Rizal Park, also known as Luneta Park or colloquially Luneta, is a historical urban park located in the heart of the city of Manila, Philippines, adjacent to the old walled city of Manila, now Intramuros. Since the Spanish Colonial Era, the park has been a favorite spot for unwinding, socializing, an urban oasis for family picnics on Sundays and holidays. It is one of the major tourist attractions of Manila.
Located along Manila Bay, Luneta has been the site of some of the most significant moments in Philippine history. The execution of pacifist Dr. José Rizal on December 30, 1896, sparked the fire of the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish colonizers, elevating the martyr as the national hero of the country. The park was officially renamed Rizal Park in his honor and his monument serves as the symbolic focal point of the park. The Declaration of Philippine Independence from American rule was held here on July 4, 1946 as well as the political rallies of Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino in 1986 that led to the EDSA Revolution that deposed Marcos ending his dictatorial government.
The park is divided into three sections beginning with the 16-hectare (40-acre) Teodora F. Valencia Circle adjoining Taft Avenue, where the Department of Tourism and the National Museum of the Filipino People (formerly the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Finance respectively) are located is the Eastern Section; followed by the 22-hectare (54-acre) park proper that extends down to Roxas Boulevard is the Central Section; and terminating at a 10-hectare (25-acre) open field across Roxas Boulevard fronting Quirino Grandstand along the Manila Bay is the Western Section.
The park is home to various Kali/Eskrima/Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) groups. Every morning, especially on Sundays, Eskrimadors, or Eskrima practitioners can be seen at Luneta. Even up to the present, stickfighting duels are still very common, albeit in a friendly atmosphere.
Rizal Park is undergoing renovations by the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) aimed at restoring elements of the park. The plans include the rehabilitation of the old musical dancing fountain located on the 40 × 100 m (130 × 330 ft) pool, which is the geographical center of the park. The fountain, which is set for inauguration on December 16, 2011, is handled by German-Filipino William Schaare, the same person who built the original fountain in the 1960s. Restoration also includes the Flower Clock which is set for inauguration on the 113th Philippine Independence Day; the Noli Me Tangere Garden and Luzviminda Boardwalk, for the 150th birthday celebration of Jose Rizal.
In popular culture
Points of interest
- The Amazing Race 5, the fifth installment of the American Reality TV show, featured the Rizal Monument on Leg 12 as Route Marker.
- The Port Malaya patch in Ragnarok Online, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMOPPG), features a replica of the Rizal Monument as one of the town's attractions.
- Chinese Garden
- Concert at the Park
- Diorama of Rizal's Martyrdom
- Japanese Garden
- Kilometer Zero
- Lapu-Lapu Monument
- Manila Ocean Park
- Manila Planetarium
- Museum of the Filipino People
- National Library of the Philippines
- National Museum Of The Philippines
- Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion
- Relief map of the Philippines