credit/source: youtube. com and Jerome Morada and Luneta/Rizal Park Comittee
Manila is known to be the Philippine’s capital. It is one of the busiest cities in the country and considered as a global city because of its strengths in the art, commerce, education, entertainment, economy, health care, professional services and a lot more.
One of the most highlighted spot when you come here in Manila is the Rizal Park or also known as the Luneta Park. The historical park is located in the heart of the metro and is at the northern end of the Roxas Boulevard and overlooking the Manila Bay.
The Historical Luneta Park
The Luneta or Rizal Park is famous because it has been the spot where the country’s national hero Jose Rizal was executed in front of the Filipino crowd during the Spanish colonial era.
The history of the park began in the early 1800’s under the Spanish rule. The name “Luneta” was derived from the word “Luna” because the area was shaped like a moon. Before, the former name of the place was Bagumbayan (new town) and was later named Luneta.
Luneta Park of Manila is an urban park and adjacent to it is also the famous Intramuros.
The Luneta Park is home to a very rich Filipino history. Before the famous execution of Dr. Jose Rizal took place, the place is notorious because of public death penalty during the Spanish era of criminals and public enemies of the righteous and high Spaniards.
History documented that on February 17, 1872, three Filipino priests were executed by garrote namely Father Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora who are collectively known as the GOMBURZA. These three young friars were accused of subversion and their execution has affected many Filipinos including Rizal. Hence the famous novel that was written by the national hero was dedicated in memory of the three priests.
The Luneta Park is guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by the caballeros de RIzal or ceremonial soldiers of Rizal. There in the Rizal Monument, tourist will read the inscribed “Mi Ultimo Adios” (My Last Farewell) written by Jose Rizal.
The highlighted thing we can see as we visit the park is the Rizal monument which was aforementioned above was guarded 24/7 by ceremonial soldiers. This famous sculptural landmark is a picturesque and tourists take pictures of this monument.
Located also in the Luneta Park is the mausoleum where Rizal’s remains were kept. Both the statue and monument were built on the same spot where Rizal was executed. The monumentalizing of the Rizal statue was approved by the Philippine Assembly under the Act No. 243. By December 30, 1913, the shrine was unveiled on the 17th year of the death anniversary of the national hero.
Highlighted Events happened at the Luneta Park
- July 4, 1946 – The full independence of the Republic of the Philippines was proclaimed and authorized by US President Harry Truman.
- 1949 – President Elpidio Quirino took his oath as the new president of the country and was the first president to have taken his sworn of duty after winning the election. Since then, Philippine Presidents traditionally take their oaths and deliver their inaugural address to the nation in the Quirino grandstand.
- June 12, 1998 – Philippines and Filipinos celebrated the Centennial Anniversary of the country’s independence. The prideful and happy event was then led by former President Fidel V. Ramos.
- January 15, 1996 World Youth Day – The closing mass of the World Youth Day was held in the park and was attended by 5 million people.
Other places to visit near Luneta Park
- Museo Filipino (Museum of the Filipino People)
- Department of Tourism Building
- Japanese Garden
- National Library of the Philippines
- National Historical Commission of the Philippines
- Manila Hotel
- Quirino Grandstand
- Museo Pambata
Going to Luneta Park can be either riding a taxi, jeepney or in a private vehicle. If you are taking a ride on a jeepney, you can ride along the Rizal Avenue that is bound for Taft Avenue and ask the driver to drop you off at T.M. Kalaw. You can also ride LRT 1 Yellow Line and get down at United Nations station and then walk towards T.M. Kalaw.
So, visit and relive the experience of the rich Philippine history at the Luneta Park Manila.
RIZAL PARK : PARK IN MANILA
RIZAL PARK : PARK IN MANILA
Manila’s iconic Rizal Park is spread out over some 60 hectares of open lawns, ornamental gardens, ponds, paved walks and wooded areas, dotted with monuments to a whole pantheon of Filipino heroes. It's an atmospheric place to take a stroll, particularly late afternoons, early evening and weekends.
As the place where José Rizal was executed by the Spanish colonial authorities, it's of great historical significance. Here you'll find the Rizal Monument (fronted by a 46m flagpole and guarded by sentries in full regalia), which contains the hero’s mortal remains and stands as a symbol of Filipino nationhood.
The park is divided into three sections. At the edge of the middle section is the Site of Rizal’s Execution; at the entrance is a black granite wall inscribed with Rizal’s ‘Mi Ultimo Adios’ (My Last Farewell). Eight tableaux of life-size bronze statues recreate the dramatic last moments of the hero’s life; at night these statues become part of a light-and-sound presentation dedicated to Rizal (admission P50; 7pm Wed–Sun). It’s in Tagalog, but they’ll do it in English if you have a big enough group (or pay them enough). At the opposite end of the park towards Kalaw Ave, keep an eye out for the drinking fountain shipped all the way from Heidelberg, Germany, where Rizal spent time studying at university.
Also in the middle is the Central Lagoon, a pool lined with busts of Filipino heroes and martyrs, and a dancing musical fountain that erupts in colourful explosions in the evening.
The long-running Concert at the Park takes place at the open-air auditorium; it’s free and starts at around 5.30pm on Sundays. At dawn, you'll find various groups gathered to practise t’ai chi or the local martial art of arnis, or arnis de mano, a pre-Hispanic style of stick-fighting.
Along the north side are several ornamental gardens and the Chess Plaza, a shady spot where regulars test each other and look for new blood with shouts to visitors of ‘Hey Joe, do you play chess?’
Across Roxas Blvd at the western end of the park is the Quirino Grandstand, where Philippine presidents take their oath of office and deliver their first address to the nation.
At the opposite end of the park across M Orosa St where the National Museum is located, you'll find a large statue of Lapu-Lapu (16th century national hero famous for slaying the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan), the flower-fillled Manila Orchidarium, a gigantic three-dimensional relief map of the Philippines and an ostentatious children's playground.
The new visitors centre at the park's Kalaw Ave entrance has a good map detailing the park's attractions and info for upcoming events.