The Philippines boasts over a hundred national parks across its domain, and each one is definitely a sight to behold. Whether you’re craving a weekend hike or a swimming getaway, Philippine national parks are areas that are undeniably beautiful recreational spots. Not to mention, they offer exciting activities for every visitor.
But beyond their tourism value, Philippine national parks are essential for sustaining balanced ecological conditions. Most of them are home to unique flora and fauna. To protect these areas for preservation and sustenance, the government enacted Republic Act 11038, also known as the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas Systems (ENIPAS) Act, which identifies several Philippine natural parks.
But beyond their tourism value, Philippine national parks are essential for sustaining balanced ecological conditions. Most of them are home to unique flora and fauna. To protect these areas for preservation and sustenance, the government enacted Republic Act 11038, also known as the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas Systems (ENIPAS) Act, which identifies a number of Philippine natural parks.
Must-visit Philippine national parks
Among the identified protected areas are famous tourist spots such as the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, Mount Mayon National Park in Albay, Bicol, and Siargao Island. The same law covers wildlife sanctuaries like Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City and even marshlands like Agusan Wetlands. Seascapes are also covered by the republic act.
If you want to know all of them, read through this list.
- Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetland Park, Las Piñas City and Parañaque City
- Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center, Quezon City
- Kalbario-Patapat Natural Park, Ilocos Norte
- Libunao Protected Landscape, Ilocos Norte
- Bessang Pass Natural Monument, Ilocos Sur
- Bigbiga Protected Landscape, Ilocos Sur
- Lidliudda Banayoyo Protected Landscape, Ilocos Sur
- Salcedo Protected Landscape, Ilocos Sur
- Agoo Damortis Protected Landscape, La Union
- Manleluag Spring Protected Landscape, Pangasinan
- Palaui Island Protected Landscape and Seascape, Cagayan
- Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape, Cagayan
- Tumauini Watershed Natural Park, Isabela
- Salinas Natural Monument, Nueva Vizcaya
- Casecnan Protected Landscape, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, and Aurora
- Batanes Protected Landscape and Seascape, Cagayan Valley
- Northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range, Isabela
- Bangan Hill National Park, Nueva Vizcaya
- Amro River Protected Landscape, Aurora
- Dinadiawan River Protected Landscape, Aurora
- Simbahan Talagas Protected Landscape, Aurora
- Talaytay Protected Landscape, Aurora
- Bataan Natural Park, Bataan
- Roosevelt Protected Landscape, Bataan
- Masinloc and Oyon Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape, Zambales
- Mts. Palay-Palay-Mataas-na-Gulod Protected Landscape, Batangas and Cavite
- Taal Volcano Protected Landscape, Batangas and Cavite
- Buenavista Protected Landscape, Quezon
- Maulawin Spring Protected Landscape, Quezon
- Quezon Protected Landscape, Quezon
- Hinulugang Taktak Protected Landscape, Rizal
- Pamitinan Protected Landscape, Rizal
- Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape, Rizal
- Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape, Laguna and Quezon
- Marinduque Wildlife Sanctuary, Marinduque
- Apo Reef Natural Park, Occidental Mindoro
- Mt. Calavite Wildlife Sanctuary, Occidental Mindoro
- Mts. Iglit-Baco Natural Park, Occidental and Oriental Mindoro
- Mt. Guiting-Guiting Natural Park, Romblon
- Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, Palawan
- Mt. Mayon Natural Park, Albay
- Ticao Burias Pass Protected Seascape, Albay, Masbate, and Sorsogon
- Abasig-Matogdon-Mananap Natural Biotic Area, Camarines Norte
- Bicol Natural Park, Camarines Sur
- Buhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Camarines Sur
- Lagonoy Natural Biotic Area, Camarines Sur
- Malabungot Protected Landscape, Camarines Sur
- Mt. Isarog Natural Park, Camarines Sur
- Catanduanes Natural Park, Catanduanes
- Bongsanglay Natural Park, Masbate
- Bulusan Volcano Natural Park, Sorsogon
- Northwest Panay Peninsula Natural Park, Aklan and Antique
- Sibalom Natural Park, Antique
- Northern Negros Natural Park, Negros Occidental
- Sagay Marine Reserve, Negros Occidental
- Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental
- Alburquerque-Loay-Loboc Protected Landscape and Seascape, Bohol
- Chocolate Hills Natural Monument, Bohol
- Panglao Island Protected Seascape, Bohol
- Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape, Bohol
- Talibon Group of Islands Protected Landscape and Seascape, Bohol
- Camotes Island Protected Landscape and Seascape, Cebu
- Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Cebu
- Tañon Strait Protected Seascape, Cebu, Negros Occidental and Oriental
- Apo Island Protected Landscape and Seascape, Negros Oriental
- Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park, Negros Oriental
- Central Cebu Protected Landscape, Cebu
- Cuatro Islas Protected Landscape and Seascape, Leyte
- Lake Danao Natural Park, Leyte
- Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park, Leyte
- Guiuan Marine Resource Protected Landscape and Seascape, Eastern Samar
- Biri Larosa Protected Landscape and Seascape, Northern Samar
- Calbayog Pan-as Hayiban Protected Landscape, Samar
- Samar Island Natural Park, Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar
- Basilan Natural Biotic Area, Basilan
- Aliguay Island Protected Landscape and Seascape, Isabela City
- Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary, Tawi-Tawi
- Great and Little Sta. Cruz Islands Protected Landscape and Seascape, Zamboanga City
- Pasonanca Natural Park, Zamboanga City
- Jose Rizal Memorial Protected Landscape, Zamboanga del Norte
- Murcielagos Protected Landscape and Seascape, Zamboanga del Norte
- Selinog Island Protected Landscape and Seascape, Zamboanga del Norte
- Siocon Resource Reserve, Zamboanga del Norte
- Dumanquillas Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape, Zamboanga del Sur
- Mt. Timolan Protected Landscape, Zamboanga del Sur
- Buug Natural Biotic Area, Zamboanga Sibugay
- Mt. Kalatungan Range Natural Park, Bukidnon
