Time to transform Intramuros into a park for Manila | Inquirer Opinion
LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Time to transform Intramuros into a park for Manila

/ 05:00 AM November 15, 2023

I write to you today with a vision for a brighter and more sustainable future for our beloved city, Manila.

It’s no secret that the city has evolved significantly since the idea of an Intramuros golf course was first conceived way back in the ’50s. While at the time, it may have been a bright idea, today, our urban landscape has transformed, and our priorities have shifted.

Intramuros, with its rich history and cultural significance, has always held a special place in the hearts of the people of Manila. Over the years, we’ve witnessed an ever-increasing number of pedestrians flocking to Rizal Park and Luneta, seeking the solace and rejuvenation that comes from open spaces. These spaces have become essential oases amidst the bustling city life, where residents and visitors alike can find the breeze and joy of an open environment.

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I wholeheartedly believe that it’s time to transform Intramuros into something even more magnificent—a great park, a haven for all, and a space that embodies the essence of our city. The “Pearl of the Orient” deserves a great park, and Intramuros’ open garden space can be the answer to what we currently lack. My vision is to create a beautiful park, extending from the Del Pan Bridge to Plaza Lawton where the rich tapestry of our city’s history can blend seamlessly with a lush green environment, open to all.

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As you may know, the world’s great cities have one thing in common—they boast great parks. London has its Hyde Park, Madrid has its Retiro Park, and New York City offers the resplendent Central Park. These spaces have become the lifeblood of their respective cities, offering a retreat from urban congestion and a place for the community to gather, socialize, and enjoy nature.

My proposal is to embark on this ambitious project by initiating the planting of 1,000 trees. These trees will serve as the initial foundation upon which we can build our dream park. As they grow and flourish, they will provide a breath of fresh air and an embodiment of hope for the people of Manila. Can we fathom something similar, a park that will evolve and mature over the years, becoming an integral part of our city’s identity?

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This project is not just about creating a park; it’s about shaping the future of Manila. It’s about ensuring that our city remains a vibrant, welcoming, and forward-thinking place for generations to come. I urge you to consider this vision and for all to take the necessary steps to make it a reality.

I look forward to the opportunity that this proposal will prove positive, in transforming Intramuros in the great park Manila deserves and needs.

JUAN JOSE BERENGUER TESTA
Chatham House Building
Salcedo Village, Makati City

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TAGS: Intramuros, Letters to the Editor

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