WHERE DO WE JOG NOW THAT UP OVAL IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC?—AN ALTERNATIVE LIST
In light of the rising COVID-19 cases across the Metro, the University of the Philippines has announced that the famed UP Oval will be temporarily closed until February 4, 2021.
We all have different reasons to go to the University of the Philippines’ Diliman campus. Some of us are fortunate enough to actually be students there, while some of us take the trip to go there for the food, the festivities, the ambience, or the open public space in UP Oval where we can do all kinds of outdoor recreational activities, including picnics, cycling, jogging, or other workouts. It’s one of the few outdoor spaces that’s open to the public for activities like these, and unfortunately for us, it might also be exactly the type of place that Miss Rona would love to hang out in.
So as a precautionary measure following the rise of new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, the campus administration has decided to temporarily close down the Oval for a few weeks. It will be opened back to the public on February 5.
For health and safety reasons, UP Diliman decided to temporarily close the Academic Oval to the public on Saturday, January 23 until Thursday, February 4, 2021.
The Academic Oval will be opened on Friday, February 5, 2021. pic.twitter.com/FnkpvOp645
— UP Diliman (@Official_UPD) January 21, 2021
But in the mean time, where are we supposed to get our fill of greenery and fresh air?
It’s no surprise to say that Metro Manila, as big and as populated as it, lacks greatly in the “green, open space” category, with bustling city streets and skyscrapers taking higher priority in our urban planning. However, in times like these where a virus is out and festering in crowded and enclosed spaces, it’s become even more apparent just how much we need these public places. Especially since there’s a greater call to build our immunity by working out and staying active, but enclosed gyms might just be too risky. Hence, the perfect solution: jogging outdoors.
Given the unavailability of UP Oval, though, we’ve compiled an alternative list for other parks and recommended jogging places within Metro Manila. It’s more than what you might think, but still definitely less than what we need.
QUEZON CITY CIRCLE (QUEZON CITY)
Probably the best alternative for QC joggers is the Quezon City Circle, with a large track and plenty of space to exercise around. This park is definitely big enough for you to run around, play badminton with the family, and get through a full work-out routine while maintaining a safe distance from other people.
LEGAZPI ACTIVE PARK (MAKATI)
The Legazpi park provides a beautiful break from the busy city life in the business district of Makati, with an open space that’s open to joggers, a playground safe for kids, and a lot of benches to take a breather.
LUNETA PARK (MANILA)
If you want to squeeze in some history with your morning jogs, the iconic Luneta park (sometimes called Rizal park) could be a great place to take in some monuments, wide gardens, and maybe even a brief museum trip while getting lost in its largeness. This is definitely big enough to make you forget you’re in the city for a few hours.
GREENWAY PARK (BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY)
Dubbed as the “longest urban park in Metro Manila,” the Greenway Park in BGC is a linear track squeezed in between the bustling city life that has no obstructions and lots of greenery all around. The park is a walking distance away from BGC’s popular malls and commercial spaces, making for a good destination if you have some errands to run and you want to limit the places you go to.
CAPITOL COMMONS (PASIG)
This particular strip is smaller than the other ones on the list, but perfect for quick and easy runs along the 500 meters of its main road. The track is right smack in the middle of Ortigas’ newly developed complex, which feels like a little bubble in the Metro with only a few cars passing by, and several other pedestrians enjoying the greenery amid residential and commercial buildings.
MALL OF ASIA SEASIDE BOULEVARD (PASAY CITY)
Running with the sea right beside you? Count us in. The MOA seaside strip is home to several restaurants and bars, but it also has a pretty wide stretch perfect for morning jogs and the occasional Zumba classes pre-quarantine. Though this is a popular spot for joggers, the space is definitely enough to run around without getting into close contact with others.