Sunset at Treñas Boulevard: A romance with the majestic Iloilo River
It was 4 o’ clock in the afternoon when I met my co-workers at the Diversion Road end of the Treñas Boulevard. At a distance I could see students and even lovers chatting or just simply enjoying the view of the river. One of my co-workers is wearing a loose shirt and jogging pants, while the other is on his nursing uniform. “What now?” I asked. We sat at the cement blockers and chatted while waiting for the sun to set.
It was fun watching the place slowly being flocked by joggers, sight-seeing and dating couples, or some tambays. The place is teeming with excitement and fun; a far cry from what the river was a few years back. Now the river is gearing for its come back. Ilonggos once again rediscovered how beautiful the Iloilo River is, and how truly blessed the city is for having it.
Aside from the clean river, it was relaxing to look at the mangroves growing at the side of the river or to feel the cool breeze of the wind sweeping the area. No one could have thought such urban living could once again commune with nature. Bored with the chatting, but excited with the photo shoot I’ll do, I encouraged my friends to walk and do some sight-seeing. I have to admit since the Treñas Boulevard was opened years ago, this was my first time to visit the place in an afternoon.
Today, the city government is now preparing to implement its Iloilo River Esplanade Project. A development seen to make the boardwalk area a prime tourist destination of the city. The beautification of the Treñas Boulevard from Molo to Diversion Road and from Jalandoni to Gaisano La Paz, will be based on the design of re-known Filipino Architect Paulo Alcazaren. Architect Alcazaren is one of the developers of Singapore Quay, now one of the island-nation’s tourist spots.
Truly for Iloilo to be called the Venice of the Philippines, Iloilo River must be full of life. Shops, restaurants, and other establishments must flourish at the side of the river; people must also be able to traverse the river with classic boats, ala-gondola style. I would even suggest that the city government use the river as a super highway, with ferry stations lining the area to also ease the congestion at the main arteries of roads parallel to the river.
When we reached Carpenter Bridge at the end of the boulevard, the sun is about to kiss the horizon. I fell in love with the bright red-orange glow of the sun as it paints the entire scene into a mesmerizing moment. It may not have the same drama at Manila Bay sunset, but the sunset at Iloilo River invokes a special emotion for me. A feeling of pride, familiarity with this moment, but something I would never get tired of at looking. Maybe because it’s beautiful, but more so because this is how the sun sets at the city I call home.