For the love of exploration, we walk into the busy grounds of Roxas Boulevard, Luneta Park and Intramuros. This happens for 5-days of which attending a seminar in the morning and 5-days of exploring Manila in the afternoon (5 PM-onward). This is a part of the 5-Days Manila Challenge.
Luneta Park or also know as Rizal Park, is named after the Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal. It is located in the heart of the city of Manila and situated adjacent to Roxas Boulevard, Intramuros, United Nations Avenue, Philippine National Museum and Luneta Grand Stadium. It’s been known for it’s old name “Bagumbayan” or Nuevo Barrio Paseo de la Luneta.
The famous landmark for this park is the Rizal Monument (with bronze sculpture and granite-body) is among the most famous sculptural landmarks in the country. It is almost been a protocol to lay a wreath and to show respect for visiting dignitaries, and thus, honor guards from the Philippine Marines stands 14-hour days watching over monument for it is not merely the statue of the national hero, but also a burial site of his remains.
But aside from the monument, Rizal’s life and martyrdom is also been one of the attractions of the park for local and foreign visitors and with this, a deeper understanding of Dr. Jose Rizal’s life can be illustrated to all park goers. It situated at the left alley of the park facing Roxas Boulevard. Entrance Fee is twenty (20) pesos and ten (10) pesos for students, senior citizens and PWDs.
My Fatherland ador’d, that sadness to my sorrow lends,
Beloved Filipinas, hear now my last good-by!
I give thee all: parents and kindred and friends;
For I go where no slave before the oppressor bends,
Where faith can never kill, and God reigns e’er on high! ~ Jose P. Rizal
Upon entering the site, both engraved on the tiles is the “Mi ultimo Adios” and “My Last Farewell” written originally in Spanish by the hero himself at Fort Santiago on the eve of his assassination.
Things you should know about Gat Jose P. Rizal:
- Who is Dr. José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda?
Protacio based on the calendar, as well
Rizal based on his father’s last name,
Mercado means “market”
Alonzo based from his mother’s maiden name
Realonda came from his auntie (ninang)
- What does Gat stands for? It is a title given to person who is regarded as a national hero, or to a person who has done greatness during his lifetime.
- Rizal as a Discoverer: As an exile in Dapitan, he collected different kinds of species of animals which is named after him: Draco Rizali(Wandolleck), a specie of flying dragon, Rachophorous Rizali (Boetger), a hitherto unknown specie of toad and Apogonia Rizali (Heller), a small beetle.
- Founder: He founded La Liga Filipina, It involves those who wish to disrupt the oppression of the Spaniards, founded July 3, 1982 but last only 3 days for he is captured July 6, 1982.
- Propaganda Movement Member: A literary and cultural organization formed in 1872. Aiming for Legalization of Spanish and Filipino equality, abolition of the polo (labor service) and vandala (forced sale of local products to the government); freedom of speech, and recognition of human rights, et cetera.
- Who killed Rizal? Rizal was killed by Filipino soldiers. Behind these soldiers were ranked Spanish soldiers who were pointing their riffles to the Filipino soldiers, if they will not shoot Rizal, they will be executed as well.
Here is a photo of me in the sculpture of Rizal and his mother. His mother telling a story about a moth who wants to go near the bright flames of a lamp.
Now this is my review:
I would like to congratulate the City of Manila for maintaining this historical site. It was a place rich of stories, sacrifices, love and hope for the nation and it was enlightening on my part to recall the life our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. It was a good review for the past history and Rizal subject I took more than six years ago.
I consider this as a place that reflects our never ending battle for sovereignty, freedom of expression, equality and recognition of human rights which the world should recognize. We are Filipinos and freedom is what we always fight for and worth-dying for.
A saying from Dr. Jose Rizal, “Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan” for if we don’t look back on what are forefathers had fought for, we can never enjoy the freedom we had today. This is highly recommend this to local and foreign tourist.