‘I should see the garden far better,’ said Alice to herself, ‘if I could get to the top of that hill: and here’s a path that leads straight to it — at least, no, it doesn’t do that — ‘ (after going a few yards along the path, and turning several sharp corners), ‘but I suppose it will at last. But how curiously it twists! It’s more like a corkscrew than a path! Well, this turn goes to the hill, I suppose — no, it doesn’t! This goes straight back to the house! Well then, I’ll try it the other way.’– ‘Through the Looking Glass’, Lewis Carroll
Note: As of the date of this post, The Garden management does not allow professional cameras or photography in the grounds. Camera phones are alright, but if you want to have a pro shoot, it would be better to contact the management beforehand.
Several of the girls had to back out at the last minute, so it turned out to be a good thing there wasn’t a theme set beforehand. Jazz wore a cute, comfy Holy Lantern coordinate. The first thing to consider for outdoor meets should be comfort! I wore a snidel floral dress to cut down on the layers on top, with a cage skirt to poof out the Little Dipper underskirt.
The first part of the garden after entering is Japanese-inspired. There is a circular brick path surrounding a small gazebo where guests can sit and relax; which I have no pictures of because it was full of people ~
This building is surrounded by a sand garden, swept into smooth ridges. At some point we got separated from the rest of our group; there were more people there than expected and we got held up. I stopped taking pictures and just kept walking until we caught up with the others.
This bridge over a waterfall is one of the great spots to snap a picture.
In the background is the rounded ridge of the Philippine Arena. Theoretically the Philippine Sports Stadium should be right next to it, but it’s one thing to see them on a map and something else to be wandering through the place in real life.
There are several attractions on site that we didn’t get to try (being lost and looking for our group); what looks like a roller-coaster, a go-kart track, at least two carousels, and 4D mini theaters.
Along the man-made stream leading from the waterfall are more flowers, and the Embrace Cafe (no picture, because again- lots of people). I wanted to have a snack there, but since we arrived late in the afternoon to avoid the heat, there wasn’t a lot of time to wait for a big enough table.
Embrace Cafe’s motto is ‘we embrace people with special abilities’; several of the employees are deaf, and their work helps them build confidence in the workplace.
Back in Manila, most ‘gardens’ are a couple of trees interspersed among shops and kiosks. But here, it’s pleasant to find lots of chairs and areas where you can just chill. This path along the stream leads to a fork in the road: the middle path leads to the air-conditioned greenhouse.
If you’re ever here on a hot day, I would recommend making a beeline for the greenhouse. It is pleasantly cool, not chilly- and there are little exhibits with the plants to make a nice photo spot, and chairs along the aisle.
The sign at the exit of the greenhouse does not mention the teeny purple Piranha Plant, or the snow lettuce. I have no idea what they’re really called.
There is a mini-zoo after you exit the greenhouse area. I wasn’t able to take pictures, because this is another area with lots of people, kids in particular. There are horses, ostriches, sheep, and several lazy lions/esses.
Dusk brings out the purple tints in the sky. I don’t think the whole heart is lit up at night, but the lamp-posts are enough illumination in the twilight.
Unfortunately, you can’t go up to this carriage and take a ride. It’s something to appreciate from the brick road.
Following the brick road brings us back to the fork; the right-hand path is the ‘New Garden’ which has huge exhibits made up of plants. Yes, this is the place with the gigantic green teddy bear- there are also trampolines, and the Candyland Cafe (Sweet lolitas, alert! This place is PINK!)
This part is next to a covered area that’s still under construction. Maybe a go-cart track?
There’s a great variety in the exhibits – animals, houses, a huge boat (Noah’s Ark?), a faucet.
And then the bear. That bear. It is probably best photographed during the day so you don’t turn purple in the lights, but it’s still super cute
Thanks for reading to the end. It was a fun day out, and I’d love to go back again- though I’ll probably wait for the -ber months to come around again, so it won’t be so hot.
‘Till the next adventure!
The Garden at Ciudad de Victoria
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OfficialPhilippineArena/
- PRICE: P450 entrance fee for adults, P360 for Seniors and PWDs, P250 for children 6 years and below (at time of writing)
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. I go around the city using my own money, with friends and/or family. Photos are my own unless otherwise indicated. Kindly do not repost or use them without my express permission.