I’ve Been to Manila Series

In the beginning, there was no park. There was town called Bagumbayan in a marshy land close to the walled city. The place was notorious for public executions. It saw hundreds of hopeless sunsets and heard the cries of men strangled to death in the garrote. It saw Spain wield power over a helpless colony.

Luneta Park (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

There were more sunrise and sunsets, and the winds from Manila Bay blew for more decades. And then in 1896, a man was executed by firing squad. His death angered and woke up a nation. A revolution started. Jose Rizal, who wrote novels as his way of revolt to the oppressors, then became the national hero. In the marshland where he was shot, the hero was buried and a monument was erected to immortalized his greatness.

And there was Rizal Park.

Also called Luneta, the park is now a beautiful green space spread out over some 60 hectares of gardens and wooded areas. Aside from the Rizal Momument, other sights to see are the dancing fountain, the gardens, the koi pond, a huge relief map of the Philippine archipelago. The Quirino Grandstand, Department of Tourism, National Library, and National Museum are next door. Rizal Park is considered an important site in Philippine history and among Manila’s premier attractions.


* Photos taken with Cherry Mobile Flare.


ArisMape is a travel insider at ABS-CBN's Choose Philippines. He loves orange, halo-halo, and PowerPoint, and hates beef, slow internet, and long taxi lines. His pastime is watching people watch other people. He swears on the power of smartphone. His half-life? Thirty.