When you visit Manila, it’s an absolute MUST to visit Rizal Park (aka Luneta), one of the largest urban parks in Asia. The park is spread out over 40 acres of gardens, lawns, ponds, cafes, museums and monuments. It’s also one of the highest rated parks in Asia According to Agoda Travelers and one of the best places to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life. Like Central Park in New York, Luneta is the perfect place to take an atmospheric stroll, picnic, exercise, or relax in beautiful scenery. (Word has it, this is also where Melody’s grandparents spent most of their time together when they first started dating).
(Here you will find a dancing musical fountain which lights up in color during the evening)
Pay heed to history
This blog post would not be complete without noting the historical significance behind Rizal Park. The execution of national hero Jose Rizal on December 30, 1896, prompted the beginning of the Philippine Revolution during the Spanish colonial era. The area was named Rizal Park in his honor.
A 46m flagpole stands tall in front of Rizal Monument, a symbolic focal point. Here you will see two sentries in full regalia, guarding the monument which contains the hero’s mortal remains.
The Declaration of Philippine Independence from the US was also held here on July 4, 1946 as were later political rallies by Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aguino, which culminated in the EDSA Revolution. There are many more events held here that are worth looking into.
– Photos at Rizal Park –
Statue of the Sentinel of Freedom or ‘Lapu Lapu’
(National Museum of Natural History)
(Visualize the Philippine archipelago with a giant raised-relief map)
(National Museum of Anthropology)
‘Seeds of Freedom’ Statue (Binhi ng Kalayaan) by renowned Filipino Sculptor Ed Castrillo
Take a tour of Luneta in a Kalesa (horse drawn carriage which was introduced to the Philippines in the 18th Century by the Spanish)
(Pay tribute to the brave Filipinos in the Gallery of Heroes)
Stand beneath the tallest flag pole in Southeast Asia
(‘La Madre Filipina’ statue)
The Masonic Memorial Clock in Luneta – dedicated to the Freemasons of the Philippines
Whether you’ve visited Rizal Park a thousand times or you are visiting for the first time, whatever the case may be, explore or retun to Rizal Park for it’s historical significance. If you’ve been here before, you may discover something new. If you’ve never been to Luneta before, it might be worth it to do a little research before you go. We’re so glad we did.