Part 10 of the Libotero Baler Roadtrip series
From the Baler Fishport, we went back to the town proper and our first stop was at the Quezon Park.
Lots of parks have been named as such but this one couldn’t be named any better as this was where no less than Manuel Quezon was born!
The heritage marker reads, “On this site of this town, Baler, was born Manuel Luis Quezon, 19 August 1878, Indomitable crusader of Philippine Independence and Social Justice, Great and Fiery Statesman, Dynamic and Far-sighted Leader, and True Patriot, Son of Lucio Quezon and Maria Molina, Became a soldier in 1899, Lawyer, 1903; Member, First Philippine Assembly, 1907-1909; Resident Commissioner at Washington, DC, 1909-1916; President, Commonwealth of the Philippines, 1935-1944; Died at Saranac Lake, New York, 1 August 1944.”
A sitting Manuel Quezon greeted us as we entered his park
Oh, hi there!
It’s a pity that Mr. Quezon’s view is only that of a bare concrete wall…
I tried to touch and make-“akbay” the statue of Manuel L. Quezon for the cameras but then, I was surprised that the statue was sizzling, scorching HOT! I immediately got my hands off the hot thing… I then learned that it was made of some kind of steel and not concrete… Para akong paru-parong nasunog nang nakipaglaro sa apoy… Hahaha…
Within the park is a replica of a “bahay-kubo” where Manuel L. Quezon was supposedly born and grew up.
The MLQ Kubo
An empty board in one of the rooms
And what’s this supposed to be? A “bodega”?
Interestingly, there’s also a mini-lagoon/pond within the park. In contrast to Ermita Hill, I don’t think it’s well maintained though, although I did see some Koi fish in those murky waters.
And this is supposed to be a mini-zoo? Seeing that the cage was open, I got in but I didn’t stay long as I was afraid that a snake might be in there somewhere, LOL.
The centerpiece attraction in the park is the Museo de Baler.
Our visit fell on a Sunday so the museum was unfortunately, closed. I heard that the museum had some genuine relics on display, such as the original bells of the old Baler Church and a human skeleton found in a prehistoric burial site plus recent additions such as the materials, costumes and props used in the filming of the movie, Baler, starring Jericho Rosales and Anne Curtis..
On the facade of the Museo de Baler building is a set of murals aptly called as the “Baler Historical Mural”. These murals depict the more-than-400 years of the Philippines under Spanish colonization, from their arrival until the Siege of Baler, “Los Ultimos Filipinas” (or the Last of the Philippines), where Spanish soldiers defended and protected the Baler Church for at least a year after the Spaniards have turned over the Philippines to the Americans. Also seen on the mural are images depicting progress and development in Baler and in other towns of Aurora.
Senator Edgardo Angara, a proud “Balerian” commissioned Sculptor Toym Imao, whose other notable works include the Andres Bonifacio statue at the Bonifacio Historial Shrine in Maragondon, Cavite, among others, to do the murals at the Museo.
During the dedication of the murals last 2008, Senator Angara was quoted as saying, “This mural I dedicate to the youth of Baler that they may always remember and strive to emulate the valor, self-reliance and quiet heroism of their ancestors who all lovingly cared for their children and aspired to give them a better life.”
The quiet Quezon Park, full of trees and open spaces, is a perfect place to unwind with the family on a Sunday afternoon..
The Quezon Park and Museo de Baler are located in Poblacion, Baler, Aurora.
(…to be continued)