Whatever happened to the Bacolod Public Plaza?

We all know that this kind of topic will always start with Nostalgia. But it is for nostalgic reasons why Bacoleños should be concerned with what’s happening to the ever iconic landmark that is now slowly being covered up and pushed aside: The Bacolod Public Plaza.

bacolod plaza in the 1930s

Last December 31, I went around the downtown area with my parents for our usual last minute buying of fruits and cake order pick- ups. (Which I do not recommend as vendors would raise their prices on this day)

Where the hell did the Public Plaza go? If not covered with kiosks, giant billboards would hide it from the streets.

Not many Bacoleños are aware of how majestic the plaza once was.

Who knew that the “checkered floors” were once made of marble? Do people even notice that those stone benches at the sides are harp-shaped? I bet not many would notice the Greek vases as these are now painted in green.

The plaza’s main theme is music, thus the names of famous composers like Mozart and Beethoven are placed on top of the gazebo or “band stand”.

People used to go to the plaza for a leisure stroll or watch live bands every Sundays.

the bacolod plaza in 1923. source below

Aside from the architecture and location from the church, we can see how strong the Spanish influence is in our culture by just looking at the center kiosk; which is enjoying music and life in general.

Today, people can hardly appreciate its beauty. Almost everyone tries to cross the plaza and its cobbled pavement as fast as they can, just to avoid being held up.

an early photo of my sisters and I at the plaza in 92

The only time the Plaza becomes alive is during October where Barangays gather to compete.

My concern here is no one wants to do anything with the Plaza anymore. There’s even a slim chance of seeing those fountains work. What’s up with covering it up with kiosks and streamers?  It is obviously easier for people to walk from the Cathedral to SM than cross towards the Plaza.

I have nothing against the New Government Center. In fact, it is a beauty and something we should be proud of as it is where some of our taxes go. It is also a nice to place to walk around and think!

But sometimes I feel like more attention is being paid to this newly built landmark than the decades old one that is slowly becoming irrelevant.

I’ve been complaining about not having anything to write about, when this article has been sitting in my computer for months now. So here’s the long overdue rant. I also feel like complaining about the irritating red and gold railings.

source for vintage plaza photos (click to see more!): http://www.bacolodcity.gov.ph/bacolod_city.htm


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