Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Vicente de Lara Park

One of the oldest parks in Cagayan de Oro City is Vicente de Lara Park. It is used to be named as MacArthur Park in honor of General Douglas MacArthur, the legendary American general in World War II who spent a considerable time of his military service in the Philippines. The renaming of the park is a fitting tribute to the late Honorable Vicente de Lara who served as governor of the province from 1954 to 1961. During that time Cagayan de Oro City was administratively and politically a part of Misamis Oriental.

The Park is located in front of the provincial capitol building, the seat of the government of Misamis Oriental. Although it is inside Cagayan de Oro, the park is owned and administered by the province of Misamis Oriental. Old nara, mahogany and other hardwood trees are the park’s main sight. Those trees provide pleasant atmosphere to people who have official dealings in the capitol, to visitors and to other people who want a respite from the sweltering heat of the sun especially in summer days. The park also serves as an ideal place to stroll in the evening, to jog, to do other physical exercises especially in the early morning or to pass the time while enjoying the park’s amenities  such as the low concrete benches and the shade that is provided by trees.

                                          The park at night

Improvements have been made by Governor Oscar Moreno to do a makeover on the park. The pathways are paved, a fountain was built, and trees are adorned with lamps that emit decorative lights in the evening. There is an open structure where the public can play chess, and more significantly the Press Freedom and The Heritage monuments were constructed.

The Heritage Monument is a main attraction of the park that occupies a central place that is fronting the provincial capitol. The monument which was designed and constructed by Eduardo Castrillo honors the tradition, culture and the people that contributed to the development of the province.

A major addition to the park is the Press Freedom Monument which has three bronze cast figures symbolizing the broadcast, print and photojournalism media. The monument was also constructed by Eduardo Castrillo, a prominent Filipino sculptor. Since its completion, the area at the monument has become the venue for the press people to redress their grievances against the killing of journalists, the curtailment of press freedom and the other significant issues that are of public interest. Some major current issues that the press people of Cagayan de Oro actively protested at the Press Freedom Monument are the Ampatuan Massacre and the Anti-Cybercrime Law.

Related posts:

Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village, Cagayan de Oro City
The MacArthur Memorial Marker of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
Mount Hibok-Hibok, a Natural Monument in Camiguin
A Taste of Nature at Initao-Libertad Protected Landscape and Seascape
The Del Monte Pineapple Plantation in Bukidnon, Philippines
Camiguin Island: a Tourist Destination
The Divine Mercy Shrine of El Salvador, Misamis Oriental, Philippines