The rotunda with its magnificent fountain still remains an iconic symbol of Cebu. Designed by Architect Parsons in the early 1900s, the original plan had 6 lanes connecting to the rotunda, resembling that of the design of the Arc Triomphe in Paris, France as the center with several roads connecting to it. But, when Parson left for Paris before the development was completed, only 4 of the lanes were realized. Critics blame not having the 2 other lanes as the reason why Cebu is experiencing heavy traffic. But that hasn’t stopped Cebuanos from enjoying the rotunda.
The fountain with the surrounding green creates a relaxing atmosphere, an oasis of sorts in the midst of rush hour commutes so by day, Fuente Osmeña became the destination for city people to enjoy their morning exercise. At night, it transformed into the venue for romantic dates and after-hours bonding of colleagues.
With its central location, it was also a favorite area for different public events. As Cebu has grown, we’ve seen events spreading out across the metro to even places far from the city center such as the South Road Properties (SRP). But Fuente Osmeña definitely had its heydays when it was THE go-to place for concerts and shows, even political gatherings. Even if it’s no longer the first-choice for every event, it still remains on the list of choices for venues. Recently, it was where Michael Rama declared a “‘Debt-Free Cebu!’ Promised Mayor Rama,” at his last State of the City Address last July 4, 2015, Saturday, which we wrote about in a previous article.
It was once the center of activity surrounded by hotels, Cebu’s first mall, banks, a casino, branches of popular fast food restaurants and other business establishments. While some of those establishments are now gone and some have been added, economic activity is spreading to other parts of the province with the range covered by urban development increasing. Fuente Osmeña may no longer be the core of it all that it once was but still remains a sentimental and, again, iconic symbol of Cebu.
Photo credits: Facebook account of Cebu City (Queen of the South)