The senior citizens’ program by the Cebu City Government is one of the reasons why I love living in this city. I am not yet a senior citizen so I don’t know what it feels like receiving the benefits of the program, but the feedback from people who are members of the program is a testament of how successful the program is. Also if you’ll check the Cebu City Government’s page on how senior citizens can get their IDs, they indicated the amount of time each step of the process takes. I don’t know if the process is really that efficient, but at least senior citizens can have a basis for their complaint if their application takes longer than what was indicated in the web site.
On a Sunday afternoon, for a lack of something new to do, my boyfriend and I went downtown to check out the Senior Citizens’ park located at M.C. Briones St., across the back of the Cebu City Hall, facing the South Reclamation Project. According to the tarpaulin erected at the park, the park was a product of a private-public partnership and the City did not spend anything for the project, except for the labor cost. At 4PM that Sunday, we spotted only two senior citizens sitting in one of the benches. At around 5:30PM, the park got more crowded, but I was not sure whether more senior citizens were there. I love the idea of the park, but maybe it could be improved to include more shady trees or shaded benches? The park is for senior citizens, after all, and they might not like to be sitting under the heat of the sun (or under pouring rain).
At the center of the park is a small fountain. The fountain, according to the tarpaulin, resembled the fountain at the Fuente Osmena Circle, with the child holding a fish statue at the top. The three clams at each side used to belong to a fountain located in between the Magellan’s Cross and the city hall. It was good that the clams were preserved and repurposed for this fountain.
The building neighboring the park will also be revived to accommodate a museum showcasing the influence of Chinese in the city. I’m looking forward to that. And I’m also hoping plans of a maritime museum will also push through.
This picture was taken from the side of the park facing the SRP. Had the area remained how it was years ago, the park would have been a very fitting location for senior citizens coz I can think of The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway.
The city hall side along MC Briones St., actually a long strip of road that begins at the Carbon Market and ends at the junction of the SRP road, in front of the Malacanan of the South building. Region 7’s Bureau of Customs’ web site said MC Briones St. was formerly known as Calle Commercio. In 1960 and earlier than that, Calle Commercio has already been renamed to MC Briones as this web site who provided detailed information about the Tres de Abril uprising in 1898 and this 1972 case already referred to the street as MC Briones. This picture of old MC Briones has a note that said “Calle Morga.” Whatever it was called, it is good to know that the place was not left to rot further.