- Mt. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument, Camiguin
- Mt. Inayawan Range Natural Park, Lanao del Norte
- Baliangao Protected Landscape and Seascape, Misamis Occidental
- Initao-Libertad Protected Landscape and Seascape, Misamis Oriental
- Mt. Balatukan Range Natural Park, Misamis Oriental
- Mt. Kitanglad Range, Bukidnon
- Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park, Misamis Occidental
- Mimbilisan Protected Landscape, Misamis Oriental
- Mabini Protected Landscape and Seascape, Compostela Valley
- Mainit Hot Springs Protected Landscape, Compostela Valley
- Aliwagwag Protected Landscape, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley
- Mati Protected Landscape, Davao Oriental
- Pujada Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape, Davao Oriental
- Mt. Apo Natural Park, Cotabato, Davao del Sur and Davao City
- Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, Davao Oriental
- Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape, General Santos City and Sarangani
- Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape, South Cotabato and Sarangani
- Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, Agusan del Sur
- Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape, Surigao del Norte
- Tinuy-an Falls Protected Landscape, Surigao del Sur
Other parks in the Philippines to visit for nature trips
Is travelling to Philippine national parks too much of a commitment to a hectic daily schedule? Fortunately, there are still parks in the Philippines in the busiest CBDs. Crossing these parks might do good as a reprieve from a busy day at work. These spaces may be connected to major traffic arteries throughout the metro or are low-key areas around it. It’s just a matter of exploration!
Parks in Manila
While Manila is getting more congested, Arroceros Forest Park remains flourishing. The only remaining nature park in Manila hosts numerous species of trees, flowers, and birds.
This nature park was once a part of a historic Chinese merchant settlement during the Spanish colonial era. During the American occupation, a significant part of the forest became a part of a military garrison. After the park’s establishment in the early ‘90s, there had been threats to deforest the area and build administrative buildings.
Fortunately, the Manila Government finally resolved to expand this Philippine national park. They now aim to develop a green city with Arroceros Forest Park as the highlight.
Parks in Quezon City
Aside from the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center, Quezon City has another spacious green lung: La Mesa Nature Reserve. This lush forest surrounds the La Mesa Reservoir, a significant source of potable water for residents of Metro Manila. The area is sparse enough to hold many activities for visitors, from trekking, biking, and even bird watching. It is also a suitable environment for children. Until they can visit any Philippine national parks, La Mesa Nature Reserve will certainly help them develop an interest in nature!
Parks in BGC
Here’s a park for some quality time with your fur babies! Central Bark Park is the only park in Taguig that is an open space dedicated to keeping dogs energetic and physically active. Dogs can enjoy this playground without having to worry about their leashes. Owners can also leave their pets in the care of handlers stationed in the park. It’s a haven for our four-legged friends!
Parks in Makati
Despite being famous for its skyscrapers as a financial district, Makati is also home to a handful of green lungs in Metro Manila. They might be hidden behind the concrete jungle, but once found, they introduce themselves as literally a breath of fresh air.
Just a few minutes away from Greenbelt lies Washington SyCip Park. This parcel of land is privately owned but is open to the public as early as 6am and as late as 10pm. Aside from being a park for physical activities and relaxation, Washington SyCip Park also houses multiple indigenous tropical trees and plants. When visiting, be sure to stop and observe a few sculptures found inside the park!
Another famous park in Makati is Ayala Triangle Gardens. Scattered on its grounds are mighty acacia trees and other tropical plants that provide fresh air for parkgoers. The garden’s open grassy spaces are ideal for physical activities like callisthenics, yoga, or group dance routines. Meanwhile, paved walkways make for relaxed biking and jogging trails. Ayala Triangle Gardens is also worth a visit during the holidays for its spectacular light shows.
Parks in Pasig
Rainforest Adventure Experience (RAVE) is a prime destination for residents of Pasig and Rizal because it offers numerous activities. It even has a mini-zoo that allows you to really get in touch with nature. While the park is famous as a natural sanctuary, physical activities are also welcome at RAVE. Thanks to a few facilities, such as a swimming pool and a basketball court, RAVE encourages visitors to engage in sports.
Parks in Tagaytay
Supposedly a mansion for US president Ronald Reagan by the Marcos Administration, People’s Park in the Sky has instead been opened as a public attraction. This historic structure is also a classic destination in Tagaytay, with its remnants as the highlight. Apart from that, a multitude of flora acts as a garden for the park, perfect for enjoying the fresh mountain air. For a relaxing conclusion from a visit to the park, the nearby Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love welcomes weary guests with a chance to meditate.
Parks in Baguio
Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary is a nature reserve in Baguio and a welcome sanctuary from the summer capital’s growing congestion. The park’s design is remarkably intuitive, as going through the sanctuary acts like a ‘green museum.’ The facility has many exhibits that discuss topics relating to natural history and insightful theories about its future. It is an enriching experience that fully utilises Baguio’s mountain climate.
Also read: 15 Best Baguio Pasalubong Items to Take Home
That’s a lot of parks! But this abundance of natural wonders is a boon to any country that has them. So if the city makes you tired, take a walk on the wild side in these parks found in the Philippines. They’re a refreshing change of pace and will energise you while you have fun.
Featured image credit: Billy Palatino | Wikimedia Commons