A Tale of Two Fountains

In every city, there is one iconic man-made structure that is commonly associated with it – the Golden Bridge in San Francisco, the Pyramids of Egypt, or even the Rizal Monument in Manila.

 

In the city central of Roxas City, there stands a landmark that has been there since I could remember. A grand fountain that occupies the rotunda (roundabout) where the city traffic converges from all directions.  Every visitor to the city would easily recognize it since it stands in front of the Cathedral and the Provincial Capitol, and directly in front of the Capiz Bridge that spans the Panay River.

 

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The original fountain

 

In 2008, it underwent a MAJOR renovation under a cloud of secrecy (the fountain was completely fenced off from the public). When it was finally unveiled to the public on November 15, 2008, the people’s reactions were varied.  Some liked it and others did not. The simple elegance of the original fountain was replaced by four statues lifting a somewhat ornate chess piece (rook).

 

You decide for yourself …

 

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The fountain after the 2008 renovation work

 

From any angle you look at it … there seems to be something amiss with the new fountain. Even the details are so dissimilar that one asks the question: Should the original design be changed at all?

 

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The main column ... simple elegance

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The main column was replaced with these four figures

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The iconic landmark circa 1920's (?)

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The "new" landmark since November 2008

 

I personally pane for the original fountain. It does not draw unnecessary attraction to itself. Rather, it blends marvelously with the surrounding structures like the elegant provincial capitol building in the background.

 

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The column blends well with Rizal's monument

 

The young capiznons will no longer have a memory of this iconic structure. But then again, maybe they will have time to appreciate this new fountain and in the end, will associate it with the land of their birth.

 

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Children playing in the fountain

 

It may be too much to dream that one day, I would pass this way again and find the glorious simple fountain restored to it’s original glory.  But who knows?

 

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Wishing upon a full moon ...

 

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