Now, Balangueños have another haven of relaxation and physical care.
City Mayor Jose Enrique S. Garcia, III led the inauguration of the University Town (UTown) Wellness Park in Brgy. Doña Francisca on June 7.
The Wellness Park has two main features: a playground for children and a physical fitness area for the elderly. To ensure the safety of patrons, the playground fixtures and the physical fitness sets were made of rubberized and light materials, respectively.
The inaugural rites began with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. Then, Fr. Jess Navoa of St. Joseph’s Cathedral officiated the blessing of the Wellness Park after which Mayor Garcia delivered an address and urged residents of Brgy. Doña Francisca to ensure the well being of the park. He said that the park would be valuable not only for young people but also for the elderly.
Barangay officials joined city department heads for the inaugural rites.
After the formal ceremony, a fitness instructor demonstrated the use of the physical fitness sets. He explained that unlike the usual gymnasium weights, the sets would not stress the user. The user would have to rely on his weight to use them.
Mayor Garcia said that other barangays might explore the possibility of having their own UTown Wellness Parks.
Outstanding healthy lifestyle
Long before the inauguration of UTown Wellness Park, Balanga City has been implementing numerous health-oriented measures.
Most notable among them is the comprehensive Huwag Maging Smoker, Alcoholic, and Drug Addict Para laging Healthy at Happy Program (Huwag Maging SAD). This advocacy aims to eradicate vices among Balangueños, especially those whose age ranges from six to 24.
Under this advocacy, the city government also created the Balanga Running Club and the Happy Club. Both organizations are especially created to accommodate people who are in need of vice-cessation support.
These comprehensive campaigns against vices culminated in the Tobacco-Free Generation, a campaign that originated in Singapore and was brought to Balanga City by its founder, Dr. Heng Nung Koong.
Balanga City also holds a Red Orchid Hall of Fame award from the Department of Health. This award is given to institutions that are proven to be 100% smoke-free.
Because of these efforts, Balanga City was recognized as the world’s first Tobacco-Free Generation City on March 18, 2016. By Arli Joshua Atienza