Update as of 15 Nov 2021: The UPD Academic Oval has reopened to the public. Everyone, regardless of age and vaccination status, is now allowed to enter the premises.
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 reopened to the public on 15 Nov 2021. 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 4am to 9am and 4pm to 9pm. Those seen roaming the venue outside these hours will be asked to leave.
- Everyone, regardless of age and vaccination status, must wear face masks.
- Walking, jogging, and running should be counterclockwise.
- Bikers may not enter residential areas on campus, including Areas 1, 2, and 3. Instead, they may use other roads on the campus. University Avenue, Jacinto, Lakandula, Quirino, Ma. Guererro, Laurel Avenue, Balagtas, and Magsaysay Avenue are open from 4am to 9pm and from 4pm to 9pm.
- Families or groups of 10 people or less may use the open spaces along University Avenue, Sunken Garden, and PAUW. They will be open only from 4am to 9am and from 4pm to 9pm.
- 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 latest COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force rules for using open spaces, visitors must also abide by these protocols when entering the UPD Academic Oval:
- 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 de-stressing. 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.