* the man behind the park: Filemon Perez
A longish vacation gives one relative freedom and ease to move or act at his or her own pace. Particularly on travel. And so while almost all of the free TV channels are covering the visit of Pope Francis, an unplanned trip to Lucena was done. Target? that big park in the city proper that I have seen in my mother’s photos when she was young: Perez Park.
* posing opportunity
Perez Park lies on the wide grounds right in front of the Quezon Province Capitol. The land was donated by the family of Filemon Perez, a celebrated governor and public servant in his time but more importantly, a native of Lucena.
* park views
* a special space for President Quezon in Perez Park
This big park is divided into what I will call sections. The first section (on the extreme left if you are facing the provincial capitol) contains amenities for children and young people: swings, seesaws, climbing bars, and a small circular space for skateboarders. (That last one is unfortunately absent in San Pablo.) The second and third sections generally contain what you will find in a park such as wide grounds for children to run and stone benches. The last section has a big fountain (which I suppose would be impressive when turned on owing to its size) and a monument for the late President Manuel Quezon, himself a native of the province. Behind his larger than life statue is a reconstruction of one of his famous messages. Entitled “Message To My People”, it speaks to the Filipinos of the Philippines and its meaning and value for them. This was probably penned during the wartime.
* the imposing Tayabas, now Quezon Province Capitol Building
Quezon Provincial Capitol
Standing imposingly nearby is the Quezon Provincial Capitol, on the grounds donated too by Atty. Filemon Perez. It used to be called Tayabas Capitol. It was concretized based on the plans and designs by the architect consultant provided by Public Act No. 1637. By 1930, it was refurbished and enlarged at the same time during the time of Governor Leon G. Guinto. The renovation was finished in 1935 during the term of Governor Maximo Rodriguez. It was destroyed during World War II but was fortunately restored through the U.S. Philippines Rehabilitation Act of 1946. When Republic Act No. 14 was enacted that changed the name of the province to Quezon it was finally named Quezon Provincial Capitol.
* sunset view in Perez Park
For someone in need of a breather in the south, then Perez Park is for you.
[How to go to Perez Park, Lucena City, Quezon: If coming from Metro Manila, you need to board a bus bound for Lucena. You can drop off at Brgy. Gulang-Gulang or what people call Diversion. From there, you need to board a jeep bound for ‘Bayan.’ This jeep will pass by Perez Park and you simply have to ask the driver to drop you off near the place.]