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ZAMBOANGA | Paseo del Mar [mix|u/c]
Paseo del Mar: A flashback
Wednesday, November 28. 2007
The Construction and Development Corporation of the Philippines (CDCP) was established in 1966 by virtue of an executive order during the administration of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. It was granted a 50-year franchise to commission and perform construction works throughout the Philippines. In 1977, Presidential Decree No. 1113 was issued, granting the CDCP a 30-year franchise to operate and maintain the various limited-access toll highways in the Philippines. The CDCP changed its name to its present name the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) in 1983 after the infusion of additional equity from the government since 1981.
The CDCP reclaimed area at the back of Fort Pilar has its own history. Its does not speak about the Spanish period nor the Japanese occupation. It has its beginnings during the construction boom in the late 70s which brought about the light construction industry in the Philippines, to include the City of Zamboanga. The place was the unloading berth area of the company where all construction materials were unloaded and piled. There was an attempt to build a hotel in this reclaimed area. It was never realized and eventually the area became a notorious slum area for other nefarious activities. It was during the administration of the late Ma. Clara Lobregat that the City Government was able to acquire the lot and now the City of Zamboanga owns it. The past administration’s idea was to convert the area into public park but the idea did not push through for some reason or the other. It was the present administration which has the political will to develop the area and converting the place into a tourist haven with
a team of professionals who did the planning and designing.
Likewise, we all know, when a medical team conducts a surgery, there are number of medical doctors of varied specializations who will conduct the operation just to save the life of a one patient. The same is true in the legal profession. In order to save the life of a person there is a team of lawyers who will try to convince the judge in a trial to spare the life of the one who committed the acts. In the architecture profession, in order for a project to become successful; a team of architects is needed to come up with a more reasonable, buildable and successful projects. As for the CDCP development at Fort Pilar, there were several attempts to come up with its development but nothing was realized. The failure of the past administration to come up with a responsive idea for the development of CDCP did not prosper maybe because of the unavailability of good ideas that would more or less satisfy the Zamboangueños who were particularly concerned with the development. This included the professionals involved in
the design and planning. It was Mayor Celso Lobregat who had the will power to initiate the project. The mayor knew that hiring architects from outside the city will cost the City Government a big amount of money. That’s why he decided first to risk by calling for a Design Competition sponsored by the City Government in coordination and cooperation of the United Architects of the Philippines, Zamboanga City Chapter and participated by our local Zamboangueño architects to come up with a multitude and better ideas for its development while still preserving its historical and architectural heritage nomenclature. The response was prospective and enormously positive. The participants in the Designs Competition of the CDCP came from numerous local architects who are “true blooded Zamboangueños’” and who want that this place La Bella will once again shine with pride. Headed by no less than the multi-awarded Dean of the College of Architecture of the Western Mindanao State University, Architect Domingo A. Abarro III,
FUAP, assisted by Arch. Manolo L. Tatel, UAP, led the other team members composed of professionals in the academe from the colleges of Architecture and Engineering through its College’s Research and Community Outreach Programs who came up with the present design. The design speaks of tomorrow's Zamboanga City where every object haa its own meaning in time and place. These include the lights where the effect at night is necessarily special more so when the background is the seascape. By going through the Paseo del Mar people will feel the freedom to make himself feel good and experience the therapeutic effect brought about by the design of the place.
