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Intrinsic Creation for Public Recreation

Essay by   •  June 1, 2018  •  Case Study  •  5,168 Words (21 Pages)  •  245 Views

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Chapter I



Rationale of the Study

Park, a large area of ground set aside for recreation. The earliest parks were those of the Persian kings, who dedicated many square miles to the sport of hunting; by natural progression such reserves became artificially shaped by the creation of riding paths and shelters until the decorative possibilities became an inherent part of their character. A second type of park derived from such open-air public meeting places as those in ancient Athens, where the functions of an exercising ground, a social concourse, and an athletes’ training ground were combined with elements of a sculpture gallery and religious center. (The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 2007)

Parks are large open spaces with a pleasantly-looking landscape and relaxing feel suitable for everyone regardless of status.

Park creation has always been an expansion of our belief in the concept of community, a way of including tomorrow’s generations – not just for parks, open space, recreation and preservation, but also for pride in heritage, inspiration, peace opportunity, and personal fulfillment. (La Page, 2012)

In his article in, the online news portal of TV5, Jorge Mojarro (2015), cited that Parks are the lungs of the city. They are the ideal place to relax on weekends after a stressful work week, they cool the city, they clean the air, and they relieve “massification” and gentrification. Parks provide intrinsic environmental, aesthetic, and recreational benefits to our cities. They enhance property values of the surrounding areas and make the city more attractive. 

In addition, a park can become a visual focal point, where some of the city can be observed. It can include several important monuments and have a symbolic meaning. At the same time, it can be a place which is included in the daily life of its users. (Cohen, 2001)

In Cebu, a historic province and the hub of the Visayan Islands (Guillermo, 2012), there are three major parks located in the heart of the city. These are Plaza Independencia, Plaza Sugbo, and Fuente Osmeña Circle.  

Plaza Independencia is a name that would certainly ring a bell to every Cebuano because of the many facets it has come along over the years. Before it became “Plaza Independencia”, it has been called many different names. Its history is displayed in a tablet-like plaza marker situated near the entrance, with words -

“In the early 1600s the park was called Plaza de Armas, a public square used as military training and parade grounds. When it was expanded later to reach nearby properties of the Cathedral of Cebu it was called Plaza Mayor. Later in the Spanish rule it was christened Plaza Maria Cristina in honour of the reigning Queen. During the American colonial period, its name was changed to Plaza Libertad, acknowledging the liberation from Spanish rule. Finally, when the colonial masters had all left, it became Plaza Independencia.”  

It is strategically located between Fort San Pedro and the building that used to be the Gobierno Provincial in the downtown area of Cebu. The plaza is a popular hangout for many living or working around the area. It is one huge garden filled with trees, ornamental plants and flowers. There is also a public skating rink and a kiosk at the center of the circular skating rink. An obelisk dedicated to the memory of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the first Spanish governor-general of the Philippines, is planted at the very heart of the plaza. The age-old acacia trees are witness to the many phases and stories of Cebu’s rich history. (everythingcebu)

During the Spanish era, the plaza was a hub for many civic activities such as military parades and ceremonies as Fort San Pedro used to be a Spanish garrison. Also, the plaza was a witness of the Warwick Barracks when the Americans took over. (Alcazaren, philstar 2016)

At present, Plaza Independencia is a place with renewed landscape and proper waste disposal containers, a place for gathering of different social groups and place wherein people have an open space for activities such as exercising and other outdoor activities. Its rehabilitation was under the administration of the former city mayor Hon. Michael Rama by virtue of Executive Order No. 08-87 of February 20, 2008 also known as Plaza Independencia – Fort San Pedro Interim Policy and Advisory Board (PIFSIPAB). However, after the national election held last May 10, 2016, the PIFSIPAB was abolished and its operation and maintenance at present is under the Cebu City Commission on Parks and Playgrounds headed by Dr. Librado Macaraya Jr.  

Next significant park in the city is Plaza Sugbu. It is that area in between the Magellan’s Cross (behind the Basilica) and the Cebu City Hall. It was rehabilitated to ‘beautify’ the downtown district of Cebu City. The project included the renovation of Plaza Independencia, the renovation of the Cebu City Hall, as well as the creation of Plaza Sugbu (Cebu Plaza) and a pocket Police Station. After the renovation and creation of Plaza Sugbu, we can now notice that all paving stones in the area were changed. We can now also see landscapes in front of the Office of the City Mayor. The area has also become a walking-district and PUJ’s and private vehicles are no longer allowed to pass in the area. (

Also, Plaza Sugbo grounds have been a venue for “Tugbong Tabo”. It was launched in 2015 by the city councillors Alvin Arcilla and Alvin Dizon who sponsored the City Ordinance 2365 or “An Ordinance Institutionalizing a Weekly Weekend Market at the Cebu City Hall Grounds.” The project aims to help the farmers to sell their Agricultural harvests such as fruits, vegetables and other farm products directly to the consumers sans the middlemen. On this way, it will augment the farmer’s income and will benefit the consumers for availing the products at a lower price. (

Another major park in the city is the Fuente Osmena Circle. Cebu's Fuente Osmeña is a fountain and a park located inside a rotunda along Jones Avenue and General Maxilom Avenue, Cebu City, Philippines. It is built in honor of the late President Sergio Osmeña, the patriarch of one of Cebu’s most prominent political families and the fourth president of the Republic of the Philippines. Considering his contributions to society, he is considered a favorite son of the province. (

The circle has been inaugurated in 1912 however, it has been said that the fountain was built in inauguration of the City's new water system. Since then, it has evolved into a symbol of Cebuano's courage and pride. (



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