Worthy of being dubbed as “the best park in the Philippines“, the People’s Park in Davao continue to amaze local and foreign tourists since its opening day on December 15, 2007 (incidentally, the same day I bought my motorcycle). The opening was led by then Mayor (now Vice Mayor), Rodrigo Duterte, together with the local officials of Davao City. FYI, the current Mayor of Davao City is Honorable Sara Z. Duterte, the daughter of widely-recognized former Mayor, Rodrigo.
Davao People’s Park is one of the most expensive parks in the Philippines. Totaling to a budget of over P72-Million from its construction (excluding future renovations and additions), the People’s Park is one of the cleanest and greenest park in the whole country. It’s not as big but it’s slightly better (on a personal point of view) than Luneta Park in Manila or Plaza Independencia in Cebu.
Used to be an old PTA Ground, the People’s Park continue to educate both children and adults through their learning center found on one side of the complex. The park features a Durian dome, mini-forest and large sculptures mostly made by Kublai Millan, the same designer and co-owner of Ponce Suites, a gallery/artwork hotel located in Bajada at Roads 4 and 3 in Davao City.
Entrance to the People’s Park of Davao is free. A couple of security personnel, known as Park Rangers, are on the entrance to inspect what the visitors are bringing inside. Several other Park Rangers are roaming around to maintain peace and order. The park is a “smoke-free” zone, which means smokers caught by the Anti-Smoking Task Force will be penalized.
The first thing visitors will notice when inside the People’s Park is the big Durian dome. Many non-davaoeños don’t know it unless they ask someone what it is. At first, we thought it was just a dome with a radically distinctive design. But after asking a folk, we learned that the dome was based on Durian, a fruit endemic in Davao.
The walls of the park are decorated by “waling-waling” replicas which is lighted during night time. The “waling-waling” used to be the National Flower of the Philippines until it was replaced by the Sampaguita. Many of this orchid, dubbed as the Queen of Philippine flowers, and similar species can be found at the Orchid Farm near Malagos Garden Resort and Philippine Eagle Center in Brgy. Calinan, Malagos.
Visited by thousands of people every day, the People’s Park in Davao also housed hundreds of pigeons. These pigeons usually stay at the “Philippine Rainforest” (a small section inside the park) but can freely fly anytime they want.
On one corner of the park is the “Sunken Garden”, a gardeners haven, and the “Children’s Library”, where children of all ages can read books anytime they want.
The most notable among the large sculptures is the Philippine Eagle replica. It is a massive structure where several people can seat at the leaves underneath it. The big space of People’s Park and the clean environment makes it family-friendly and kids can also play at the children’s playground with swings, slides, monkey bars and many more.
Tables for family picnic can also be found inside People’s Park but most families choose to eat on the ground and near the ponds where large sculptures are also placed.
When in Davao, be sure not to miss this awe-inspiring park. This is surely one of the best park’s you will see in your entire life.
How to get there
From the Davao International Airport, take a taxi (P140) or jeepney (P15) going to People’s Park located at Palma Gil Street in the city center. It’s a known landmark because it’s one of the prime tourist attractions in Davao so asking for directions is fairly easy.