Cebu City’s historic Freedom Park was once a vibrant setting for gatherings and a bastion for freedom of expression where people exchanged ideas about issues. It is set to have a new lease on life with the Carbon District modernization.
As part of the joint venture agreement to modernize the Carbon District, the Cebu City Government, together with private partner Cebu2World Development, Inc. (C2W), will preserve the original location and revive the park’s original intent as an open space that celebrates the ideal of “freedom.”
This comes after Acting Mayor Michael Rama suggested preserving the park’s location in its original place, which has since become a trade center for flowers, furniture, and native products in the Carbon Public Market.
“We fully support the thrust of the City Government towards historical preservation and its vision to preserve the original location of the Freedom Park. The Carbon District is among the city’s oldest and most historic quarters, that is why we balance modernizing facilities with preserving Cebuano heritage and culture,” said Cristina Angan, C2W Director.
Honoring the original design
In order to revive the park to what it once was to the community, the area is set to be revitalized.
The new Freedom Park is envisioned to have tree lined pathways — that all lead to the “Freedom” obelisk — for people to aimlessly wander around while being greeted by the warm smiles of the vendors.
It will also have lush greenery that will give the public a refreshing park experience and a sense of tranquility amidst being situated in the heart of the bustling market.
The park will be transformed into an alluring environment that would encourage recreation, a desirable place for children to frolic, and an appealing venue for rendezvous among family and friends.
Before becoming part of the public market, Freedom Park used to be a training ground for American Military Troops during the American period. This was where drills and inspections were held at the time. Freedom Park was also where students, religious sectors, debates and political demonstrations used to be held.
In the 1960s, the place that once was known as a place of congregation slowly shifted into a trade center for small entrepreneurs.