Rizal Park is still often called the “Luneta" (as it was called until the official change of name in the 1950s). The park zone is spread over about 60 hectares of open lawns, ornamental gardens, asphalt paths and forest plantations. There are monuments to almost all the famous personalities of the Philippines, which you can only remember. Rizal Park is a charming place, only in places slightly groomed. Located next to the closed National Museum on P. Burgos Street.
Every day, hundreds of Filipinos come here to take a morning exercise, jog, have a picnic, sing a few songs and play musical instruments, or just relax from the city-laden streets.
At sunset, groups of tai chi chuan and the local martial art of Arnis, or Arnis de Mano, a contact battle style of the "pre-Hispanic" period, gather in Rizal Park. After lunch on Sundays, formalized speeches of representatives of various schools of oriental martial arts are held. After the demonstration of their skills by hand-to-hand combat masters, a concert is held in the open hall of Open Air Auditorium. The concert starts at about 18:00.
The park bears the name of the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, who was executed at this place on the orders of the Spanish colonial authorities on December 30, 1896. Rizal was accused of trying to overthrow the occupation regime by preparing a revolutionary speech. Under the monument to Rizal, guarded by an honor guard, lie the remains of a Filipino revolutionary. This monument is one of the main symbols of the Philippines.
On one side of the monument you will see the Place of Execution of Rizal. The entrance portal is made of black granite, which is marked with the text of Rizal's message to his people - Mi Ultimo Adios (“My Last Farewell”). Eight life-size bronze statues reproduce several dramatic moments from the last days of the hero's life. At night, these sculptures are illuminated and turned into part of a light-sound show presentation called "The Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal."
In the western part of the park stands the Quirino Grandstand, where the country's presidents take the oath of allegiance to their people and turn to the Filipino nation for the first time. On the opposite side you will see the Relief map of the Philippines, which shows the entire archipelago in miniature (the map is best seen from the elevated platform of the LRT1 line). The central lagoon and fountains attract attention in the "heart" of the park area.
Three ornamental gardens are laid out along one side of Rizal Park - the eccentric Chinese Garden, the ascetic Japanese Garden, and the tropical Manila Orchidarium. There is also a Chess Plaza, where local lovers of an ancient game play with each other and ask almost every passerby: “Hey, man, do you play chess?”
In the northwestern part of the park is the Planetarium. On the opposite side of Roxas Boulevard, right in front of the Rizalu monument, there is a “zero mark” (“Post 0 km”) - the place where the countdown of all distances of the Philippines begins.
Photo and description
Risal Park, also known as Luneta Park, is located on the northern tip of the Rojas Boulevard in the very center of Manila. Located on the shores of the Gulf of Manila, the park has witnessed many significant events in the history of the Philippines. Among them is the execution of Jose Risal on December 30, 1896, which gave rise to the Philippine revolution against Spanish colonization and turned the martyr into a national hero of the country. Later, Luneta Park was officially renamed Risal Park in his honor, and the monument to Jose Risal is the symbolic center of the park. The Philippines Declaration of Independence was officially proclaimed on July 4, 1946, and political battles took place between Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino in 1986, which led to the resignation of dictator Marcos.
The history of Risal Park began in the 18th century during the Spanish colonial period. While the social and business life of Manila took place mainly in the old Intramuros fortress area, a small area south of the ramparts was cleared to prevent attacks by patriotic local residents. Then, in this territory, known as the Bagumbayan field, there was a Spanish military hospital (destroyed later during the earthquake) and fortifications not related to Intramuros and known as Luneta because of its moon shape. In front of the field was Piazza Alfonso XII (King of Spain from 1874 to 1885), which later became known as Piazza Luneta and was the center of social activity of the inhabitants of Manila. At the end of the 19th century, public executions of criminals and political enemies of Spain were carried out at this place.
Today, one of the main attractions of the park and the whole country as a whole is a monument to the Philippine patriot, writer and poet Jose Risal, made of granite and bronze. It was opened on December 30, 1913, on the day of the 17th anniversary of his execution. On the memorial plaque, the words of Risal’s poem “My last goodbye” are carved, and the monument itself is guarded by soldiers called the Knights of Risal. A visit to this monument and laying a wreath at its base became an almost protocol event for politicians visiting the Philippines.
Directly in front of the Risal monument, the Flagpole of Independence rises 107 meters above the ground - the highest flagpole in the Philippines. It was here that on July 4, 1946, the independence of the Republic of the Philippines was proclaimed. Nearby is the so-called Tribune of Independence, designed by Juan Arellano.
