Rizal Park is the most famous open park in the Philippines and can be found in Manila. The park was the site of the assassination of Jose Rizal. It is on the northern end of Roxas Boulevard overlooking Manila Bay.
Rizal Park was first named Bagumbayan (new town) in the 1800s when the Spanish still occupied the country. The park was south of Intramuros, the center of commerce and social activities at that time.
Because the park was shaped like a small half moon (lunette), it was named Luneta.
On 30 December 1896, Rizal was killed in Bagumbayan by a firing squad for instigating Filipino rage against the Spanish with his novels, the Noli Me Tangere and the El Filibusterismo. He became a hero of the 1896 Philippine Revolution.
The Philippine Assembly approved Act No. 243, “granting the right to use public land upon the Luneta in the city of Manila”, this would officially allow the construction of Rizal’s shrine and his mausoleum to situate his remains. A committee was made to materialize the Rizal Mausoleum, this committee included Paciano Rizal, the hero’s brother, along with Juan Tuason, Teodoro Yangco, Mariano Limjap, Maximo Paterno, Ramon Genato, Tomas del Rosario and Ariston Bautista. They were primarily tasked to raise funds for the establishment of the mausoleum.
More than 12 years later and with P135,195.61 collected funds, the shrine was unveiled on 30 December 1913, Rizal’s 17th death anniversary.
Rizal Park was a tribute in honor of Rizal’s patriotism. The Rizal Shrine, situated in the park near his execution spot, is considered to be the Philippines' Kilometer Zero, or the reference point from which distances of places in the country are measured. An honor guard watches over the shrine for 24 hours a day. One of Rizal’s written works, the poem “Mi Ultimo Adios”, which he wrote while imprisoned in Fort Santiago, is engraved behind the monument in the original Spanish version and with other translations in other languages.
Aside from the Rizal Shrine and Mausoleum, the park also has other notable sites which are divided into three parts: the 16-hectare Agrifina Circle adjoining Taft Avenue where the Department of Tourism and the National Museum of the Filipino People are located, the 22 hectare park extending to Roxas Boulevard and the 10 hectare open field opposite the Quirino Grandstand along the Manila Bay.
Other sites include:
- Chinese and Japanese gardens
- The National Library of the Philippines
- The Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion
- The Planetarium
- A monument of Lapu-Lapu
- A fountain area
- Children's lagoon
- A chess plaza
- A light and sound presentation on the last days of Dr. Jose Rizal
- Concert at the Park
Google Earth Location
Longtitude : 14°34'54.01"N Latitude : 120°58'36.10"E
- Rizal Park www.manila.ph (Accessed 16 June 2010)
- Luneta Park www.manila.gov.ph (Accessed 16 June 2010)
- Rizal Park www.rizalpark.ph (Accessed 16 June 2010)