A little sanctuary on the busy Metropolis of Manila is a Japanese garden to honor the friendship between the two great cultures. The garden found in the vicinity of Rizal Park offers a serene environment to nature lovers and is suitable for strolling and meditating.
There are essential elements that make it an ideal Japanese garden with some Filipino twists. The garden is well maintained but also needs some improvement to make it a more ideal and Japanese-like garden.
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 truly soothes the senses making it healthy for early morning walk and exercise.
Located 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 breeze of the wind as it gently sways and bent but remains to be strongly rooted on the ground. Just like in the reality of life, people are sometimes bent by struggles and miseries but have to remain 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 going with the natural flow.
The Japanese bamboo looks thin and weak at a glance but has survived the extreme weather and even the aftermath of a typhoon. In life, there's no room to look down on oneself or others despite who and what you are. Like bamboo, people may look weak but actually strong and continues to grow and achieves a maximum result.
A pebbled pathway around offers an alluring walk while sightseeing the evergreen trees, rock formations, and ornaments. The garden is enclosed in a perimeter fence which gives a feeling of exclusivity to some local and foreign tourists who have witnessed the attractiveness of the place.
A piece of art commonly displayed in a Japanese garden is a 'gong', which is 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 strike forcefully could 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 forcefully producing different tones if desired.
Visiting the Japanese garden is worthwhile and coming back can be irresistible. A good 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