Mati Park Baywalk, Davao Oriental, Philippines Unites Matinians

The majestic sun has just started to set in Davao Oriental, away from man's sight, and as twilight ushers in, more and more Matinians lead their way to one place that is perfect to unwind, to recapture all that transpired during the day, and to anticipate with hope the dawning of a new day.

With it's very relaxing cold sea breeze, Mati Park and Baywalk is destined to be an avenue for people from all walks of life, of all ages, of different sects, and principles to come together and seek a refreshing respite from the daily challenges of life.

Mayor Michelle Rabat shared her excitement for her plans for the Mati Park and Baywalk in Davao Oriental, despite the fact that the project is affected with Mati's reversion into a municipality, but she opted to be a little discreet with the details.

"You will just see. But as of now, the lights are installed already, and we plan to put up benches for the convenience of the people spending quality time at the Baywalk," she said.

The Mayor revealed that the Mati Park and Baywalk was one of the dreams of her father, the late Mayor Francisco "Paking" Rabat.

"It is designed to be a place where people of Davao Oriental flock, spend time together, discard all the worries and the hassles of work, and will serve as refuge for Matinians. It is also envisioned to be a place where relationships are strengthened and things threshed out" she added.

Mayor Rabat further disclosed that the development plan for the Mati Park and Baywalk covering 1.5 hectares of land area remains.

"We are starting and we hope the people understand that we are doing our best to develop the area despite our limitations. These are all for them," she explained.

The original plan embodies a mini park, income generating facilities like a convention center, recreational center, among others, all in the heart of Mati's supposed first boulevard ever.

But at the rate things are going, the local government of Mati opted to settle for the most important component of the project, and that is making a park, or mini park in the Baywalk.

The Park complements the breathtaking view of the Pujada Bay, and the serenity of the sea waters depicting the coastal resources of the sixteen coastal barangays of Mati.

One important thing is that, beneath the story of the Mati Park and Baywalk lies the untold struggle of the Davao Oriental people, of the vendors allowed to do their small business at the seaside area.

The vendors braved the coldness of the night, staying until the late hours, as Baywalk goers often stayed until the late night also, never seemed to have enough of the stars and the moon scintillating boastly, insinuating a perfect evening.

"I am so happy with these vendors because I learned that they are making a living from simple things. They can now have something that will augment the financial needs in providing the basic necessities of their family, like sending their children to school," the Mayor stressed.

While it can be said that the Mati Park and Baywalk today is still far from it's real perspective, but nonetheless, it purpose is not defied. It symbolizes the unity among Matinians, unity that will stand the test of time, and it symbolizes one people, never vociferating much, but a place to show who and what they are.

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