THROUGH the years, the Provincial Capitol Lagoon and Park in Bacolod City has remained a permanent fixture or landmark of our city. It may be under the administration of our provincial government, but we Bacoleños have the most advantage of being near this park because we get to see it every day!
Amid the growing number of new buildings around the city, this park remains to be a welcome respite from all the concrete, it’s a place where we can bring ourselves and our children to enjoy a day or an afternoon among the trees, the pond full of fish to feed and just feel the breeze of the wind.
I remember when I was small, it was just there across my Mom’s office at Virgen sang Barangay building. It was something that I would just look at, not really wanting to go there and explore. I also remember that there were years that it lacked the maintenance it needed.
I’m just glad that it stopped and finally the provincial government cleaned it up, put tilapias in the pond and the two majestic sculptures of the water buffalos with one together with a man, and the other side a woman was cleaned up and was painted with the gold color.
And once more, Bacoleños rediscovered the place and came back to jog, to walk, to bring their kids to play or just sit in the benches and enjoy the sceneries.
In the late 1980s, I remembered our music school, SOJ Music Studio, held one of our piano and organ recitals there on the stage and people came flocking to see where the music was coming from. It was one experience I will not forget (though I do not have the photos to show for it).
During my training for tour guiding in the city, there I learned more about the park (and it was not just a park). The water buffalos with the man and a woman were not just fixtures anymore, and that “monument” in front of the park was more than what I grew up with. Here I learned the history of the sculpture and the monument that we all pass by every day.
The sculptures of the water buffalo with a man at the south of the park facing north was done by Negrense sculptor Felix Garzon and the water buffalo with a woman at the south of the park facing south was done by Italian Francesco Riccardo Monti.
So there I was in awe that the sculptures have a lot of history with them, something that we can tell our children about and make them appreciate how it came to be. And that huge monument in front of the park had a name and it is called Paghimud-os and was done by Eduardo Castrillo. At the bottom of the monument is a text giving tribute to the resilience and perseverance of the people.
Now, it is such a treat for kids to go there and feed the tilapias with “pop rice” where when I was small it was a snack for me, too! Oh, to run free and enjoy being kids! To have a play ground to play with. Now the roller skate rink, which when I was like pre-teen was the only reason of going to the park to practice roller skating, is now being use to practice and play with their skate boards.
The park is now a place for those who want to jog, walk and burn away unwanted fats. It is a place where you can just sit and enjoy the trees and the warm breeze of air. We even celebrated the 13th birthday of our daughter there in the park.
I hope this park will remain as it is, be a place where the old and the new meet. Where future generations can enjoy and be in a place of history of our province. My son has been bugging me when we’re going to the park again. I think it is about time to come back and enjoy Provincial Capitol Lagoon once more!