

Anonymous aurea said...

Beautiful! This reminds me of how my parents would take us to the pond at the UP campus. It was a nice escape to more natural surroundings, and we were delighted by the snails eggs, fish and lily pads.

September 13, 2006 1:59 AM  

Blogger g.knotee said...

yup, that park was just across the street from my office where i used to work. i'd see butterflies there once in a while. makati is pretty strict with ppl taking photographs. i think, ever since the 9/11 tragedy, it's not that easy taking pics of bldgs and structures. for security purposes.

September 13, 2006 3:58 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I was on my way to take a pic of Rizal's monument when I happened to pass by and noticed this arch at the entrance, Cruise, which was rather inviting.

Early morning or late afternoon until the evening may be the best time, Iskoo. Other times may just be too hot.

My pleasure, Shedotcomph! But I'm sure there are much nicer ones in Baguio where you are :)

Thanks, Amadeo!

But a tree, G. Knotee? Hehehe.

September 13, 2006 6:03 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Aurea. Now, I'm wondering where excatly that pond is in the UP Campus you mentioned.

September 13, 2006 6:04 AM  

Blogger Wil said...

when you wrote that nokia was donating money for this orchidarium, i was skeptical whether it was just to make themselves look good. but i just read in yahoo news that greenpeace just rated them one of the most environmentally friendly companies. So kudos to nokia for stepping up to help out the orchidarium.

September 13, 2006 7:55 AM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Yep. My pen and notebook are always with me. Hehe.


September 13, 2006 9:00 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Honestly speaking, Wil, I was under the impression it was a half-hearted effort by Nokia -- simply to boost their coporate image.

Now that you told me this, hey, good for Nokia and those institutions that they help out :)

Thanks for the info!

September 13, 2006 9:06 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Cool, Kyels :)

September 13, 2006 9:06 AM  

Anonymous bugsybee said...

Not allowed to take a picture of a balete tree? That's really weird ... are these guards superstitious? LOL Eric, I think you should try to bring this to the attention of the sanctuary's administrator. I mean, one of the ways by which people will know and appreciate that sanctuary is thru pictures. How stupid not to allow pictures to be taken of a park or a sanctuary!

September 13, 2006 9:09 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, Bugsybee, a Balete tree (old but beautiful, though).

I suddenly heard a whistle like those used by traffic cops, when I turned I saw this guard waving me to walk away from the tree ... hahahaha!

Meanwhile, only a few feet away earlier, I was snapping away like crazy at the ground level of Philippine Stock Echange (I think this was also designed by A. Locsin from Negros)and no one stopped me.

Exactly ... how can others discover this sanctuary if photos aren't allowed.

I'm really tempted to file a formal complaint.

September 13, 2006 9:27 AM  

Anonymous niceheart said...

I love the waterfall. Just looking at the photos, I can tell that it is quite a relaxing and soothing place.

September 13, 2006 11:25 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

It is truly a relaxing place, Niceheart. And in both times I visited the place, it was not crowded at all.

September 13, 2006 12:42 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Would you be interested to contribute to pinoytravel.blog?


You have so many good travel & leisure tips that you would be a great asset to this site.
If you are interested please email me and I will give you the email address of Abe the owner of the site.

September 13, 2006 12:53 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Gee, thanks, Sidney. I'll email you shortly :)

September 13, 2006 1:39 PM  

Anonymous Ferdz said...

Wow! Meron na palang ganto sa Luneta. Should drop by here one of these days. Place looks good!

September 13, 2006 2:08 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Actually, Ferdz, there is also the Chinese Garden and a museum nearby which I plan to visit. Will post pictures when I do.

September 13, 2006 3:28 PM  

Anonymous carla said...

i love your pics here, very magazine-worthy. :-) i'd like to have a garden like that someday.

September 14, 2006 11:40 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Carla!

BTW, when you guys do the Intramuros tour, Carlos will take you to a garden as well. Make sure you bring along your cameras :)

September 14, 2006 8:10 PM  

Anonymous treu said...

Am surprised of this new landmark, the Orchidarium, in the Rizal Park. It is a great addition to the famous site. My whole family had Luneta as our regular weekend escape when we stayed in Makati for 10 years. I'll surely visit when I come home.

September 14, 2006 11:58 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Do check it out, Treu, when you guys come back for a visit.

I plan to go back to Coconut Palace to check out its orchidarium and butterfly sanctuary. Will post an entry when I do.

September 15, 2006 6:43 AM  

Blogger ronnie said...

My wife and I loves to linger around this garden.

Let us help promote this very good cause by patronizing the establishments inside and other activities which generate income to financially support the upkeep of the Orchidarium.

BTW, former first lady Ming Ramos also has a garden along Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay road. She has great collections there too.

Best wishes Senor

November 12, 2006 11:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

can we have our shooting here for out project in school? or is it prohibited?

March 04, 2010 2:05 PM  

Blogger carmellie said...

hi, would anyone know if this place is still open? i haven't seen any new posts about it on the internet kasi. We want to visit it sometime around August 30 to September 1, 2010. please please please. it's for a very important event

August 21, 2010 12:40 PM  

Anonymous Cagayan de Oro hotels said...

I love the orchid sanctuary.. My mom actually loves orchids a lot.. I inherited it from her. http://www.cdokay.com

November 02, 2010 11:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi. the place looks very nice. kust want to ask if photoshooting is allowed inside?
thank you.

February 25, 2011 4:13 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, it is allowed!

March 01, 2011 10:47 AM  

Anonymous Beth said...

nice place..How I wish to be there with my family someday...

June 19, 2011 7:04 PM  

Anonymous buttercup said...

i just want to ask if it's still open and if photo shooting is allowed because we are planning to have our prenup pictorial here...and do you have an idea how much is the pictorial rate?

thanks! i really love your pics! more power!

May 08, 2012 11:22 AM  

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