The famous Freedom Park, currently a haven for bargain hunters, will be transformed back into a real park, the Megawide-led Cebu2World (C2W) Development, Inc. said.
The company, which is undertaking the redevelopment of the Carbon Public Market, said it will honor Freedom Park’s original design.
Upon revitalization, the new Freedom Park would have tree-lined pathways leading to a “Freedom” obelisk. It would also feature lush greenery to provide Cebuanos a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
“The park will be transformed into an alluring environment that would encourage recreation, a desirable place for children to frolic, and an appealing venue for rendezvous among family and friends,” C2W said in a statement.
Freedom Park used to be a training ground for American troops during the American period. This was where drills and inspections were held. It was also a venue for political demonstrations and debates.
In the 1960s, slowly shifted into a trading hub for micro and small entrepreneurs. At present, it is a major source of affordable flowers, furniture and handicrafts.
As part of the joint venture agreement to modernize Carbon, the Cebu City Government and C2W will preserve the original location and revive the park’s original intent as an open space that celebrates “freedom.”
“We fully support the thrust of the City Government towards historical preservation and its vision to preserve the original location of the Freedom Park. The Carbon District is among the city’s oldest and most historic quarters, that is why we balance modernizing facilities with preserving Cebuano heritage and culture,” said Cristina Angan, C2W director.
The Megawide-led company is redeveloping Carbon Market into a mixed-use complex with a 24/7 market and a lifestyle component.
The company envisions a six-block development with a wholesaler’s hub, lifestyle village, boqueria, and the Premier Galleria and the first airport in-city check-in facility in the country.
It will also feature a waterfront plaza, and the Sto. Niño Chapel and Park. On top of the chapel will a huge image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu facing the sea. (Marites Villamor-Ilano)