Rizal Park is one of the most significant landmarks in the Philippines. Also known as "Luneta Park" and originally referred to as Bagumbayan during the Spanish era, Rizal Park is where the country’s national hero Jose Rizal got executed in 1896. It is where his remains are enshrined and is recognized as the Philippines’ main kilometer zero.
Covering an area of 58 hectares, the historic area is considered one of the largest urban parks in Asia housing the National Museum Complex, an open-air auditorium, Independence flagpole, a musical dancing fountain, the Quirino Grandstand, and a 10-hectare open field, in addition to the Rizal Monument. Gardens, artworks, a flower clock, and other monuments can also be found in the park.
ABOUT RIZAL PARK (MANILA)
Rizal Park (Filipino: Liwasang Rizal, Spanish: Parque Rizal), also known as Luneta Park or simply Luneta, is a historic urban park located in Ermita, Manila, Philippines. It is considered one of the largest urban parks in Asia, covering an area of 58 hectares (140 acres). The site on where the park is situated was originally known as Bagumbayan during the Spanish colonial period. It is adjacent to the historic Walled City of Intramuros.
Situated on the eastern shore of Manila Bay, the park plays a significant role in shaping the history of the Philippines. The execution of Filipino patriot José Rizal on December 30, 1896 in the same area fanned the flames of the 1896 Philippine Revolution against the Kingdom of Spain.
The park was officially named in his honor, and the monument enshrining his remains serves as the park's symbolic focal point. The declaration of Philippine independence from the United States was held here on July 4, 1946, as well as later political rallies, including those of Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino, the latter having culminated in the EDSA Revolution in 1986.
Like Rizal Avenues, most Philippine towns and cities have a Rizal Park (or a Plaza Rizal), usually its central square. This is also where its Rizal monument is located. Seattle also has its own Rizal Park. Additionally, a statue and monument of Jose Rizal was erected in Luneta Park, located along Rizal Ave in the city of Markham, ON Canada in 2019.
FACTS ABOUT RIZAL PARK
Here are some fun facts to know about Luneta Park:
- Rizal Park is managed, developed, and administered by the National Parks Development Committee.
- Rizal Park is FREE ENTRANCE
- Park Type: Urban park
- Location: Ermita, Manila, Philippines
- Coordinates: 14°34′57″N 120°58′42″ECoordinates: 14°34′57″N 120°58′42″E
- Area: 58 hectares (140 acres)
- Created: 1820
- Plants: 3,497 trees (2015)
- Species: 112 tree species (2015)
- Public transit access: Metro interchange LRT1 - United Nations
- Website: rizal.npdc.gov.ph
WHAT TO BRING FOR RIZAL PARK
Here are some things you might consider bringing with you for your day tour / adventure:
- Stylish face mask
- Water container/tumbler to rehydrate
- Sunscreen for skin protection
- Travel backpack / luggage
- Reusable vacuum storage packs
- Selfie stick
- Waterproof phone case
- Acion cam
- Camping tent
- WiFi kit
- Power bank
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Regular Events Held at Rizal Park
- Monthly Flag-Raising Ceremony held every first Monday of the month at the Independence Flagpole for public – started October 2019.
- The annual Independence Day (June 12), Rizal Day (December 30) and New Year's Eve (December 31) celebrations are held at the park.
- The park was the traditional end of the Marlboro Tour (now known as the Tour de Filipinas), the national road bicycle racing event every April or May. Recently, the tour has ended in Baguio.
- The park is also the host of the National Milo Marathon.
- Presidential inaugurations are usually held in the park every June 30, six years starting from 1992.
READ: Lists of Public Holidays in the Philippines (Regular and Special Non-Working Holidays)
RIZAL PARK LAYOUT
The park is divided into three sections:
- Northeastern Section: This 16-hectare (40-acre) section is designated as the National Museum Complex which includes the Agrifina Circle, and where the National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of Anthropology are located.
- Central Section: Located south of Maria Orosa Street is the 22-hectare (54-acre) park proper that extends down up to Roxas Boulevard. This is where the Rizal Monument and several attractions such as the Open-Air Auditorium, Independence Flagpole, Central Musical and Dancing Fountain are located.
- Southwestern Section: Includes the Burnham Green, a 10-hectare (25-acre) open field, the Quirino Grandstand and the Manila Ocean Park along Manila Bay.
- Children's Playground, the section of the park built for kids, is located at the southeastern corner of the Rizal Park. The playground was also renovated in 2011.
- Chinese Garden. An ornate Chinese-style gate, carved with swirling dragons, leads you into this whimsical garden which looks like it has been transported from old Peking. Along the lagoon constructed to simulate a small lake, are pagodas and gazebos that are set off by red pillars and green-tiled roofs and decorated with a profusion of mythical figures.