In going into the Paseo one is welcomed by the well-lighted eight-arches entrance where the marker of the place is embedded on an open slate rock, designed to harmonize the era of the Fort – thus bricks were used on the ground and columns of the arches. This continues on until the end of the walk – where steel benches are strategically located where one can seat on as well as the granite seat wall to rest or witness the dramatic sunset facing west and also have a good view of our busy city port area. Two steps higher than the walk, which also serves as seats when needed, are well–sited stretched membrane roofed concessions where one can buy delicious snacks, food and drinks to refresh, and energize while resting and enjoying seated under the umbrella protected chairs admiring and appreciating the panoramic view of the area. The area is designed for the whole family to enjoy leisurely brisk walking, casual jogging, resting and relaxing during early mornings and late afternoons of the day. During the night the
multi-colored decorative lamp posts give a festive atmosphere where one can unwind with friends, officemates or one’s family after a hard day’s work, under the starry sky and with the comforting, soothing breeze coming from the Basilan Strait. It is a watering hole for the young and not so young to enjoy, experience and cherish under the protection of the native-inspired uniformed cops who will provide 24 hours security to the paciantes. A Tourist Center is located beside the main entrance to inform and guide tourists. Strategically located portable plastic comfort stations are there to serve you when you have to answer the call of nature. This is just a piece of the “iceberg” planning and designing done and intended for the area which was envisioned to harmonize with the Spanish architectural heritage nature of the place. At the same time, introducing new development compatible to and connecting the past with the present and the future for global appreciation and offer unique experience.
Paseo del Mar was once an issue to some critics but their observations were fruitful, for they gave inspiration to the designers to come up with a more successful design. There are people who want to give all the credit to the designers but the local architects do not want to get all the credit for their effort in coming up for the design. The credit must go to Mayor Celso Lobregat and his administration and likewise for his untiring effort and his political will to pursue the project despite the antagonism brought about by the project. We are also thankful to him, for giving the local creative architects the opportunity to ascertain and prove themselves by coming up with the beautiful design despite the numerous limitations. Thus, showing the world that the “Zamboangueño Architects Can”.
Location of the upcoming natural aquarium:
Location of the under-construction 25m-diameter dancing and gyrating fountain:
Actual site of the fountain:
The park will also house the Archive Building of Zamboanga:
Paseo del Mar expansion underway
A P33.4 million two-storey convention center with more than 500 seating capacity is now under construction at the City’s most popular site-the Paseo del Mar.
The said building is the newest development in the complex since the construction of the additional 4 stalls last October 2010.
According to City Engineer Luis Despalo the construction of the multi-purpose convention center started last month and projected to be operational next year.
“Actually, the project’s duration as far as construction is concerned is one year. However, with the emphasis of Mayor Lobregat to hasten all projects at hand, we are positive that the construction will finish earlier”, Despalo pointed out.
The building will have a touch of Spanish-American architectural design since it is within the Heritage Zone. It has mini-theatre type audio-visual room that can house about 50 persons, convenient for film showing and other gathering where visual presentation is a highlight.
On top of that, it will also have a multi-purpose function room and one concession designed for fine dining services.
According to Assistant City Administrator Elmeir Apolinario, the building will be under the care of the City Administrator’s Office as far as maintenance and operation are concerned.
“As soon as it will be operational, it will be opened for public booking where they can hold conferences, trainings and other gatherings”, Apolinario said. — Richard Aliangan/City Hall PIO
Zambo City gov't builds P33.4-M convention center
Monday, July 18. 2011
ZAMBOANGA CITY — A P33.4-million two-storey convention center with more than 500 seating capacity is now under construction at this city's most popular site -- the Paseo del Mar.
The Paseo del Mar, which is located at the back of the historic Our Lady of the Pillar Shrine, is the newest tourist attraction of local residents as well as visitors of this southern port city.
City Engineer Luis Despalo said the construction of the multi-purpose convention center started last month and is projected to be operational next year.
"Actually, the project's duration as far as construction is concerned is one year. However, with the emphasis of Mayor Celso Lobregat to hasten all projects at hand, we are positive that the construction will finish earlier," Despalo said.
He said the convention center will have a touch of Spanish-American architectural design since it is within the Heritage Zone.
He said the center has mini-theater type audio-visual room that can house about 50 persons, convenient for film showing and other gathering where visual presentation is a highlight.
On top of that, he said it will also have a multi-purpose function room and one concession designed for fine dining services.
Assistant City Administrator Elmeir Apolinario said the convention center will be under the care of the City Administrator's Office as far as maintenance and operation are concerned.
"As soon as it will be operational, it will be opened for public booking where they can hold conferences, trainings and other gatherings," Apolinario said. (PNA)
The four new stalls:
Courtesy of AileenApolo.com
The convention center:
Credits to the owners of the photos