“New Malcolm Square” inaugurated

Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Congressman Mark Go, Vice-Mayor Edison Bilog, councilor Elmer Datuin, budget officer Leticia Clemente and legal officer Melchor Rabanes led other officials and guests during the inauguration of the newly-renovated and rehabilitated Malcolm Square last Thursday.

Also known as People’s Park, it is named after American Justice George Malcolm, who spearheaded the creation of the city’s charter.

The activity started with the Baguio City High School Band regaling the crowd with Christmas carols at around 3 pm followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony by city officials then blessing rites performed by Fr. Manuel Flores, Jr. of the Baguio-Benguet Diocese.

A formal program ensued highlighted by the Yuletide Messages of the Mayor and Congressman where they both extolled the “New Malcolm Square” as a world-class people-friendly multi-function events area that residents and visitors to enjoy and also take care of.

Doves were also released by city officials symbolizing important values that needs to be inculcated and practiced by everyone.

Architect Aries Go, who designed the area free-of-charge, said he observed similar facilities in other countries to learn what’s best to adapt for the city.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan earlier said the P8.9 million project that began last April is expected to restore the area into its original status as a plaza for various public and private activities.

Datuin, who proposed the restoration project, said it was high time to restore the old grandeur and intended purpose of the area as a plaza and open space ideal for all kinds of events.

Among its features are a collapsible and movable stage, bigger capacity audience area, areas ideal for arts and exhibits while the sitting area usually occupied by senior citizens will be retained including the Malcolm bust.

The city buildings and architecture office that prepared the program of work describes the project as follows:

“The project reimagines the park as an open space allowing for multiple types of activities. The wedge shape and gradual slope of the site is taken advantage of by introducing a stepped surface that may function as platforms for viewing during speaker-led events and a stage for others;

“The space would also allow for mobile stages and setups to be fabricated anywhere within the square allowing it to be used for different purposes such as theatrical performances, concerts, fairs and art exhibitions;

“The main square is distinctively defined by randomly striped dark grey and white monolithic tiles. Striped grass and pavers, new timber clad benches and a pedestrian street at one of the edges;

“This street on the south side would accommodate the heavy pedestrian traffic from Session Road effectively extending it and gentrifying the area. This could eventually spur the redevelopment of the building s around the square and introduce new destinations for tourists and locals.”

The project also included the rehabilitation of the drainage system and construction of a rainwater catchment retention cistern for flood control.-gaby keith