The Bacolod Public Plaza has been the centerpiece of all Bacolodnon activity for ages. Back in the 70's and even in the 80's, the Bacolod Public Plaza is the hub for Family Sundays. After going to church at the huge cathedral, people flock to the black-and-white checkered square to relax, eat some dirty ice cream, fly balloons, and have their pictures taken.
I remember as a child being fascinated by the stoic beauty of the bandstand, just standing on a larger-than-life chessboard sprawled all around it. I used to enjoy frolicking with the seemingly alive stone statues drenched in fountain showers. I could almost feel the very presence of President Manuel L. Quezon the day he planted the half-a-century old tindalo tree.
But these days, as I basked in the morning sunshine in the Bacolod Public Plaza (undeniably the safest time to snap pictures without worrying about a possible snatching), gone is the magic of old when these same statues used to sparkle in a mesmerizing play of water and lights weaving wondrous awe to children from 1 to 101.
The stone statues are now literally stoned dry as their blank eyes gaze out in a feeling of helplessness as they stand eternally trapped in a dry pool of neglect.
It all goes to show that the Bacolod Public Plaza these days is as lifeless as the city itself is artless, having no home for the arts and culture. The wholesomeness of the heart of Bacolod City has long been corrupted with shady deals and characters that abound.
What a sad, sad state indeed, as sad as the stone lady's bowed head forever mourning the death of the unknown soldier, or of the Bacolod Public Plaza.