Metro Manila · National Center for Mental Health - A Running Place

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The National Mental Hospital can be a perfect running place in the morning or late afternoon thanks to its surviving greenery, one of the few in Mandaluyong City. Just make sure to wear a proper running gear if you want to hit the pavements there.

As parks are very limited in Metro Manila, not a few health buffs make do with whatever green space they can find here. For instance, if you are residing within the area of Mandaluyong City, you might find the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) a good place to jog, bike, take a stroll, or walk your dog. It is one of the few places in the capital that is replete with mature trees, scattered about the approximately 50-hectare development. Runners will enjoy its paved grounds and pathways that sometimes criss-cross, go up and down a hill, or circle a small park within a park.

Jogging is allowed in early morning, between 5 to 7 am, and late afternoon, between 5 to 7 pm, on weekdays; and the whole day on weekends. Make sure that you are wearing proper running gear. The guards are quite strict about that. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to enter the premises.

Now, do not let the name of the establishment intimidate you. The place is most definitely safe and secure. 

It has a sense of history, too. NCMH, formerly called the Insular Psychopathic Hospital, first opened its doors in 1928. Suffice to say, a lot of the structures are of the American colonial era, a few are similar to those found in Camp John Hay in Baguio. The institution served to accommodate the increasing number of mental patients at the time. The country then had only the San Lazaro Hospital, through its “Insane Department,” and the City Sanitarium in the Philippines to treat those suffering mental illness.

Those behind the project chose the location as it was isolated from the city center, about 11 kilometers from Manila. Small huts, used by farmers tilling the land around the hospital, once stood nearby.

Today, NCMH is home to 35 pavilions and 52 wards. It has a daily average of around 3,000 in-patients.

Each morning is a cacophony of activities, developing in gradual phase with each passing hour. First you bask in the quiet solitude of being surrounded by nature, the stillness broken by the chirping of the birds. Then you will hear the regular rhythm of running shoes hitting the pavement. Passing by the gate, you see a steady stream of fellow runners signing a logbook by the guard. You bump into them again as you try to finish a 5K or an exercise routine. By this time, tricycles, trucks, and cars are starting to arrive to drop off employees or deliver supplies.

Location & How To Get There

Nueve de Pebrero St, Mauway, Mandaluyong City

Website: ncmh.gov.ph

Tel: (63) 2 531 9001