THE OLD NAYONG PILIPINO

The picture was taken at the old Nayong Pilipino, a cultural theme park, during our field trip in 1987.

The Nayong Pilipino theme park, dubbed the first cultural theme park in Southeast Asia, was conceptualized by former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos. Hence, by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 37 issued by Former President Ferdinand Marcos, the Nayong Pilipino Foundation, which primarily operated the theme park, was created in November 1972.

Before its temporary closure in 2002 to allow the expansion of Terminals 2 and 3 of the NAIA, the old Nayong Pilipino had been occupying 22.3 hectares near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Consequently, the original 22.3 ha intended for the theme park was reduced by 9 ha, which paved the way for the taxiway construction and service road to be utilized by the said airport terminals.

Initially, the cultural theme park had six zones or regions to showcase different famous tourist destinations in the Philippines.

As a result, the said expansion and construction greatly affected four cultural spots or zones in the theme park, including the Bohol Area (illustrated above), Tagalog Region, Visayan sites and Mindanao Pavilion.

In time for the Christmas season in 2004, Nayong Pilipino was reopened to the public. Later on, the cultural theme park was obligated to transfer to the Clark Freeport Zone to disencumber the original site near the NAIA of birdstrikes owing to the trees located in the perimeter.


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