On a weekend backpacking trip to Cagayan de Oro City, dubbed as the City of Golden Friendship, I chanced to have passed by an imposing monument right at the heart of the City. I asked the cab driver to wait for me as I took my time taking photos of the park. My university buddy Jai Santos prodded me to take time and immersed myself in the scenery as it is early morning.
The Vicente de Lara Park is where I have seen the meaning of the Provincial Government’s commitment towards its own heritage and to include, freedom of the press. Journeys and Travels have just seen it for the first time and I was rather impressed.
The Heritage Monument was designed by National Artist Eduardo Castrillo. National Artist Castrillo has been in the era and in the world of art for the past 40 years. As the only national artist who have professed immense cultural influence outside of the Philippines, Castrillo is the best man for the historic Heritage Monument, which until now, remains to be the most photographed landmark in the City of Golden Friendship.
What impresses me much about the Vicente de Lara Park, formerly the McArthur Park, is its own manicured landscape. The Park however was renamed to its former Provincial Governor though historically, the park was first named after General Douglas McArthur who also landed in Cagayan de Oro after escaping from Corregidor en route to Australia. Governor Vicente de Lara is the political lineage of now Senator Teofisto De Lara Guingona III and of course, his illustrious father, former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr.
The Vicente de Lara Park is situated in front of the Provincial Capitol of the Province of Misamis Oriental and has long been under historical transformations as the moniker has once illustriously graced its City Plaza.