Our public spaces, becoming a public dump

Where have our public spaces gone? So many years ago, we had a living and breathable public spaces, public parks and beaches that families could enjoy a lazy Sunday. Where the families could just relax, frolic, cool down and enjoy the sceneries and each other’s presence.

One example which I’d like to think as the first victim of our own progress is the Times Beach. So many years ago, one can take a dip without worrying of disease and garbage. And it is not only that, nearby beaches are just a “shell” of themselves. Pardon the pun, you know, shell and the beach?

Are they now no more?

The pueblo started off with a carefree attitude that ended up with the city and everybody pinching their noses just so not to breathe the offensive smell. Are we victims of our success that resulted in urban sprawl? While the government is not neglectful in implement laws to curb garbage, but there still much to be done and desired. And that also begins and ends with us, the public.


So many years ago, I was aghast with our “tingi” culture. But everything in over retailed down goods to make everything affordable, but the plastics ending up in our soils, streams and our seas. We have to stop this over retailed down consumerism and package goods and make use of the “reusable” consciousness the vogue again. There was nothing wrong with using lampin or all those (I wouldn’t want to go into so much specifics, you know what I mean). They have been used by the generations of the past and there was nothing wrong them. The disposable culture that has marked the decades, has filled our lands with so much trash to last so many generations.

So many years, I remember my parents would store every container they got for some future use. And I think your parents have done that too. If you remember a part of Ma-a and the diversion road was a landfill, that every time we passed those parts have us pinching our noses so we don’t smell it. Temporary and fleeting solution for a long term problem. I felt happy when they moved the landfills somewhere. It was NIMBYism (not in my back yard) reaction. But I know somebody else is suffering for that move.

When I posted the Magsaysay Park, it sent off a rush of memories to most, but were dismayed when seeing the now and then photo.

Sorry, this is not a rant, it is just that, as we experience growth, something falls under the cracks, or something else suffers. There is a mad dash to the cities looking for work. I wouldn’t to blame the anybody for that, as everybody needs work to survive. It is not only our city, it is a global problem. Garbage, and the proper disposal of it, needs seriousness.

Lastly, I still hope we can reclaim all our public spaces. To make our own lives breathable again.

Thanks to Bagani to the 1990s Magsaysay Park photo, to Bong Mijares to the then and now of the same park, to j&b photo for the 1950s Times Beach (featured photo).

4 Comments Add yours

  1. gsilvosa63 says:

    That’s the Times beach that I remember. I used to bicycle there from gsis early in the morning and take a dip before heading back home. Alas, that was a long time ago and just a dim memory. We also used to catch fish by the shore ( baling, if I remember the term correctly) and eat it after a quick roast over open fire with rice.


    1. Our choice was always either Talomo or Times, but only till the early 80s. But as Davao got too congested and most beaches got too contaminated, the farther we got. Then, Samal and St John became the choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Emelina Quintillan says:

    When we were doing a research about the development of Davao, we went through old handwritten books kept in the old Caraga church. I learned that the old original families in Davao City came from Davao Oriental – the Monteverde, Palma Gil, Hizon, Cervantes, Solana, etc. Those from the native tribes were being baptized even at age 40 years, got married or had their children baptized in the Caraga Church. Some immgrants from the Visayas married some of those from the ethnic tribes of the Mandayas & Bagobos who later moved to areas around Davao river that is now known as Davao City. I never found out what the Spanish writers (maybe the priests) called “sumatins” who came down from the mountains. I don’t know if the writings of Ernesto Corcino & Heidi Gloria who studied the early history of Davao still survive.


    1. Hi, their printed books are still out there and still being read.


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