The city of San Fernando in La Union province is strategic. It is close to the seas and that same time enjoys the proximity of the mountains. To have a commanding view of the city, one may climb up the high grounds where the provincial capitol building is found. I don’t know exactly the name of the place but upon going on the top you will be given a visual treat of the city.
* behold the Freedom Park
* a journey of a hundred stairs begins with as single step
* posing for freedom (park)!
* the sun peeping through the greeneries
What I did was walked south along MacArthur Highway until I reached the street leading to what they call the Freedom Park. This park, composed of a flight of stairs going up a hilly area and of statues of some of the prominent figures in Philippine history, was constructed during the tenure of Governor Juvenal Guerrero between 1968 and 1975. There was also a signage in the place stating that it is also called the Heroes Hill Park. It would be better if you visit this place early in the morning. It’s not just for the fact that you may use it to trim down some fat (by running up and down the stairs). To see the sunrise from this place is simply superb.
La Union Capitol
If you try to climb beyond the stairs of Freedom Park, you will find yourself in the area of the Provincial Capitol. Beware only of some stray attack dogs (fortunately I was able to go past one when I did my climb). The monolithic La Union Capitol is good place to have a view of the city. If the view from Freedom Park is already stunning, how much more from the rooftop of this relatively high building? In the lobby you will find an exhibit about the past governors of the province and on the center is the provincial seal and a bust of Don Joaquin Ortega y Joaquino, the first civil governor of La Union, installed to the seat on August 15, 1901l. It is highly possible that the place is recently constructed. Besides the obvious fact that it has all the touches of modernity, a small marker notes that the building was reconstructed through the Philippines Rehabilitation Act of 1946. So the old one must have been part of the casualty of the liberation of the city during the last days of the Japanese Occupation.
* Pransis sa Pagoda
* views of San Fernando City, La Union
Filipino Chinese Friendship Pagoda
Another good place to visit which right beside the capitol is the Filipino Chinese Friendship Pagoda. A place symbolizing the harmony between Filipinos and Chinese, it has a relaxing atmosphere good for meditation in the early morning or for breather whether solo or in group. Needless to say, I made the visit solo. On a relatively higher ground is a pagoda where there is a more stunning view of the city. It may have been on an impulse but I immediately climbed up the railings to take photos of the grounds below. Ah, the wonders of nature indeed! The lingering fog and the rising sun made the visit all the more worth it.