Article: Special Feature – The Heritage Park ( Fort Bonifacio )

Asia Africa Intelligence Wire | April 27, 2004 | COPYRIGHT 2003 Financial Times Ltd. 
(From BusinessWorld (Philippines))

Byline: Jude P. Morte

It is easy to picture a cemetery as rolling lawns and roads dotted with headstones, crosses, mausoleums, cenotaphs, trees and an occasional chapel or two. These places are visually appealing but with a tinge of somber and gloominess due to the dead weight that they carry.
The Heritage Park in Fort Bonifacio, situated along the C-5 area, aims to change the aforementioned notion of memorial parks. Its 76-hectare multipurpose memorial park complex is nicely settled in between the American Battle Monument and the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, with the monumental purpose of introducing a fresh angle as to how Filipinos view the country’s final resting places. “Spaciousness, beauty and serenity – you have all these things going for you at Heritage Park,” said Jack Kidwiler, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Rosehills Memorial Management Philippines, Inc.

Indeed, spaciousness, beauty and serenity is what one sees when one enters the park’s gateway. One of the last large-scale green open space developments in Metro Manila, the complex features several acres of well- tended and well-manicured land similar to the greens on a golf course. Trees, as well as decorative lampposts, dot the lawns at regular intervals. There is also a lagoon complete with aesthetically pleasing bridges and docks where one can go fishing. The complex is also a suitable place for biking, jogging, kite-flying, playing with one’s children or other outdoor leisure activities that one can enjoy with friends and family.
For example, in 2003 Heritage Park bore witness to several activities that served to uplift the spirit and restore hope among the living.

The park held a Mother’s Day event in May last year, hailing mothers who wore the best summer outfits. The park also held on its grounds a public screening of the movie version of Lualhati Bautista’s novel Dekada ’70, a fireworks display and raffle of souvenirs as part of its Independence Day celebration.

The park also played host to a healing session on Sept. 6, 2003 by renowned priest Father Corsie Legaspi.

Heritage Park is not only a place where the family can go outdoors and experience several leisurely pursuits or visit the dearly departed. The park is also a venue for business meetings, albeit solely on the mortuary business. Heritage Park has been active in hosting the annual meeting of the Philippine Mortuary Association, and through the said meeting seminars and trainings are held to benefit the local mortuary industry.

To date, Heritage Park is almost 90% complete in terms of hectare development. Construction is ongoing for two chapels for Catholic, Christian and Buddhist funerals, respectively. There are new areas for premium lots, including the section behind the park’s administration building where cremation inventories are available below and above ground. In addition, Heritage Park now has an extensive product line numbering to about 150 internment options.

All these are covered under a unique perpetual care fund that makes sure that the park’s facilities are guaranteed preservation and protection well into the future.
Perhaps the best example of the rapid-fire development of Heritage Park is its single-level mortuary that contains Filipino-inspired architectural features.
“We really try to take into consideration the families that come to the wake. What you see here is the only facility of its kind in the country and perhaps in the whole of Southeast Asia,” said Mr. Kidwiler.

With its multipurpose complex, perpetual care fund and sorrow- relieving mortuary and crematorium, Heritage Park continues to break previously long held traditions about Philippine memorial parks.


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