New York’s Central Park, Madrid’s El Retireo — where’s ours?

05:03 AM October 24, 2018

Since 1986, I have thought of the urgent need to motivate friends to consider calling for a great park in Manila, where pedestrians can enjoy the flora and fauna the country has in abundance.

I wrote letters to the press yearly with the same message, but no reaction came. Not yet the time, I told myself.


A recent trip to Nara in Japan provoked again the need to see if there are visionaries for this adventure. Nara Park is a gift of God, made by men with vision and purpose.

No doubt this idea will take many years, but if we start now, future generations will be grateful for having been left a truly wonderful gift for them and the city. Not to do so will be a painful letdown for them.


There is a new thinking that parks do matter in today’s world.

Other global cities have their own parks: Hyde Park in London, Central Park in New York, and El Retiro in Madrid.

The city of Manila has the ideal open space where we can begin this legacy for our next generation: the Club Intramuros Golf Course, which should give way to a more dynamic civic purpose.

Our tourism suffers mainly because our city has little to offer.

A park starting from the Pasig River and ending at Plaza Lawton [now known as Liwasang Bonifacio—Ed.] can revitalize our mind and spirit, and recapture the character of our nation.

JUAN JOSE BERENGUER TESTA, PD Chatham House, [email protected]

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TAGS: Inquirer letters, Juan Jose Berenguer Testa, Parks
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