Magsaysay Park is built in honor of the third President of the Republic of the Philippines – Ramon Magsaysay. He was born on August 31, 1907 and died on a plane crash in March 17, 1957 in Mt. Manunggal, Cebu. It is one of the bigger parks found in Davao compared to hero/president-named parks such as Rizal Park, Osmeña Park, Quezon Park and Bonifacio Rotunda. It is located in Leon Garcia St., near the Sta. Ana Warf, away from the many parks and attractions near the oldest street in Davao – San Pedro Street.
The statue of President Ramon Magsaysay is put inside a long concrete construction about 25 meters long which serves as the main marker of the park.
Just outside Magsaysay Park are the Magsaysay Fruit Vendors Association which mainly sells Durian and other fruits abundant in Davao. Some stalls sell snacks, beverages and junk foods. The park is open every day from 5:00 o’clock in the morning until 9:00 o’clock in the evening. Vendors, animals/pets and bicycles are not allowed inside Magsaysay Park. A parking area is provided for automobiles and motorcycles in the southern part of the park.
Inside Magsaysay Park, near the entrance gate is the Pamathalaan Marker which is a symbol of the Mindanaoans commitment to Pamathalaan or God-centered Governance. The Pamathalaan Marker was designed by National Artist Napoleon Abueva, a native of Cebu and the project was funded by the Philippine Tourism Authority. Wonderfully handcrafted Durian concrete sculpture and other Davao crafts can be found inside. A playground about 200 square meters can be enjoyed by kids (and adults) everyday.
The Office of the City Internal Affairs Office is housed inside Magsaysay Park. At times, during big events such as concerts, seminars and registration of voters for elections the park gets crowded.
Fishcado, a small grill and seafood restaurant is visited by locals and tourist alike during late afternoon to evening for their sumptuous servings. A small chapel of the Nuestra Señora del Pillar is found near the sea wall. Most of the time, devotees visit the statue and pray for peace, prosperity and good health. Benches and trees surrounds the park but the most prominent are those that are found near the beach overlooking the sea, the Sta. Ana Pier and Samal Island where Pearl Farm Beach Resort and Paradise Island Beach Resort are located. Students bring their books and study here. Lovers are also seen showing some affection, mostly during the night.
The “Spirit of the Shaman transformed into a Rock” is also found inside Magsaysay Park. It is a bedrock of solidarity signified during the Kalimudan 2007, gathering of the Indigenous Peoples from Mindanao and homage to culture bearers, sponsored by the Department of Tourism XI and the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts. This collaborative installation was created by the Mindanao based Lumad artists and a Quebec based Inuit artists with the support of Kalinawa Arts Foundation.
Getting to Magsaysay Park from the City Center is easy. Just take a jeepney with a signboard of Magsaysay or Route 10 or Sta. Ana Pier or Leon Garcia. Several jeepney routes go to the parks direction and it is a known landmark so asking locals for direction will be easy.