Photos courtesy of Jonathan Benitez.

The provincial government is planning to develop Eulalia Park into a local art hub that will showcase the province’s heritage, history and culture.

Provincial culture and the arts program manager Ceasar Sammy Magbanua said they have formed a joint technical working group between the city and the provincial government supported by USAID working to develop the area.

“May joint technical working group na ang na-develop with the help of USAID para sa development ng area na yan. Kasi parang yan ang magiging historical bubble ng ating city, heritage and historical area ng ating lugar,” he said.

Magbanua said they envision the area around Plaza Cuartel, the old NBI building, Eulalia Park, and the Governor’s residence to be a historical hub similar to the famous Calle Crisologo in Vigan city, Ilocos Sur.

He noted that properties such as the Plaza Cuartel, Eulalia Park, old National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) building and Rizal Park are all owned by the provincial government.

“Most of those properties kasi kung di nyo alam ay pag-aari ng provincial government. Yong Cuartel, yong Eulalia Park at even yong Rizal park, old NBI building even the West Central School that used to be property of the province and we still take ownership of those properties, di naman siya na-give up,” he said.

“But of course with the present good relationship between the city and the province, we would rather not dwell kung sino talaga ang may-ari nyan,” he said.

Magbanua said that the basketball court at Rizal Park will be transferred to the site where the ongoing construction beside Eulalia Park is located. The two barangay halls beside the park will be joint in one building, Magbanua said as part of the plans.

He added that the provincial government is also planning to convert the Governor’s residence into a museum.

“Yong governor’s residence ay iri-restore din ng provincial government at hopefully will be converted into a museum or pwede magkaroon ng events doon at the same time café shop o souvenir shop,” he said.