Among the other attractions of Risal Park are the popular Japanese Garden for youth friendships between Japan and the Philippines, the quaint Chinese Garden with traditional Chinese-style gates with flying dragons, the National Library of the Philippines, the Orchid Conservatory and the Butterfly Pavilion, founded in 1994 year. The Lapu-Lapu Monument, or Statue of the Freedom Guard, is a gift from the people of Korea as a token of gratitude to the Filipino people for their help during the Korean War of the 1950s. Lapu-Lapu was the leader of the Muslim clan on the Philippine island of Cebu and the representative of the Sultan of Sulu, the first to rebel against the Spanish colonialists. He was recently recognized as the first national hero of the Philippines. In 1521, Lapu-Lapu and 10 men of his clan, armed with spears, fought with Spanish soldiers led by Fernand Magellan. In that battle, the famous Portuguese navigator Magellan and several of his soldiers were killed. Here, in Risal Park, near the Jose Risalu Monument, there is a “zero kilometer” - the point from which the distance from Manila begins to count.
On weekends and holidays, the people of Manila gather in the park - families with children, couples in love, elderly pensioners. For them, as well as for guests of the city, several picnic sites are provided, various musical groups perform, and sporting events are organized.
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In the Middle Ages, the Tagalog settlement of Bagumbayan was located on the territory of the modern park. Since 1762, modern territory has been part of the Nuevo Barrio Manila district, which was located near the Manila fortress. During the British invasion of the Battle of Manila, the Nuevo Barrio area was completely destroyed. Nuevo Barrio has been partially restored and today is part of the modern district of Hermite. In 1820, the Spanish colonial authorities drained the marshes and built a boardwalk Paseo de Luneta measuring 300 meters in length and 100 meters in width. The square bore the name of the nearby Spanish military hospital (destroyed during the earthquake) and the barracks called Cuartel la Luneta. After the arrangement of the square, public executions were carried out on it. Between 1823 and 1897, 158 executions were committed here. Among the most famous executed were three Catholic priests under the general name "Gombursa" and the national hero and writer Jose Risal (his remains are buried today under the monument, which is the organizing center of the park). Since the last quarter of the 19th century, the square was called Paseo de Alfonso in honor of the Spanish king Alfonso XII.
On September 28, 1901, the American Architectural Commission approved the construction of a monument to Jose Risal in the area of the square and announced a competition for the design of the monument, which lasted until 1907. On December 30, 1913, the monument was inaugurated and the park was named after Jose Risal. In 1902, the American urban planner and architect Daniel Burney was commissioned to make a project for the reconstruction of the center of Manila. He chose the Lunet area for his project, according to which the old legislative building was rebuilt according to the Washington Capitol and became the center of reconstruction. Around this building, the government buildings of the Department of Agriculture (currently the Museum of the Philippine People) and the Department of Finance (now the Department of Tourism) were built in a semicircle. These buildings were completed before the outbreak of World War II.
In 1955, President Ramon Magsaysay issued Decree No. 243, which declared the Risal Park a national park. At that time, the area of the park was 16.24 hectares. The park was declared a protected area and transferred to the Commission of Parks and Wildlife (currently the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines) and later to the National Park Development Committee of the Department of Tourism.
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In the very center of the capital of the Philippines, Manila, is a picturesque and tranquil corner of nature - Risal Park. Locals quite often out of habit call him his old name, Luneta Park. This name is explained by this: during the period when the Spanish fortress was located here, the green massif in front of it was cut down in order to prevent local partisans from taking refuge in the dense foliage of trees. The felling was arranged in such a way that it resembled a crescent in shape, in other words, the moon. The park received the name of José Risal later, in 1946, in honor of the national hero of the country, who was shot on this very spot. Then they read the Declaration of Independence of the Philippines here.
The entire space of the park is equipped with many paths, paths, shady alleys and flower beds. There are sculptures, grottoes, fountains, bridges everywhere, that is, everything that should be in any decent park. Various shows, performances by musical groups and other entertainment events are often held here. In addition, the park has many cafes, restaurants and bars. Among the attractions that are located on the territory of Risal, one can note, in fact, the monument to Jose Risal, next to whom the guard of honor is on duty, a monument depicting the scene of the shooting of a hero, as well as zero kilometer, where all Philippine roads begin. You can walk here for a long time, for good reason this park is one of the most beloved vacation spots of citizens.