Tuesday, February 17, 2015

TRAVEL | Suroy-suroy sa Fuente (Fuente Osmeña, Cebu City)

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The Fuente Osmeña fountain, with remnants of Christmas in the foreground.

Never really thought much about it. Throughout my college years in Cebu City, Fuente Osmeña has always been just one of those places that's just...there, hardly an attraction to me, though we did loiter around there several times before. But one night while in the city recently, I just thought of taking a stroll there with Kwittiegirl after a filling dinner at Larsian. Suroy-suroy 'ta! (Let's go take a stroll!)

The night was a little chilly, perfect for a leisurely stroll. Because it's a rotunda and traffic is therefore free-flowing around it, crossing the street to get there takes a bit of courage and timing. At one of the gates I noticed this worn-out marker with a QR code:

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Scanning this QR code redirects you to a page containing more information about the place.

It's a digital tourism project by InnoPub Media and supported by Smart Communications, Inc. where they partner with local governments and create tourism-relevant online content. Markers like this are set up in various places of interest around a partner city or town. Each marker includes a QR code that, when scanned, redirects the user to a page containing more information about the attraction. Aside from Cebu City, InnoPub has also already partnered with other municipalities across the Cebu province, Iloilo, and Baguio.

After all these years it was only then that I learned that the fountain in the middle of the Fuente Osmeña Circle was built in 1912 for the inauguration of the city's first waterways system. Before that it was just another fountain to me.

So I went inside and gave the fountain a closer inspection.

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Making my way through one of the walkways leading to the center.

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Yeah, baby. This was built in 1912. Glad that it's been maintained pretty well after all these years.

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I've never even noticed the carvings towards the top of this structure.

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Sure, it may not be the most fantastic fountain out there but this one has some historical significance nonetheless.

I still remember back in the day when the concrete area immediately around the fountain served as a skating rink, that quite a number of people would come here just to skate. Back then Fuente also attracted (and apparently still does!) lovebirds who would find themselves a bench and spend hours talking about sweet nothings to each other. On weekend mornings the sight of individuals and small groups alike doing some exercise also wasn't uncommon.

It's really a small park, and although the grass and plants haven't been well-tended, at least all the trees are still there. But really, Fuente could use some serious sprucing up.

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The Sinulog was just over when we were there. Whatever trappings there were at Fuente, they were in the process of dismantling everything then.

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Hihihi...

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While I was amused with the vandal, I felt sorry for what was behind it. It used to be a drinking fountain, which we really don't have much of anymore.

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Some things never change. All seats taken. Hello, lovers's lane!

Our little suroy-suroy around Fuente brought back some memories, and I found myself looking at what have become of structures and establishments I used to know. The old Dunkin Donuts frequented by students studying is still there, I see Orange Brutus, Robinsons, and some new names.

And as with Sinulog seasons past, they've again set up shrines on select streets around the circle in honor of the Sto Niño (the image of the Child Jesus), Cebu's patron saint.

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The Crown Regency Hotel as viewed from the Fuente Circle.

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Orange Brutus is still alive and kicking -- 24 hours a day!

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This temporary shrine was right at the tip of Jones Ave.

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The Sto Niño.

Next time I should check out Colon Street and the rest of downtown Cebu, maybe visit my alma mater even.

4 comments:

  1. This looks like such a great place. That fountain is so beautiful.
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