BAGUIO

Fernando: Children’s Park

Paradigm

AFTER attending a celebration of child dedication and a birthday last Sunday, I brought my three-year-old daughter to the children’s park as she wished. The downpour of rain forced us to stay in the shed along with many families who went there for a family day reverie. The sky was a gloom so one by one the families walked away.

My daughter and I and a family with two children were the only ones left when two love birds entered the shed, sat across the bench, and cuddled. The father next to us looked at me, murmured something, and shook his head. This is what my students were telling me, the Children’s Park is no longer the place it is supposed to be. It has now become an open-spaced hotel where couples, especially teenagers, spend moments of scandalized sensual pleasure.

As soon as the raindrops dwindled, the parents waved us good bye and I was left there with my sleeping daughter, to deal with these two thick-faced creature rubbing skin against each other. They surely loved the rain, its drizzle, and cold because it drove the children and all families out from the park. Something’s telling me I had to do something but I was taken aback by fear because of my daughter’s safety. The male creature might retaliate for a lot of reasons.

I presumed it is difficult to reason out with him because first of all, their action was devoid of reason. I was there looking at them directly, not wanting to show any inconvenience because it might give them confidence to express their lust all the more. I would not give them the comfort of convenience. From time to time, I looked at the open park hoping to see a roving guard that I may explain a component of their tasks.

The drizzling suddenly stopped and that’s when I convinced my daughter to go back some other time to the park. She wanted to go the slide but I showed her the damp on the area. We were walking away when the two creatures transferred to the other side of the bench where it is more hidden. I was ridden of guilt of not doing enough to confront them but I have to pacify myself by thinking of my daughter’ security.

I could not risk the safety of my daughter at the expense of these creatures. I am just worried of their confidence in doing it. I am convinced that their confidence shows that it was not the first time they did it. Dating, including what occurs beyond dating, happen in this place, in this Children’s Park. It is just so sad and frustrating to think of it knowing that there are four guards taking care of the place.

We walked past the vendors in the biking section, spoke with one of them, pleading to notify if one of the guards is to be seen, about the disgrace taking place in the Children’s Park. The vendor consented my sentiment and assured me to do it once a guard or a more concerned citizen appeared. My daughter asked me to see the fish but once again disappointed to see none of them due to the brownish color of the lake water. We passed the group of photographers chatting. I asked them if a guard happened to walk by to tell him/her about the dishonor taking place at the park. I was told, guards are hard to come by when it’s raining. As my consolation, they promised to advise the person in-charge regarding my concern.

People from all over the province, even from neighboring provinces, visit Children’s Park to allow their children to have fun. The family next to me drove all the way from La Union. To see couples and partners cuddling and caressing each other in the middle of the day, in the cold of the night, and in the heat of the sun, in front of children and families, is just a glaring sore eye and an embarrassment to the city. I heard this thing has been going on for a long time.

The problem is, this case is being ignored, not maybe totally but most of it. If the government can come up with a program that once apprehended, these couples undergo a talk about sexuality, it would be helpful. I am very much willing to provide my service in giving one of these talks as my contribution to eradicate these cases. Last Sunday was not a good experience in the Children’s Park for me and my daughter, and it is not because of the rain.


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