Mendoza Park is a recreation area in Palawan where families and friends can enjoy outdoor activities at its expansive lands. It is situated within the city proper, along H. Mendoza St. in Puerto Princesa City.
The park is named after Dr. Higinio Mendoza Sr., the war hero of Palawan. He also became a governor of the province. Mendoza took collegiate studies at Iowa State University and University of Indiana in United States. To obtain a Doctor of Medicine degree, he then enrolled at Hahnemann Medical College in Pennsylvania.
After returning to the Philippines, Mendoza entered the political arena. He was elected as Palawan’s governor in 1931 and was re-elected in 1934. Mendoza lost on his third bid when residents of Cuyo and Calamianes islands voted his opponent. This was due to his move to transfer Palawan High School from the northern Cuyo island to the mainland Palawan.
After his election loss, Mendoza trained as a medical and reserve officer in the Philippine Army Medical Corps and eventually organized the first guerrilla force in Palawan. His guerrilla unit’s main role was to ambush the Japanese during World War II as an offensive and defensive force.
His resistance to Japanese rule led to his execution on January 24, 1944 in Canigaran, Puerto Princesa by firing squad. Mendoza’s remains together with several unknown soldiers were interred in the memorial erected at the far end of the park.
Mendoza Park is lined with lovely Palawan cherry blossoms, century-old acacia trees, and landscaped ornamental plants. Because of its scenic grounds, the park is a venue for relaxation, photoshoots, and social gatherings. Located on the south side of Mendoza Park is Tabuan Square where stalls selling souvenir and novelty items are situated. It replaced the children’s playground.
In 2018, a renovated Mendoza Park was unveiled. It features a three-story City Gallery Tower that has a fountain, pond, and the monument of Palawan’s war hero. The City Gallery Tower houses the photo gallery of past leaders of Puerto Princesa and the city’s history, a multi-purpose hall for indoor activities, and a room where local artists can display their artwork.