A year ago, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz C. Radaza spoke of her plan to build a skate park for long boarders of the city. This month, the first city-funded public skate park in the Philippines was officially opened.
The P2.5 million Lapu-Lapu City Skate Park was built to strengthen the sports tourism program of Lapu- Lapu and also to provide a more appropriate and safe place for the activity.
Mayor Radaza realized the need for a skate park when she found out of the achievement of Grupo Nopo, a group of local long boarders, and met John Rex “Dandoy” Tongco who championed the long boarding competition in Pattaya Thailand last 2012, and also won competitions in Singapore and Malaysia.
During the opening of Lapu Lapu Skate Park, skateboarding competitions were organized.
Since one of the skate park’s purpose is to keep long boarders safe, they impose a strict rule regarding the wearing of proper head gears. There are available headgears for use but they are not sufficient for the number of long boarders in the city.
The City Council might, however, devise an ordinance penalizing skaters who are on the streets. They’re also hoping that there will be a decline of youth going into drugs with the establishment of the skate park.
As for the issue of why this was given priority over classrooms, the Lapu- Lapu City officials conveyed their intentions in their Facebook Page. A part of their status explaining the issue reads:
“It is true that the city has a classroom shortage (and it is transparent about it) it cannot just pour all its resources on it while leaving other priorities at bay. the city government has to make a balancing act. There are intense efforts done to reduce the classroom shortage. In fact in the first term of the mayor, the city’s classroom shortage reduced by 30 percent. and on her second term, the target is to reduce it by 50 percent. putting up a skate park is not only to provide a playground for the youth. It is also envisioned to support the sports tourism program of the city. It will be used as venue to host international extreme sports activities. the city is now a serious sports tourism player in asia. It has hosted four international tennis tie – davis cup. and on september it will host its fifth davis cup. This year the city will host for the second time iron man with 2,200 athletes from 31 countries. This international sporting events in the city will spur tourism arrival. in fact we are now ranked second in the country in terms of foreign tourist arrival. A booming tourism will result in more jobs created, more taxes paid by businesses that will provide the city more money to build more schools. the important thing here is balance.”
Lapu-Lapu Skate Park is located in Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City behind Hoops Dome.