- Japanese Garden. The gardens were built to promote friendship between Japan and the Philippines. Inside is nice place for pleasant walks around the Japanese style gardens, lagoon and bridge.
- Noli me Tangere Garden, recently unveiled, It features the Heidelberg fountain where Rizal used to drink from when he was staying in Germany. It was donated as a symbol of Filipino-German friendship, The bust of Ferdinand Blumentritt can be found at the garden.
- Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion, established in 1994, was a former parking lot developed into a one-hectare rainforest-like park. The Orchidarium showcases Philippines' rich collection of orchid species and butterflies. The pavilion is a favorite venue for weddings.
- Open-Air Auditorium, designed by national artist for architecture, Leandro Locsin, features performances provided for free to the general public by the National Parks Development Committee, Department of Tourism and the National Broadcasting Network. Free entertainment is also provided elsewhere in the park.
- Quirino Grandstand, Originally called grand Independence Grandstand. It was designed by architect Juan M. Arellano, in preparation for the proclamation of Independence on July 4, 1946, and to avoid overcrowding in front of the Legislative Building during the inauguration of the Third Philippine Republic. It was designed in Neoclassical style. However, in 1949 Federico Illustre, chief architect at the Bureau of Public Works, modify the some designs of Arellano. It was completed on the reclaimed area along Manila Bay where President Elpidio Quirino was sworn in after winning the presidential election. Since then, newly elected Presidents of the Philippines traditionally take their oath of office and deliver their inaugural address to the nation in the grandstand, which was later renamed after President Quirino. Many important political, cultural and religious events in the post-war era have been held here.
- Parade grounds and the Burnham Green, Parade grounds is a popular venue for fun run, races, motorcades and parades. The Burnham Green, named after American architect Daniel Burnham is a large open space in front of the Quirino grandstand, Designed to accommodate large crowd gatherings at the park, It also serves as picnic grounds and venue for different sports activities. The Narra tree planted by Pope Paul VI and the bronze statue of San Lorenzo Ruiz that was given by Pope John Paul II can be found in this area.
- Valor's Hall/Bulwagan ng Kagitingan, situated at the light and sound complex, Its artistic landscape and design made it one of the top-pick venues for event and cocktail receptions.
- National Planetarium was a planetarium owned and operated by the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila. It is a 16-meter (52 ft) dome located in Rizal Park between the Japanese Garden and Chinese Garden on Padre Burgos Avenue in the central district of Ermita. It opened on October 8, 1975, and has been in operation since then.
- National Museum of Natural History is the national natural history museum of the Philippines. The building was constructed as the Agriculture and Commerce Building in 1940. It was designed in a neoclassical style by Filipino Architect Antonio Toledo in the late 1930s, having the same dimensions and floor plan as its twin building located at the northern side of the circle, the Finance Building.
- National Museum of Anthropology, on the building north of Agrifina Circle, are the Anthropology and Archeology collections of the National Museum of the Philippines.
- National Library of the Philippines is the country's premier public library. The library has a history of its own and its rich Filipiniana collections are maintained by the librarians to preserve the institution as the nations fountain of local knowledge and source of information for thousands of students and everyday users in their research and studies.
- National Museum of Fine Arts, located on the northeastern tip of Rizal Park, is an art museum of the National Museum of the Philippines.
- Manila Ocean Park is an oceanarium located in the westernmost part of Luneta behind the Quirino Grandstand and along Manila Bay. The complex opened on March 1, 2008.
Artworks and monuments
- Rizal Monument. The bronze-and-granite Rizal monument is among the most famous sculptural landmarks in the country. It is almost protocol for visiting dignitaries to lay a wreath at the monument. Located on the monument is not merely the statue of Rizal, but also his remains.
- Artist's Haven/Kanlungan ng Sining. A site of artistic and natural artworks, It houses the gallery run by the Arts Association of the Philippines (AAP), in collaboration with the NDPC.
- Artworks in the Park. The Rizal park features different artworks of some renowned Filipino artists:
- Dancing Rings. A replica of Joe Datuin's Dancing Rings, The original sculpture is the Grand Prize winner of the 2008 International Olympic Committee Sports and Arts Contest in Lausanne, Switzerland.
- The New Filipino/Ang Bagong Pinoy. A sculpture by Joe Dautin, It features intertwined rings resemble a human figure that represents a new Filipino.
- Ang Pagbabago (The Change) Mosaic Murals. It represents the Filipino ideals of peace, love, unity and prosperity. It serves as a call to national renewal and change.
