Luneta - Rizal Park, Manila
Considered as one of the largest parks in Southeast Asia, it has an area of 58 hectares which runs from Taft Avenue up to the walls of the famous Manila Bay. It was known as the Bagumbayan field during the Spanish era since this was where the Filipino-Moslems took refuge after the Spaniards occupied Intramuros in 1571. It was also called "Luneta," which means Little Moon. For 74 years, it was used as an executing ground by the Spaniards for Filipino rebels and mutineers. By 1902, Daniel Bumham, architect and city planner, chose Bagumbayan as the site of the proposed American government center. He designed a U-shaped composition of buildings, but only three were constructed: the Executive House, the Department of Tourism building, and the Department of Finance building. It acquired its present name Rizal National Park in dedication to the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, whose mortal remains were interred in the cornershore of the Rizal Monument in 1912.
I have pictures of myself as a three-year-old enjoying the slides at Luneta Park (considered the Philippines' National Park)--- and I actually have very early memories of waking up early so that my parents could bring myself and my sister (VTer Jumpingwithnorman) to Luneta, now also known as Rizal Park.
This park has been here since Spanish colonial times and this is where the people gathered and even watched executions, like the famous one which killed our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal on December 30, 1896. His hands were tied and his back was to the gunfire, but when the shots were fired, he turned around to face his executioners! There is now a group of brass statues that form the centerpiece of a Light and Sound Show (630 Pm – 730 PM). Also see the changing of the guards at the memorial to Rizal.
Best time to visit Luneta is at about 5AM (wake up, Sunshine!), just before sunrise, when you will see these people practicing the art of Tai Chi (that slow-moving style of Chinese exercise). It’s nice to jog in the park with the honking of the jeepneys on the road, and everybody is just starting their day. There is also less smog during the early morning and you still smell the wetness of the grass.
On Sunday afternoons, there can be Filipino martial arts exhibitions, and sometimes free concerts at the Park Auditorium. You can also enjoy the nice botanical gardens in the Park itself – the Chinee and Japanese gardens. There is even a Planetarium!
Evenings are for young couples dating in the park, and if you are hungry, there are several nearby restaurants.
Park Location: along Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila
The calesa or horse drawn carriage is fast disappearing from the streets of Manila. It used to be king of the road, but is often relagated to side streets these days. You'll have to haggle, especially if you look foreign. $2 should get you a 15 minutes ride anywhere.
This 58 -hectare park, popularly known as Luneta, has come to be known as a must-see landmark of the Philippines' capital city.
Formerly refered as Bagumbayan, it is here at this place where the National Hero was shot to death.
Foreign dignitaries lay wreathes of flowers in front of Jose Rizal's bronze life-size statue. Guards are present by the statue's side 24/7.
1. Rizal's life story through a light and sound show open from 7 a.m., fee - P10
2. children's playground near T.M. Kalaw Avenue.
3. Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden, fee - P5
Rizal park is located very central in Manila and is right next to Intramuros.
It´s a fairly pleasant park where you also have the independance monument and on holidays you will see many philippine visitors there and the place can get quite lively.
While the park is quite nice during daytime hours you should venture in there at night as many homeless people sleep there at night and it´s a little dodgy.
But all in all it´s a nice park to visit, especially around the independance monument and you should try and pop by there when visiting Intramuros.
The dancing fountains are a sight to behold at night. The body of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, lies here. An honor guard watches over him 24 hours a day.
Formerly a cemetery during the Spanish time built in 1820 by the Dominican Fathers. At the back of the chapel, Rizal the Philippine national hero was secretly buried after his execution. Later his remains were exhumed and were transferred to the Luneta.
Formerly a cementery during the Spanish time built in 1820 by the Dominican Fathers. At the black of the chapel, Rizal the Philippine ntional hero, was secretly buried after his execution. Later his remains exchumed and was transferred to the Luneta.
The Luneta is a lung for Manila -- albeit one with emphysema. It is a large green space in the heart of downtown that provides a respite from the choking deisel fumes of the jeepneys and allows one to enjoy a bit of space. What you won't get it true fresh air -- there is none of that to be had in this city! If you visit the Luneta during the day, you'll find it to be much less crowded than the rest of the city, as you can see from the Tuesday morning picture here. However, if you visit after sundown -- especially on the weekend -- you'll find most spaces occupied by locals relaxing and picnicking among friends. Manila residents love to just hangout and this is the great downtown hangout spot. If you want to hang out, come here. If you just want to experience Manila hanging out, this is the place to be.
Among its attractions are the Rizal Memorial, a Chinese Garden (5 pesos), a fountain, clean public restrooms (2 pesos -- a fee that keeps out the beggars) and the adjacent National Museum (closed Mondays and Tuesdays, damn it!). But the primary reason most people come here is just to sit in the grass and socialize.
Luneta Park is a tribute to the Phil.national hero Dr.Jose P. Rizal.It is located in the heart of Manila, very close to Manila Hotel.Also popular for families to have picnics.It also has Chinese garden, Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavillion,light and sound presentation of the last days of Dr.J.Rizal.And also known for open air concerts.
