Cagayan de Oro as a ‘little Paris’-A A +A
Straight from Carolinas
Saturday, September 7, 2013
I LOVE Paris and I am enamored of its beauty.
I am at a loss on how to describe it, it has rendered me speechless. If it was a woman, then Paris is a woman of substance.
I'll try to describe it best for you. But before anything else, let me tell you firsthand that Parisians love their heritage and they don’t destroy it for development or any other reason.
The historical grandeur of Paris is apparent in the magnificent architecture that dates back to the 18th century. The sites to see and visit are but ancient reminders of France's history in the two World Wars.
Paris houses a resplendent collection of artifacts, silverware, porcelain and handmade relics that date back to the affluent Renaissance era.
I was torn between taking pictures and savoring the sights whether on the left or right. There is much to discuss but for starters, let's talk about the Seine river (pronounced as la send by the locals.)
The Seine River is located at the left wing of Paris, cutting 500 miles through its center. The river is shallow and it is said tourist boats and commercial barges in the city appear bearing passengers and goods anytime of the year.
Though the river is slow and shallow the city government built “steep stone embankments in 1910 to prevent occasional floods. The embankment serves many purposes.
Tourism traffic can be found on both land and sea. Visitors can either take a boat cruise, ride the buses or walk by foot to traverse Paris.
The embankment I think is now the boulevard where people jog, walk or stroll. In Cagayan de Oro, our counterpart will be the Carmen River.
Straddling this river is the Ysalina Bridge, which I think should be preserved and its surroundings developed.
I understand that there is now a “Duaw park” that opened to the public before the feast of St. Augustine last August 28.
Opening the park is a great idea of the present Moreno administration and I hope they sustain its development and maintenance. The stretch from city hall to the right or Burgos Street including “Isla de Oro” should be well paved and maintained.
Then from the river bank in front of city hall, city hall planners can coordinate with The Safer River project of Liceo de Cagayan University in developing the river.
It should be acknowledged that the school was way head of city hall in campaigning for awareness of and the need to preserve the Carmen River.
It is interesting to note how the previous Emano administration had zero ideas and work on developing and protecting the river. The Liceo de Cagayan University Safer River project should be followed through and sustained by the present administration.
Then area to the left of city hall near the Cathedral can also be developed for tourism and preservation purposes. Surely an arrangement can be worked out to help the vendors and settlers there.
For those who secured titles from the Land Division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) the City Government can expropriate their lands.
Tourism is a big business especially if the local government would make it as a priority. I learned that in Paris about two percent of every business permit paid goes to fund the preservation of heritage sites.
I think the money was not pocketed because I saw for myself how buildings, including the bridge and its embankment, were preserved and have now become tourist landmarks.
A tourist guide told me that Paris underwent a massive city planning and the fruits of that planning can be clearly seen by both native and visitor.
It behooves upon Cagayan de Oro City officials to collaborate with the private sector in developing and preserving the city and its river as tourist landmarks.
Love of heritage is serious business.
I dream of a Cagayan de Oro that can be described as a “little Paris of Asia” in the near future. In the meantime, while you are reading this, I am taking in the sights and savoring the sounds of Paris. Merci!
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 07, 2013.