MANILA - After having been closed to the public for almost three months due to the coronavirus lockdown in Metro Manila, the Quezon Memorial Circle is now again open partially to the public.
One of Quezon City’s most frequented spots was reopened on June 1, as the capital region was placed under the eased general community quarantine (GCQ).
Joggers, strollers, and those who love to exercise surrounded by nature and the environment can now enter and stay from 5 a.m. up to 10 a.m.
Plant enthusiasts are also welcome, between 10 a.m and 5 p.m, as plant stalls have resumed operations.
“Para po sa mga gustong mag-jogging, mag-exercise, so from 5 in the morning until 10 in the morning, pwede pong mag-jogging. Sa Commonwealth entrance po ang pasukan,” said assistant city administrator Alberto Kimpo.
"Mahalaga na ang pupunta ay nakasuot po ng face mask. Kailangan din po na mag-observe sila ng safe distancing," he added.
Some areas in the Circle remain closed to the public as they still being used to house street dwellers. The vicinity of the Circle museum, where mass testing for COVID-19 used to take place, is also still off-limits.
Kimpo reminded visitors to always wear masks, and maintain safe distance in the partially opened areas.
The Circle will “gradually” bring back all its operations, depending on guidelines set forth by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, he said.
After the park re-opened, avid visitor and gardening enthusiast Jun Mencias went to the Memorial Circle again which he hasn't seen since the pandemic broke.
“It’s so liberating. Pero siyempre may caution pa rin. It’s just nice to step outside for a change,” he said.
Michelle Madla, who describes herself as a nature lover, came all the way from Alabang just to see the park.
Also a plant enthusiast, and has even ventured into the business, Michelle again enjoyed being surrounded by the Circle's trees and plants.
“Lalo na now na you can’t go out, go to excursions, go to beaches --- being out here in a natural kind of setting is really fun and pleasing to the eyes as well," she said.
Officemates John Alba and Mark Castillo hiked all the way from Timog just to visit the Circle.
“We are stuck at home for about 3 months. It’s time to go out, but of course, we follow the measures of the government, wear masks. We actually walked from Timog, so that’s like a workout for us,” said John.
They wanted a change of scenery and environment after months of lockdown.
“Kasi, ito, very close to nature siya at hindi ganun karami tao ngayon. Perfect place siya to relax, and to inhale fresh oxygen,” said Mark.
Food joints and stalls are also now available in the park. But business is still slow, said vendor Jovito Garcia, due to few visitors.
“Matumal pa po eh. Wala pa pong masyadong customer, mahina tao. Sana po dumami tao para marami naman aming benta. Para naman makarecover, makabayad sa renta," he said.