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People's Park in the Sky
Tagaytay City
People's Park in the Sky is located in Mt. Gonzales, Tagaytay City overlooking the whole of Tagaytay and the neighboring provinces. It was once envisioned to be the Palace in the Sky or the vacation house of the family of the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos with a budget of US$ 10 million. A round-the-clock construction started in 1981. It was stopped when former senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. was assassinated in 1983. The triumph of the Edsa Revolution also relinquished the dream of completing the project. The place was abandoned and was declared structurally risky. Shanties proliferated along the highway leading to the area. In 1994, President Fidel V. Ramos instructed the DOT secretary to rehabilitate the "palace." By January 1996, the plan had not moved. The President then ordered the immediate rehabilitation of the "palace" to serve as a "People's Park" to be enjoyed by the poor and ordinary tourists. With this directive, the Tagaytay City government assumed the major role.
The take-over of the LGU produced significant results in a span of three months. Squatters were relocated and traffic and waste management were established. Weeds were cleared, existing structures were cleaned and dilapidated buildings were demolished. An access road was constructed including an asphalt overlay, rip rapping and installation of quadrails along the road. Streetlights were installed. Park facilities include souvenir stalls, fishpond, wishing well, lover's lane, amphitheater, 360 degrees viewing deck, centennial hall, museum, a grotto, fruit stalls, comfort rooms and parking areas. Income opportunities flourished among local vendors who sold food and souvenir items in the park. At the same time, it provided income for the city. Net revenues in 1996 was Php 2.9 million and is estimated to generate Php 5.6 million for 1999. The park is managed by the LGU with the Tourism Office at the helm of operations. It is open from 8:30 am to 7:30 daily including Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. More than two million local and foreign tourists had visited the people's park.
This program is recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Programs in the 1999 Galing Pook Awards.
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