- Diorama of Rizal's Martyrdom. On an area north of Rizal monument stands a set of statues depicting Rizal's execution, situated on the spot where he was actually martyred, contrary to popular belief that the monument is the spot where he was executed. In the evenings, a light & sound presentation titled "The Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal" features a multimedia dramatization of the last poignant minutes of the life of the Filipino patriot. Rizal's poem Mi Ultimo Adios, engraved in black granite, can also be found here.
- Filipino-Korean Soldier Monument. This monument of two Filipino soldiers aiding a Korean soldier is dedicated to the Filipino combat soldiers who fought with the Korean troops during the Korean War.
- Soul waves. It represents sea waves as a tribute to Filipino who died during the World War II, It is placed in the park by Korea, as a sign of mutual respect.
- The Flower Clock. It features a clock on a flower bed. A feature of the park since the 1960s, it was restored in 2011. The clock's hand was sculpted by Filipino artist Jose Datuin.
- The Gallery of Heroes. This is a row of bust sculpture monuments of historical Philippine Heroes. There are 2 rows on both sides of the Central Lagoon, one row on the North Promenade and another row on the South Promenade
- Relief map of the Philippines. This is a giant raised-relief map of the country, including the Scarborough Shoal, Kalayaan, and eastern part of Sabah, in the middle of a small man-made lake.
- Statue of the Sentinel of Freedom (or the Lapu-Lapu Monument). The monument was a gift from the people of Korea as appreciation and to honor the memory of freedom-loving Filipinos who helped during the Korean War in the early 1950s (as inscribed in the plaque).
- Independence Flagpole, standing at 105 feet (32 m), is the highest flagpole in the Philippines. On this spot in front of Rizal Monument, at 9:15 am July 4, 1946, the full independence of the Republic of the Philippines was proclaimed as authorized by the United States President Harry S. Truman. As of August 2013, the flagpole was restored and increased its height to 150 feet (46 m). The government is expected to spend ₱7.8 million, in preparation for the centennial of Rizal Monument
- Kilometer Zero is located within the Park on Roxas Boulevard, in front of the Rizal Monument. It serves as the point from which all road distances from Manila are measured.
- Musical Dancing Fountain. Deemed as the biggest and most vibrant dancing fountain in the country, the central lagoon present a show with waters soaring up to 88 feet, fireballs, exploding water rockets and peacock spray water screen.
ATTRACTIONS TO SEE IN MANILA
Some other attractions to see and things to do nearby Rizal Park:
- Walk around Intramuros (Day Tour)
- Food crawl in Binondo
- Visit the Dolomite Beach in Manila Bay
- Have fun at Star City
- Have a relaxing staycation at SMDC Blue Residences
- Go shopping in Divisoria
Walking Tour Luneta with Dolomite Beach Manila (Itinerary)
Here’s a sample Luneta Rizal Park walking tour in Manila including the Dolomite Beach. You can choose to start off first in the Dolomite beach or have it as the last leg and watch the sunset in Manila Bay. This is a total of 8 kilometer and can be finished in one day. You can end your tour in Intramuros / Manila Cathedral.
- Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach, Roxas Blvd (Free Entrance)
- Manila Ocean Park (Entrance Fee: varies)
- Kilometer Zero / Quirino Grandstand (Free Entrance)
- Rizal Monument (Free Entrance)
- Rizal Park (Free Entrance)
- National Museum (Free Entrance)
- Liwasang Bonifacio (Free Entrance)
- Metropolitan Theater (Free Entrance)
- Jones Bridge (No Entrance)
- Fort Santiago (Entrance Fee: 75) closes at 5:00 PM
- Manila Cathedral / Intramuros
Also try to go around at night and REDISCOVER MANILA: 20+ Tourist Spots To Visit At Night (Things To Do & New Places To Go)
HOW TO GET TO LUNETA PARK
Here's a commuting guide for those going to Rizal Park:
From around Manila
- Option 1. Ride a jeepney along Rizal Avenue bound for Taft Avenue and asked to be dropped at T.M. Kalaw.
- Option 2. Take an LRT 1 Yellow Line going to Taft and get down at United Nations station, walk towards T.M. Kalaw.
- Option 3. From Lawton/City Hall area, ride a jeepney going to Baclaran and get down at the Shell Station at the corner of M.H.Del Pilar and T.M.Kalaw.
- Option 4. Along Roxas Boulevard, there are FX that are Sucat-Lawton. You can ride this and asked to be dropped at Luneta.
From Quezon City and Marikina
- Option 1. Take the LRT2 Purple Line and go down at Recto Station. From here, transfer to Doroteo Jose Station of LRT 1 Yellow Line and ride an LRT bound for Baclaran. Go down at United Nations Avenue.
