CONGRESS wants to stress the cultural importance of Burnham Park.
Baguio Representative Mark Go filed a bill seeking to declare the Burnham Park as National Heritage Park underlying its historical and cultural value anew.
“In realizing our common vision to strengthen our foundation, we need to preserve our rich cultural heritage for our next generations, For over a century now, Burnham Park has become part of progress and prosperity of Baguio City. Indeed, Burnham Park deserves to be recognized as a cultural heritage park,” Go said.
Go stressed the Philippine constitution mandates the state to conserve, develop, promote and popularize the nations historical and cultural heritage resources, as well as artistic creations.
“It further provides that all the countries artistic and historic wealth constitutes the cultural treasures of the nation and shall be under the protection of the state,” he added.
Go said the park is one of the most famous parks situated at the very heart of the city of Baguio. Amidst the city’s many twisting roads and rolling hills, Burnham Park is distinct for its geometrically and symmetrically designed stretch of levelled ground. Named after city planner and American architect, Daniel Burnham, who designed it in 1904, Burnham Park has served many generations of families, both residents and tourists.
“After many design improvements made over the years, the park is now composed of cluster areas. The Ibaloi Heritage garden, the manmade lake, the children’s playground, the rose garden, the Igorot Garden, the orchidarium, Sunshine park, Pine Trees of the World Park and various picnic spots such as the picnic groove, the Melvin Jones Grandstand were various events are held, the athletic bowl where athletes train and compete and historical symbols such as the Japanese peace tower.”
In 2015, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines [NHCP] wrote to the Baguio Heritage Foundation Incorporated [BHFI] announcing the approval of recognition of Burnham park’s historical significance.
The NHCP then led by executive director Lodovico Badoy proposed the installation of a marker for the park to represent its recognition and value for the public to see and asked for comments on the text to be put on the NHCP marker.
The BHFI has been at the forefront of opposition to parking and high-rise structures to be installed at the park and has long invoked its historical and cultural significance to city hall stressing it should remain as an open space for all to enjoy.