The sea breeze gently ruffled the leafy Talisay trees lining the shoreline of Iligan City’s Centennial Park in Barangay Dalipuga. Our group has just finished the hike from the nearby Dodiongan Falls and we were looking for a place to relax and while away the afternoon.
The Centennial Park is a favorite among the Iliganons for picnics and quiet afternoon respite. Facing the western sea, it provides a breezy place where locals just generally hang out and spend time doing nothing. Small sari-sari stores line the road parallel to the park, but if you’re not in the mood to walk, vendors selling Filipino snacks like baluts and chicharons also frequent the area.
Like most parks in the Philippines, the customary Filipino revolutionary hero is present along its grounds. Here at the Centennial Park, a beautifully crafted statue of our National Hero graces its grassy lawn.
The area stretches for about half a kilometer. Walk further north and one would come across a concrete wharf that extends towards the sea; perfect for lovers wanting a bit of alone time. But one has to note that everything you do can be seen from the park grounds, so better keep your lovey-dovey moments at General Patronage.
Bags were laid down and snacks were unpacked. The group stretched out and watched the incoming waves from the sea, waiting for the sun to dip below the horizon. Stories were passed and the adventures or misadventures of the past few days were relived. We lazed around the grass embankment and simply enjoyed the afternoon.
The beach facing the park is pretty rocky, but it didn’t stop a few of our friends from dipping and swimming along its warm waters. The shoreline is mostly made up of rocks and corals stones. It can rough a swimmer up pretty good if the waves are strong, special care must be taken.
And finally, the sun did begin to descend. Tripods were set up and cameras were mounted, everyone’s attention suddenly turned towards the sea. From the horizon of Iligan Bay, one can discern the warmth of the setting sun as the blanket of clouds spread with yellows and oranges. The tides began to turn.
There was no ball of fire to be seen, there was no spectacular light show; but the heavens did light up with warm hues. The colors of the fading day didn’t last as long and was gone faster than we can say hallelujah. But it was enough for me. It is my first sunset in Iligan City and I’m looking forward to a few more.
Iligan Centennial Park
Address: Butuan-CDO-Iligan Road, Sitio Mapalad, Brgy. Dalipuga, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
Entrance Fee: None
GPS Coordinates: +8° 19' 12.30", +124° 14' 52.77"
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