The city government of Taguig, which is home to the Bonifacio Global City and the ARCA South business districts, has managed to turn dumpsites into lots that showcase “probinsyudad” living.
The lots, located in Barangay Lower Bicutan, were once filled with trash but have been converted into two parks – the 600-square-meter Taguig Lakefront Community (TLC) Park and the 2,500-square-meter Taguig Integrated Urban Farm.
“We’ve always wanted to stay true to our ‘probinsyudad’ principle, striking a balance between modernization and tradition, advancement and the environment, urban and rural,” Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano said in a statement.
“It comes naturally that we convert unused, vacant or abandoned lots so that they work to the benefit of our people and our understanding of the kind of city we are,” Cayetano said.
A makeover turned a dumpsite into the TLC Park, which was inaugurated in 2014.
“We are creating a place where every visitor — regardless of their social status — can enjoy themselves, with the company of their families or friends,” said Taguig Manpower Training Center officer-in-charge Maria Anabelle “Bingle” Santos, who spearheads the management of what has been turned into a destination for many Taguigenos.
TLC Park has traditional Filipino games for youngsters, a train ride for toddlers, biking for families, film showings for the barkada, all free of charge. Hoopers could use the basketball court while students could study or practice there.
Park personnel have conducted daily afternoon classes for kids who have become regular visitors, teaching them basic literacy, good manners, and songs and dances.
A much bigger land conversion project right beside the Lakeshore Hall, is known as the Taguig Integrated Urban Farm. The farm, launched in December 2017, now marries the urban with the rural, when for years it served as a garbage dump.
The urban farm showcases various methods to do farming: vertical farming, wooden rack and pole gardening, which can be learned in a bamboo classroom dedicated to urban agriculture.
It has a coffee shop and an orchidarium surrounded by fruit-bearing trees and vegetables.
The harvest does not go to waste, according to City Agriculture Office officer-in-charge Emelita Solis.
“Our produce usually goes to the feeding programs conducted by our local government and, in some cases, to different institutions, like Bahay Pag-Asa and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology,” Solis said.
The farm exhibits sustainability, wise land use, livability and food security for Taguig residents and visitors, she added.
“We’re trying to teach people that all this is possible in the city setting. You can turn neglected spaces into places of engagement or showcases of livability. You can carve out in-city spaces so you can take people’s minds off all the hustle and bustle, and provide them a place to slow down, breathe deep and appreciate life,” said Cayetano.
TLC Park, located at 393 C-6 Road, is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday, except holidays, while the Taguig Integrated Urban Farm is located beside Lakeshore Hall in Barangay Lower Bicutan. (PNA)