Last Saturday, May 16, I, together with other OpenStreetMap contributors, went to Tagaytay City for a mapping party (check out my fellow mapper’s blog post about it to learn more). The area assigned for my team to map was the eastern portion which includes the People’s Park in the Sky. On a whim, I checked Google Maps and was pleasantly surprised to find that there’s a high-resolution satellite imagery for the park. Sadly, the rest of the touristy Tagaytay City isn’t covered.
People’s Park used to be called “Palace in the Sky” and was the ostentatious architectural project of former President Marcos. Just like Coconut Palace built for Pope John Paul II and the Golden Mosque built for Libyan strongman Muammar al-Gaddafi, the Palace was (based on various web sources) built in the 1980s for U.S. President’s Reagan’s state visit that never materialized (due to Marcos’ political problems).
Photo by yours truly.
Anyway, the palace is now in ruins (although there is an ongoing renovation there, starting with the roof, when I went there) and as a park, there’s not much in the park itself save for several souvenir stores at the ground floor of the palace, various picnic tables, and a Marian shrine. Well, people don’t go here for the park, they go here for the view. And what a magnificent view it is! People’s Park is built on top of Mt. Sungay and it is the highest point on the Tagaytay Ridge. On a clear day, you can see Taal Lake, Laguna de Bay, and Manila Bay as well as Mount Makiling, Mount Banahaw, the mountains of Lipa, and the Maragondon Mountains. The park is very near the border of Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas, and you can see those three provinces as well as spot Metro Manila, Rizal, and parts of Quezon.
You can fault Marcos and Imelda’s extravagance but you can’t fault their good taste in location.