The island of Mactan may be known as the Historic Resort City, but there’s more than just relaxing beaches. There’s a list of cafes, restaurants, and shopping malls that make the island a must visit for any tourist.
It also has a selection of budget friendly parks with different things to offer. The huge open space surrounding the Mactan Shrine has hosted many prestigious events, like the Kadaugan Festival. The Mactan Newtown is also very similar to the IT Park in Cebu City, with their own food park inside.
They may garner less attention compared to other tourist spots on the island, but as you know, parks are usually the go-to place for friends and families who want to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.
In what was once known as Opon Plaza, the newly renovated Plaza Rizal showcases an array of fun and colorful features that make the park enjoyable for both children and adults.
THE RENOVATED OPON PLAZA IN MACTAN
Though some of the park’s previous features remain visible, the small changes in color, design, and ambiance make it stand out in terms of appealing to the general public. Students can meet up for school activities or projects, barkadas can stroll around or have a picnic, and parents can bring their kids to have fun in the playground.
The park is located behind the Birhen sa Regla Church, arguably the most famous church in all of Lapu-Lapu. It is known for hosting masses for the Traslacion during the Sinulog Festival.
The park itself was once a regular open space, with a couple of benches, some tall trees, and a small playground. The overall redesign, mixed in with colorful artwork, adds to its appeal and character.
In the middle of the quadrangle is a barricaded blue fountain. It is one of the first things you will notice when you enter the park, especially at night, when the lights illuminate the surrounding area.
Kids can definitely look forward to having fun at the newly constructed playground. Parents can join in on the fun or relax on some of the benches while watching over their kids to ensure their safety.
The bleachers in front of the fountain are used for special events held at the plaza, where the audience members can have a front row seat to all the action. There is also a statue of Dr. Jose Rizal at the top.
At the entrance of the park are several chess tables. There aren’t any pieces to play with, but you can bring your own. You can also be creative and use rocks that you can find around the park.
The park is quite far away from the main highway, where you can find most of the business centers, restaurants, and hotels in Lapu-Lapu City. There are several small stalls and cafeterias nearby, so you can have some light snacks during your visit.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Cebu City, your best option for public transportation is by taking a V-Hire at Ayala or SM City Cebu. Get off at the terminal across the Super Metro. From there, get on a jeepney that will pass by the Birhen sa Regla Church. The park is only a walking distance from the church.
If you can’t find a jeepney, you can also hail a taxi and ask to be dropped off at the church. You can navigate the park through apps like Waze and Google Maps.
Many travelers prefer to stay on the island of Mactan because of its proximity to the airport, but its best resorts, hotels, and shopping centers can be pretty expensive. Plaza Rizal is one of the best budget friendly attractions within the city, and it’s fairly new, so there’s a lot to look forward to.
The park is pretty easy to locate, and many people will be familiar with it. It’s a great place to visit no matter what time of day, no matter what day of the year.