Thursday, December 10, 2009

San Carlos City People’s Park

My Negros Oriental Tour: San Carlos City, NegOcc
Last day (actually last morning) in San Carlos City, but I was in no hurry, especially that I learned there was yet another place to see… the People’s Park. Not that I knew what’s in there, but with the staffs of both YM Business Inn and Lola Nitang’s suggesting the said place, I thought it should merit at least a peep. Add to that, that the trike drivers and the jolly gay owner of “D’Van’s Grill & Refreshment” also mentioned it to me. Thus, I told myself I was in no hurry to leave the city, and that I should go see the People’s Park. I was told it was far at one coastal end of the city so I took a trike. Its actually not too far away from Lola Nitang’s.

Hmm, entrance alone, something told me this was/is not a so-so park! The gate and archway welcoming me as visitor looked like I was entering a suburban middle-class village (certainly even better than many I know hehe). There is signage telling that opening time is 6AM and closing time is 10PM. There is another signage reminding everyone of many don’ts (i.e., unauthorized vendors, firearms, deadly weapons, hard liquors of any kind). Plus, another signage where they have quoted city ordinance No. 16 stipulating entrance fees (P2 adults, P1.50 senior citizens and students, P1 7 to 12 years old and free if a child is below 7 years old but accompanied by an adult. Hey, trikes are allowed to enter (that only means this park has good roads) but I opted to get off at the gate so I could see and experience everything.

Verdict? WOW!

Well yeah… like you would be thinking now… I also thought I was too quick to call it a wow place just by being at the entrance alone. But I was never wrong. Upon entry (after paying my P2 entrance fee) something on the perimeter wall caught my attention. The mural. Whoa! Its big and long and beautiful, full of symbolism about things that people from this place should remember and be proud about. And those are all carved (or whatever you call it) on the cement blocks making up what should otherwise be just a boring perimeter wall. Camera was facing the sun so my shots didn’t do much justice to this huge work of art, but I can tell you, whoever made that must be an outstanding artist and craftsman!

Across the mural... and I was starting out to roam the park… there is one big elevated stage with balusters on the side and plant boxes on some spots with the name ‘People’s Park’ with nice font on the wall that seems to double as the stage’s backdrop. Notice the material that this place is made of. Again, this is not a so-so park! This stage probably serves as an area for programs or similar activities but otherwise is itself also a fine promenade and photo-op place just the same. Did you notice that milky-yellow portions of the planter-boxes? Those are not simple plain cement! The finish is corrugated evoking a native effect, like fine strips of bamboo or cogon-grass stalks/stems. Like it!

Replicas… they caught me! Ah, probably the most wonderful thing in this park! Middle of the park are grassy areas canopied by different kinds of trees (even anahaw palms, mind you) and the paths are fine non-slip kind of concrete finish. What do you see in the grassy areas? This is it… scale model replicas of the city’s landmarks. What makes them a real wow to me is that they’re not just so-so replica’s. They are big than usual. So they are fun to see and have your photos taken amongst them. Tallest is probably the height of me chest or neck! They actually serve no other purpose than just that… a display of replicas. But, to me who have seen many a flower box or fountain in many a park, these ‘structures’ are a welcome deviation! There is a ‘mini’ of their new city hall and the old city hall; the public transport terminal (including its guard-house hehe) and the farmer’s market; the auditorium and so on! Ah there’s also a replica (or is it real?) of an old locomotive circa the heydays of the sugar industry! A wonderful place, really… and that is not all of the park!

Adjacent to the replicas is a swimming pool. Ack! It was closed during my visit. But sticking my neck as high as it could, I did see a glimpse that it is not the usual rectangular kind of swimming pool. It’s a resort-like place. I asked a manong who was tending to the fallen leaves from so many trees and he told me the pool was dried out for some repairs and further improvements. And, he added one more wow bit of information pointing to the ‘canal’ below the bridge I was standing on. Water is supposedly to be flowing from that faux waterfall at the far corner and that this ‘canal’ was itself part of the ‘water-park’ thing that flows to circle around the swimming pools. Wow la! I know how it is, I could already imagine… a mini-river where folks in their rubber tubes or inflatables could just be floating along the ‘current’. Whohoa! Nice one for the folks of San Carlos. Ah the manong told me the swimming pool area has a separate entrance (P100) and managed by a private business. Good, I think. And that is not all in this park ha?!

There are many places where children can play or people can stroll and bike around; there are kiosks, gazebos, promenades, pavilions, outdoor café’s even with videoke and picnic areas! Everywhere is a photo-op, except perhaps the cafes. Why? The employees manning them probably need more exposure on professional decorum or etiquette. At one point, I bought sandwich and the attendant was just wearing a white sando - not even tucked-in. Oh, the upper portion of his gazebo is off limits cuz its his sleeping quarters and he did not yet clear and keep his things. Used some charm and I was up there amidst his pillow and blanket savoring the fantastic views (and smell of his used clothes)!At the bigger kiosk with videoke, the shirtless dudes clearing chairs and tables from a previous night's party were resting with feet up on the chair backrests while watching TV - and they had the nerve to tell me they serve lunch! Hahaha!

Click and see each of these:

The best part for me is the eastern edge of this park that hugs the sea. Yeah, its long… probably about 300 meters. The ballustered sea wall is a promenade that am sre is a grand place to be during sunrise or sunset. Ah across is Sipaway Island, so the view is even made more interesting. While there is no sandy beach, folks can just climb down the stairs to take a dip. I saw some kids and a few adults doing so even if it was already about 1030AM. Ah this is a nice place… and what a way to cap my stay in San Carlos!

Ah alright, let’s say goodbye to San Carlos, shall we?! Its time to go!!!

If you want to read the chronology of all stories on this tour, click the following:
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
36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65


  1. hi! i'm from san carlos city and i really enjoyed reading your blog, especially about my hometown. i love how you described the people's park...not everyone knows this, but the people's park is actually a reclamation area. the entire park area used to be a part of the sea, filled by soil chipped from the mountainside when they started paving the translink highway from san carlos to bacolod city via don salvador benedicto. :)

  2. hi tin,
    thanks for dropping by and double thanks for educating me about the people's park. quite a splendid way to make use of excess earth from making that equally splendid highway crossing the island.

    your cupcakes look flat but delectable hehe. hope i get to taste them one of these days

  3. hi,

    I come from san carlos city. thank you for visiting my home place.


  4. hi! thanks for visiting our place. the locomotive is not a replica. it's real! :-D

  5. I enjoy what I read. Sadden by the negative comment though.
    That should be addressed in a timely manner before others experienced what you experienced. It isn't safe to feed on something noticeably unsanitary! Thanks for bringing this up in your blog! Honesty and true to your words is greatly appreciated! San Carlos City is the place where I grew up. Our house or shall I say, my parents house is adjacent to this park with the red-white-blue painted gate. :)

    1. ... before others *experience (instead of experienced)
    2. ... true to your wors *are (instead of is)