They want to pave Legazpi Park to put up a new car park

March 20, 2019 - 2:40 PM
Legazpi Sunday Market
In this photo: Vendors and customers at the Sunday market in 2017 (Facebook/Legazpi Sunday Market Fan Page)

The construction of a multi-storey parking lot which resulted in the removal of old trees at a popular park in Makati City was denounced online by concerned residents and regular visitors.

The Legazpi Park, one of the few remaining green parks in Metro Manila, will be turned into a car park, according to the Legazpi Sunday Market’s Facebook post.

ATTENTION to all our loyal customers and supporters, the Legazpi Sunday Market soon will be moved temporarily to the…

Posted by Legazpi Sunday Market Fan Page on Monday, February 18, 2019

The local market, which became a go-to hangout at the park for more than ten years, will be temporarily moved to a smaller parking space beside the Asian Institute of Management building starting on April 7.

Facebook user Clarisse Lukban, however, lamented on the old trees being cut down to pave the way for the parking lot.

“This piece of ‘open space’ is one of the few left in the area, where people jog, do exercises, yoga, tai-chi and even rehearsals for Christmas party dance numbers,” Lukban said.

She included photos of the cutting down process on her post.

The Legazpi Village Sunday Market has been moved to the AIM grounds as it seems that in this previous location a…

Posted by Clarisse Lukban on Friday, March 15, 2019

“But most of all, again nature is being attacked. It’s just too sad that it seems that structures are more important than trees. Honestly, is this move justified?” she added.

Mara Pardo de Tavera, an organizer of organic markets in the country such as the outdoor flea market at the park, also aired her negative sentiments against the logging of trees.

Warning: no one is above the law of nature; cutting down trees is a CRIME to humanity! This is what happened to Legazpi…

Posted by Mara Pardo De Tavera on Monday, March 18, 2019

“Warning: no one is above the law of nature; cutting down trees is a crime to humanity!” she said.

De Tavera also said the trees, which were around 25 to 30 years old, have provided market goers and vendors cool and clean air.

“The heat last Sunday was a stark reminder of the value of trees and doing all ways to save them,” she said.

Vendors of Legazpi Sunday Market were informed of the new development last December, De Tavera said in an interview, and were originally given only until February to operate.

So far, the name of the contractor is not identified. It was the Barangay San Lorenzo Business Association that informed them of the market’s temporary relocation.

Diminishing parks

Aside from reducing the number of vendors, De Tavera also lamented on the commercialization of local parks in Makati city.

“The real story here is that most parks are going the way of commercialization. If Makati is the premier city, why can’t it be like New York? Central Park consists of nearly 6 percent of the borough’s land area. It’s been the lungs of the city. The community can visit the park since they have no gardens at home. There are smaller parks in New York, which amount to some 15 percent of green spaces,” she said.

She cited the redevelopment at the Ayala Triangle Gardens, one of the largest parks in the metro, wherein the green open space was paved for new buildings.

“Ayala Triangle Gardens has been reduced to a promenade,” she said.

De Tavera recalled that “to fix the Filipino diet” was her goal when she established Mara’s Organic Market or MOM at the Greenbelt Park in 1994.

The re-development of the park into the now-bustling Greenbelt 1 mall made the weekend bazaar’s first relocation into its current site and then renamed it as the Legazpi Sunday Market.

Public natural parks and gardens within the bustling metropolis are slowly diminishing due to the city’s rapid commercial development.

Last August, concerned residents sought to save the Arroceros Forest Park, dubbed as the last lung of Manila, from being transformed into a public school gymnasium.