- Option 2. From Cubao, you can ride a jeepney/FX that is bound for Quiapo and asked to be dropped at Rizal Avenue. Ride an LRT 1 bound for Baclaran via Doroteo Jose Station. Get down at United Nations Station.
Areas by the east side of Metro Manila (i.e. Pasig, Mandaluyong, Pateros etc)
- Option 1. You can ride an MRT southbound to EDSA-Taft Station and transfer to the LRT1 via an elevated walkway to EDSA Station and ride an LRT bound for Monumento. Get down at United Nations Station and walk towards T.M. Kalaw.
- Option 2. You can ride an MRT southbound to EDSA-Taft Station and from there ride a Quiapo/Divisoria bound jeepney via Taft Avenue. There are also buses from the south that are bound for Lawton, you can take that, get down at United Nations Station and walk towards T.M. Kalaw.
- Option 3. You can also ride an MRT northbound to Cubao and transfer to LRT 2 Purple Line bound for Recto and ride an LRT 1 bound for Baclaran. Get down at United Nations Avenue. (This route is crazy and impractical, but it works).
From the south (Pasay, Makati, Paranaque and more southern area):
- Option 1. Ride an FX or bus bound for Manila City Hall or Lawton and get down at Luneta.
- Option 2. From SM Mall of Asia or along Taft Avenue, take a jeepney bound for Divisoria either via Taft or Mabini route. Get down at Luneta.
- Option 3. Ride the LRT 1 Yellow Line bound for United Nations Station and get down at United Nations Station and walk towards T.M. Kalaw.
- Option 4. Around Makati and Pasay, ride Libertad-LRT or Buendia-LRT bound jeepneys or Ayala-Leveriza bound buses and get down at the LRT station. Ride either an LRT or jeepney along Taft Avenue and get down at United Nations Station or Luneta/Rizal Park.
- Option 5. Along Roxas Boulevard, there are FX that are Sucat-Lawton. You can ride this and asked to be dropped at Luneta.
For private vehicles
Rizal Park is accessible via Roxas Boulevard and Taft Avenue. It is actually advisable to come from Roxas Boulevard as there's ample parking and usually less car at this area. Taft Avenue usually have congested traffic.
Parke ng Rizal (Bagumbayan)
Address: Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
Address: Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
WHERE TO STAY NEAR RIZAL PARK
Here's a list of hotel accommodation you can book nearby Rizal Park:
- Octagon Mansion Hotel - Check Rates and Availability!
- Bayview Park Hotel - Check Rates and Availability!
- Go Hotels Ermita - Check Rates and Availability!
- City Garden Suites Hotel - Check Rates and Availability!
- Pearl Manila Hotel - Check Rates and Availability!
- Sunny Bay Suites - Check Rates and Availability!
ACTIVITIES AND TOURS IN MANILA
OTHER ATTRACTIONS AND THEME PARKS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Here are other amusement and theme parks to try around the country:
- AQUA PLANET COMPLETE PARK GUIDE: Amenities, Activities, Directions & Discounted Pass
- STAR CITY COMPLETE PARK GUIDE: Your Biggest Amusement Park in Manila
- MANILA OCEAN PARK: What To See, Things To Do and Discounted Pass
- ENCHANTED KINGDOM PARK GUIDE: Ride-All-You Can Pass, How To Get There, Things To Do and Best Rides To Try
- INFLATABLE ISLAND: Guide to Asia's Biggest Floating Playground in Subic, Zambales (Fun Activities + Discounted Play Pass)
- RAINFOREST ADVENTURE PARK: Things To Do and Attractions To See at Pasig RAVE
- KINDERCITY: Fun in the Playground (Entrance Fee, Schedule, How to Book)
- PARADIZOO: a theme farm in Mendez, Cavite
- BAGUIO CITY GUIDE: Burnham Park (Facts and Activities)
- FANTASY WORLD: A Guide To The Abandoned Disneyland Of The Philippines (Lemery, Batangas)
- VIGAN CITY: What to see at Baluarte Zoo (Entrance Fee + Things To Do)
- THE PUZZLE MANSION: Guide to the Largest Jigsaw Puzzle Collection in the World (Entrance Fee + How To Get There
- TALES OF ILLUMINA: Interactive Way of Learning Philippine Folklore (What to See Inside + Fun Activities)
- GINGERBREAD HOUSE in Alfonso, Cavite: the first in the Philippines!
- TAGAYTAY: Picnic Grove (Directions, Activities and Amenities)
- TORRES FARM AND RESORT: Around the World experience in Naic, Cavite
IMPORTANT NOTE: The rates, contact details and other information indicated in this post are accurate from the time of writing but may change without IMFWJ's notice. Should you know the updated information, please let us know by leaving a message in the comment box below.
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