To say that the pandemic has caused an overwhelming amount of anxiety, stress, and demotivation among us Filipinos is an understatement. But as the community quarantine in Metro Manila began easing down, recreational venues have reopened giving us a chance to destress. To those around Quezon City, here’s some relieving news — the University of the Philippines – Diliman or UPD Academic Oval has done just that!
One of the more popular places of recreation even before the pandemic, the UPD Academic Oval has reopened to the public since 7 Nov 2020. Specifically, to those looking to destress and do the following exercises only: walking, jogging, running, yoga, stretching, and tai-chi. Meanwhile. the UPD College of Science Oval, which has allowed these activities in past months, will be closed from here on.
Things to know about UPD Academic Oval for visitors
With that in mind, the UPD administration reminds the public to observe the following when visiting the 2.2-kilometre elliptical road:
- Visitors may only enter the UPD Academic Oval from 5am to 9am and 4pm to 8pm. Those seen roaming the venue outside these hours will be asked to leave.
- Only the above-mentioned exercises are allowed. Those coming as a group must keep the number up to just 10 people. Walking, jogging, and running should be counterclockwise. You must also bring AND use your exercise equipment. Lastly, biking is not allowed in the Academic Oval. Bikers may use other roads in the campus instead.
- Cars and vehicle parking are prohibited in and around the UPD Academic Oval. However, you can use parking spaces located along Lakandula Street, T.M. Kalaw Street, Quirino Street, E. Delos Santos Street, and Magsaysay Avenue. Keep your valuables safe and avoid leaving them on display from inside your vehicle.
- You may only use the washroom on the ground floor of Quezon Hall, where the Oblation Statue is located.
- Not feeling well? Stay at home. In the words of the UPD administration, “The first line of defense is the SELF. EVERYONE is reminded to be responsible for the well-being of others.” In case of a health emergency or when you see visitors violate these protocols, seek the help of or report to the UPD Police, Special Services Brigade, or the guards on duty.
Other rules about using open spaces during the pandemic
Following the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force rules for using open spaces, visitors must also abide by these protocols when entering the UPD Academic Oval:
- The venue will not allow entry of those under 15 years old and over 65 years old, as well as pregnant women, those with comorbidities, and immunodeficiency conditions.
- Visitors should bring, use, or wear their own isopropyl or ethyl alcohol, face mask, face shield. Those running or jogging must wear a face shield, if not using a face mask. When talking to another person, wear both. Observe physical distancing of at least six feet and don’t forget to bring your own water to stay hydrated.
- You may not eat and organise social gatherings, including picnics, in this recreational destination in Metro Manila. The same goes for spitting and littering.
- When coughing or sneezing, move away from the nearest person and be sure to cover your mouth and nose. Disinfection with alcohol or soap and water should follow. Avoid touching other people and UPD’s properties such as buildings and public art installations.
Most of all, stay alert and if you can, keep a mental or physical note of these UPD pandemic protocols to keep yourself and others safe even as you’re destressing. If you have questions, feel free to send an email to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs.
All images credited to Bea Ferreras.