Saturday, October 25, 2008

Quezon Park, Dumaguete

From the public market area, I headed back to the cathedral and crossed to the park. Yep, that is the Quezon Park where the most prominent fixture is Rizal! Ironic, isn’t it?! Well, I can’t complain. Maybe Dumaguete has a reason for naming a park Quezon with mostly the memories of Rizal in it hehe.

This place is a hangout of parents and children who just want to while away their time without having to spend so much at malls or the various restaurants at Rizal Boulevard. I like the way it is peppered by trees all over so that the place is cool even at midday. There is a children’s play ground, some concreted plazas (even tiled), historical markers and a lot of green grass and benches for everyone to relax.

During this visit, people who were in this place were an equitable mix of young adults, adults and children alike. And I learned it is not uncommon to see visitors also roaming around and taking pictures in this place. I saw at least 6 separate groups of people who were just visiting the place like I was. There was a group of 5 Koreans, another bunch of four Indian-looking visitors, a Caucasian and his Pinay guide/girlfriend/lover/wife/whatever, some 6 or 8 hip-hop kids obviously from another part of the country, a family of 5 w/ grandma in a wheelchair and others more. Oh, and like any other park, there are old men with cameras who will take your pictures for a fee (though I don’t know how soon you’ll receive your copy hehe).

I approached one of the old men and he actually started to get away from me thinking he was getting in my way. But when I called out to him, he paused and willingly answered my queries. Oh this park has been a witness to many an even – including the recently unfolding even of a future premarital pregnancy since about 5 meters from us there were two kids kissing furiously I thought they were already chewing into each other’s tonsils hehe! And golly these kids, they were not even in college yet (I was sure of that hehe), their smooching included some caressing their backs that their shirts would accidentally lift. Gosh, this was really tight!

But back to things I learned from the manong photographer. Quezon Park was of course named after Manuel L. Quezon, the first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. When I asked why the monument/s were all about Rizal, his coy response was to give honor to the national hero!

Hey, it’s not common to see a monument in memory of Maria Clara, right? But in this park, there she is beautifully remembered just behind Rizal. And there is another fairly new marker pronouncing that Dumaguete was liberated by a composite force of Filipinos and Americans in 1945. Liberated from what, it does not say – but I assume the omission was purposely done to avoid mentioning the nationality of people who give us good tourist dollars hehe! Ee desu ne! I particularly like the last line in that marker… am sure after reading it, you will want to exclaim alleluia hehehe! Parang El Shadai!

Anyway, Quezon Park is the usual venue of tourism and religious activities of Dumaguete, so continues manong photographer. In fact the City Tourism Office was just about a few steps away from where we were standing – still inside the park. But of course, manong photographer explains the park is also sometimes the venue of concerts and political activities not to mention that he has already seen once a wedding reception held at this park. And all I could say was, “really?”




For a chronology of stories on this trip, click the following article numbers:

01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18
19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35


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