Saturday, January 26, 2013

Alluring Walk at the Japanese Garden

A little sanctuary in the busy Metropolis of Manila is a Japanese garden to honor the friendship between the two great cultures. The garden near Rizal Park offers nature lovers a serene environment suitable for strolling and meditating. 

Some essential elements make it an ideal Japanese garden with some Filipino twists. The park is well maintained but needs some improvement to make it more modern and Japanese-like.

A little Japanese pagoda serves as the main entrance, with Japanese grass on the aisle that is a pleasantly alluring walk towards the greener foliage of the garden. The landscape makes it a good place for the growing trees and shrubs and the lush greenery ambiance that genuinely soothes the senses making it healthy for an early morning walk and exercise.

Inside is the veranda for relaxation or other activities like meditation or recollection. One just needs to sit down and relax and enjoy the stillness of the place and the calmness it offers. A momentary relief from stress is experienced if one has to do deep breathing and physical awareness.

The lawn on the hilly side, with shrubs and Japanese bamboo, looks revitalizing. It made me realize its resilience against the wind breeze as it gently sways and bent but remains firmly rooted on the ground. Like in life, people are sometimes bent by struggles and miseries but must stay flexible and rooted like a Japanese bamboo. The most challenging moments in life may have been thrown out, but like a Japanese bamboo, it remains to stand still and go with the natural flow.

The Japanese bamboo looks thin and weak but has survived the extreme weather and even the aftermath of a typhoon. There's no room to look down on oneself or others despite who and what you are. Like bamboo, people may look weak but are strong and continue to grow and achieve the maximum result.

Although an arch bridge is more elegant, a flat bridge across the pond is fantastic if one has to reach the other side of the garden. Built-in concrete and wooden material add a little aesthetics and charm to the park.

A pebbled pathway offers an alluring walk while sightseeing the evergreen trees, rock formations, and ornaments. The garden is enclosed in a perimeter fence, giving exclusivity to some local and foreign tourists who have witnessed the place's attractiveness.

A piece of art commonly displayed in a Japanese garden is a 'gong,' a percussion instrument used in ancient Japanese tradition to honor the presence of a higher authority. It has a low and monotone sound, but when struck forcefully can reach its maximum loudness. A visitor can strike the gong with the mallet using minimal force to produce a sound. Succeeding strikes can be made strongly, producing different tones if desired.

Visiting the Japanese garden is worthwhile, and coming back can be irresistible. An excellent place to escape from too much environmental noise and to give oneself a rejuvenating experience⁠— not in a faraway place, but only in the heart of the metropolis.

© 2013 Del Cusay