Exploring Magsaysay Park

Magsaysay Park is one of the large parks in Davao City, at three-hectares it is the second-largest urban park in the city next to the four-hectare People's Park.

It is located in the eastern edge of Davao City Chinatown district, facing the park is the Chinatown's Unity Arch. Along the park's walls is the famed durian row where stalls sell varieties of durian.

American colonial-era planners envisioned wide avenues (Roxas) and boulevards (Quezon) for Davao City, open spaces like parks were planned particularly a vast waterfront promenade and park that spans the seaside area along the boulevard. However only Magsaysay Park remained of that green space when nearby Mini-Forest which was a shaded tree park gave way to a settlement in the early 80s.

Magsaysay (Uyanguren) Avenue and the Arch of Unity delineates the city's chinatown.

Durian Stalls

The park was built in the 1960s in honor of former President Ramon Magsaysay, who died in a plane crash in 1957. The Philippine Veterans Legion built a 25- meter landmark which contains a life-sized statue of the late President below the apex of a three-pillared obelisk.

In the 1990s the park underwent a massive renovation funded by the Philippine Tourism Authority, aside from landscaping, buildings were constructed where spaces were leased to tenants particularly food concessionaires and government offices.

The park hosts government offices like the Commission on Elections and the Davao City Investment and Promotions Center.

Inside the park, several pieces of installation art can be found, aside from memorials and historical markers.

The durian sculpture and the Pamathalaan Marker.

A historical marker of the Sta. Ana wharf which is located adjacent to the northern
perimeter of Magsaysay Park. The wharf was built in 1903.

The Spirit of a Shaman Transformed into a rock. This installation art was put up in 2007 in time for Kalimudan or gathering of indigenous peoples.

A replica of the Nuestra Senora del Pilar Shrine in Zamboanga City which was built in 1985.

The seaside promenade. The city has only two seaside promenades, the other one is the privately owned Queensland Baywalk in Matina.

After its rehabilitation in the 1990s. Magsaysay Park has seen better days and needs a makeover, several areas of the park are unkempt and neglected. In some portions of the park particularly the seaside promenade, you can find uncollected trash and litter.

The amphitheater appears neglected
The City is eyeing to develop the park, there are also plans of converting portions of the park into a Chinese garden since Magsaysay Park is within Davao City Chinatown. Hopefully any future developments will preserve the trees and add more greenery, as one of the city's largest parks, Magsasay serves as one of its green lungs in a rapidly urbanizing city.

Drone view of the Magsaysay monument

The Kadayawan Village, a collection of 11 indigenous huts representing the 11 tribes of Davao City. Built for the celebration of the 32nd Kadayawan Festival, plans is for the village to be a regular attraction in Magsaysay Park. 


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