The later known Bagumbayan

Luneta Park, Manila, Philippines

Luneta park

With the scorching heat reaching 36 degrees Celsius or higher, most Filipinos would prefer to stay indoors, spend time in air-conditioned malls or go to the beach to cool down this summer. A stroll in Rizal Park, meanwhile, allows you to do the same while learning a history lesson or two.

Rizal Park is situated in the heart of the city of Manila, Philippines. It is at the northern end of Roxas Boulevard, overlooking Manila bay, where you can also view the sunset in the after noon.

Rizal Park’s history began in the early 1800s during the Spanish rule. While Manila’s social and business activities were confined within Intramuros, a small area just south of the walls was cleared to prevent sneak attacks from the patriotic natives. The area was shaped like a small moon (lunette) and thus was named Luneta. The Park was also called Bagumbayan (English: New Town) in Spanish colonial era, and later known as Luneta.

Luneta has been the site of some of the most significant moments in Philippine history . Among them are the execution of Dr. Jose Rizal on December 30, 1896, whose martyred death made him a hero of the Philippine revolution. (It was officially renamed Rizal Park in tribute to him.); the Declaration of Philippine Independence from American rule on June 4, 1946; and the political rallies of Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino in 1986.

The site is guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by ceremonial soldiers, known as Kabalyeros de Rizal (lit. Knights of Rizal). His poem, “Mi Ultimo Adios” (“My Last Farewell”) is inscribed on the memorial plaque

The name “Luneta” is synonymous to the word lunette; the park was said to have the shape of a half moon in Spanish times and situated next to a Spanish fort serving as a buffer during rebellions by the locals.

Original Photos(Photography) By: Robi Jiz


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