Ramon Magsaysay Park: Take A Walk With History
Magsaysay Park is located in Davao City and it is a beautiful landscaped public park that is on a huge sprawling expanse that faces the clean and clear blue waters of the Gulf of Davao with the island of Samal in the backdrop. While there are a lot of parks in Davao City, this park is still the favorite of the locals and it is also frequented by foreign tourists, friends and families for an afternoon of calm and leisurely stroll, or simply just to hang out and bond. This city landmark was made in honor of the most-loved president of the Philippines, Ramon Magsaysay who, in March 17, 1957, passed away in a plane crash in Mount Manunggal on Cebu Island while he was on his way to Manila. He was the third President of the Republic of the Philippines.
At the center of the park is the tri-pillar obelisk-like concrete tower that is 25 meters long and it contains the life-size statue of President Magsaysay which serves as the main marker of the park. The monument was built through the efforts of the Davao Chapter of the Philippine Veterans Legion and it was turned over to the city government of Davao on July 31, 1960. Beloved by the Filipinos, President Ramon Magsaysay is hailed as the “Idol of the Masses” because he was the first among the presidents who opened the gates of the Malacanang Palace to the Filipinos. He was born on August 31, 1907.
The park features a lot of amenities like an open-air amphitheater which serves as the regular venue for public parties and discos during Sundays which can accommodate up to 2,000 people. There is also a restaurant, a cooling station, several food kiosks, ornamental plants stalls, souvenir and handicraft stalls, a skating rink, a children’s playground, an open-air chapel, and a secured parking area which is located at the southern part of the park. It is also the location of several tourism offices, the regional office of the Department of Tourism, the Philippine Tourism Authority, the Department of Foreign Affairs Regional Passport Office, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Philippine Information Agency, the Samal Island Tourism Estate Project and the DXRP Radyo ng Bayan.
The open-air chapel of the Nuestra Senora Del Pilar is located near the sea wall of the park. Many devotees visit the statue to pray. There are also a lot of benches and trees that surround the park, but the most prominent ones are those that are along the seawall overlooking the Gulf of Davao.
Near the entrance gate is the Pamathalaan Marker, it is a symbol of the people of Mindanao and their commitment to a God-centered governance designed by the National Artist Napoleon Abueva. The project was funded by the Philippine Tourism Authority.
Inside the park is a sculpture of the “Spirit of the Shaman transformed into a Rock,” it is a bedrock of solidarity that signifies the Kalimudan 2007, it is the gathering of the Indigenous People from Mindanao and it pays homage to the culture bearers, sponsored by the Department of Tourism XI and the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts. This collaborative installation was created by the Mindanao based artists and the Quebec based Inuit artists with the support of the Kalinawa Arts Foundation.
This park is a popular venue for trade fairs, cultural shows, craft sales, creativity workshops and public forums. It is also visited by students from the different parts of the city for educational field trips and tours. If you wish to visit this park, you can do so by flying to Davao City, you can then take a taxi and tell the driver to drop you off to the Ramon Magsaysay Park.