It is difficult to try to explain the immense importance of Jose Rizal to the Philippine people and their national psyche. Executed young by the Spanish occupiers, this extremely gifted young man inspired a feeling of nationalism through his writing that eventually led to the Philippinos ousting their overlords from the country. I do not nor propose to give a full biography here, there is far too much written elsewhere far better than I could manage, but I do recommend the appended website which is very informative. I would particularly direct you towards the page entitled "the last hours" which is as moving as it is fascinating.
Rizal was from a good family and clearly gifted from an early age. He was showing artistic ability at age three, wrote his first poem at eight and obtained his BA degree by 16. Not content with that he studied Philosophy and surveying. He finished the Surveying degree so quickly he was too young, at age 17, to actually be licensed. The next academic venture undertaken was to study medicine, although he removed himself from that course due to discriminatiuon against the Filipino students by the Catholic Spanish teachers.
Rizal then took ship for Spain where he completed his Medicine and Philosophy degrees by age 24, a quite remarkable feat. He did not stop there, however. Still very resentful of the Spansh occupation of the Philippines, he published several novels of a distinctly nationalist nature. He had, by the time of the publication of the second novel, returned to the Philippines but was harrassed by the authorities and put himself in exile. Widely travelled, he managed to master a staggering 22 languages, which I won't list here but just think, in these days of mass communication and education, how many people in the world can do that. Not many, I would have thought.
Inspired in part at least by Rizal's writings, the Philippine Revolution began in August 1896 and the authorities lost no time in apprehending and imprisoning him. Whilst in prison he wrote an untitled poem, now generally known as Ultimo Adios (The last farewell) which is regarded as a great work. After a show trial he was taken to near where this memorial stands and executed by firing squad on 30th December of that year. For some reason the Spansh chose to shoot him in the back. Appropriate, I feel.
The memorial to Rizal is siruated very close to the place he was executed and is permanently guarded by the miliatary, as you can see. These are not reguar troops but a group known as the Kabalyeros de Rizal (Knights of Rizal). Apologies for the spotting on the image, I am not sure what the problem was. The inscription on the monument, which is technically a mausoleum as Rizal's remains are interred there, is "To the memory of José Rizal, patriot and martyr, executed at Bagumbayan Field December 30th, 1896, this monument is dedicated by the people of the Philippine Islands." It was unveiled in 1913 on the 17th anniversary of his death.
As a side note, it is said (I have no idea how they work these things out) that there are monuments to Rizal in more countries than to anybody else.
For the visitor to Manila this is a "must see" and for the Philippino people it is nothing short of a national shrine and place of pilgrimage. Do go and visit.
Quirino Grandstand was built in 1949 on reclaimed land from Manila Bay where President Quirino was sworn in after his successful election campaign, and ever since then it is traditional that all newly elected presidents take the oath of office there. Many important events also take place there, especially in 1998 as the country celebrated 100 years of independence.
Known as the Boy General as Gregorio H Del Pilar (1875-99) , nephew of Marcelo H Del Pilar, who has a street named after him in Ermita, as he died young after being involved in the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War. In his short military career he accepted the surrender of Spanish forces in his hometown of Bulacan. As soon as the sale of the Philippines from Spain to USA took place the Philippine -American War broke out (Feb 1899), and in December that year he was shot in the neck during the Battle of Tirad Pass. There were 60 Philippine soldiers trying to hold back 300 Americans while Emilio Aguinaldo escaped.
You will find this statue of the strong leader of Maguindanao near Quirino Grandstand. He fought the Spanish and won, keeping them from taking his land and was also a direct descendant of Sharrif Kabungsuwan who was responsible for introducing Islam to the Philippines. He ruled over many parts of Mindanao and his descendants today are the Datus, a political force in the area.
Relatively cheap but very good food at Lush Life Garden Bistro.
It's in the middle of a sanctuary in the center of the bustling metropolis.
Great for both small and big events like intimate dates, family gaterings, weddings, seminars because it's so private and peaceful.
Plus, you get to see the Orchidarium for free if you go to Lush Life.
Parking is a breeze.
It's just so sad that very few people know about this small gem.
Extracted from the website below:
..."Considered as one of the largest parks in Southeast Asia, it has an area of 58 hectares which runs from Taft Avenue up to the walls of the famous Manila Bay. It was known as the Bagumbayan field during the Spanish era since this was where the Filipino-Moslems took refuge after the Spaniards occupied Intramuros in 1571. It was also called "Luneta," which means Little Moon. For 74 years, it was used as an executing ground by the Spaniards for Filipino rebels and mutineers. By 1902, Daniel Bumham, architect and city planner, chose Bagumbayan as the site of the proposed American government center. He designed a U-shaped composition of buildings, but only three were constructed: the Executive House, the Department of Tourism building, and the Department of Finance building. It acquired its present name Rizal National Park in dedication to the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, whose mortal remains were interred in the cornershore of the Rizal Monument in 1912"...
Come in the morning and see folks exercising, in the afternoon to see folks sneaking a rest from the rat race and at night to see the laser show!