“Not just an industrial city”
The 5,000 sq m. sports park in Barangay Wawang Pulo is complete with an obstacle course, an amphitheater, a kids’ playground, and an outdoor gym – the first open-air sports park in the city not only designed for athletes but also for those who want to enjoy the open, green space Valenzuela has to offer.
With health protocols still in place, Valenzuela City continues to invest in its public parks development as an essential infrastructure that will eventually be very beneficial now that open areas are preferred over enclosed indoor spaces due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While parks are still closed to observe the quarantine restrictions in the metro, Valenzuela City Mayor REX Gatchalian stays true to the city’s liveability initiatives he has carried out under his leadership, “In the near future, all of this [COVID-19] will end we will be able to enjoy our green spaces and parks again… Liveable City developments will continue while we wait for the day this pandemic will end.”
Its newest public park, Valenzuela City Sports Park, was inaugurated this July 12 as part of Dr. Pio Valenzuela’s Birth Anniversary Activities.
“Si Dr. Pio palagay ko noong nabubuhay siya and naging public servant siya… Ang dream niya siguro sa Valenzuela is isang maunlad na lungsod na inklusibo at walang naiiwanan… So ang layunin natin hindi pwedeng maiwanan itong bahagi ng siyudad natin na ito dahil dito tayo nagsimula. Dito nagsimula si Dr. Pio,” Mayor REX said as he paid tribute to Dr. Pio who hails from the Old Town Polo area of Valenzuela City.
Valenzuela City Sports Park is funded by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) through “Green Green Green”, a public open spaces assistance program which is a counterpart of the “Build Build Build” infrastructure development program of the national government.
“This sports park was built para naman hindi puro konkreto at semento ang Valenzuela City kundi may green spaces din… Now we want to put emphasis na may Valenzuela bukod sa mga pabrika. May mga open spaces ang Valenzuela at areas kung saan pwedeng magtipon tipon ang mga pamilya,” the City Mayor adds.
The sports park now stands on the then public plaza or oval of Barangay Wawang Pulo near its 3S Center and the Wawang Pulo Elementary and National High School. It was used to be called as the Wawang Pulo Elementary Track and Field, fondly remembered by locals as a “plain and open piece of land” in their barangay that is also a go-to place for outdoor activities and strolling.
As the sports park is specialized for Obstacle Course Racing (OCR), the City Government of Valenzuela also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation, Inc. (POSF) to ensure the successful implementation and delivery of the local government’s Youth OCR Program.
POSF will be providing OCR training, facilities, and events while the city government is responsible for the introduction of OCR to public schools through the Department of Education, organizing and supporting inclusive OCR activities for the kids, youth, and students from the special education curriculum, and funding of the program.
Apart from Valenzuela City Sports Park, Valenzuela City also unveils that a new park will welcome Valenzuelanos in Barangay Arkong Bato which will be built together with its newest Disiplina Village – Disiplina Village Arkong Bato (DVA).
Arkong Bato Park shall complement the ongoing rehabilitation and restoration of one of the City’s major heritage icons – the notable stone arch historically named “Arkong Bato” in the boundary of Malabon and Valenzuela. In addition, Dr. Pio Valenzuela’s Residence is also undergoing rehabilitation to preserve the City’s cultural and historical landmark.
“Nagiging tema na natin dito sa Valenzuela na yung programa natin kailangan sustainable, kailangan nakakatandaan natin kung saan tayo nanggaling. Kasama sa tema ng mga programa na ito ay yung paggunita sa kasaysayan ng Valenzuela City… Naniniwala kami na dapat sustainable at liveable ang Valenzuela City para sa bawat mamamayan… Kailangan ang buong kapaligiran natin sustainable, liveable, at kaaya-ayang tirhan,” Mayor REX shared.