Saturday, May 05, 2007

Manila: When was the last time you visited Rizal Park?

I was at the HCS office today in Museo Pambata (former Elks Club Building) for an HCS Youth Chapter meeting. Several schools were represented including UP, UST, Ateneo, DLSU and Adamson. It just shows that the heritage advocacy is being powered by young people. The group has a lot of plans for the year. Check out the HCS website regularly for updates.

After the meeting, I walked to nearby Rizal Park. There are several important heritage buildings around the perimeter of the park including the Elks Club Building (Museo Pambata), the Luneta Hotel, Army & Navy Club and Manila Hotel which are all National Historical Landmarks, and the former Department of Finance and the current Department of Tourism buildings. Rizal Park itself is a National Historical Site being the execution site of several Philippine heroes and martyrs. While the Rizal Monument is one of three National Historical Monuments.

My stroll around the park was pleasant. The afternoon breeze was relaxing. The park is well-maintained and the landscaping was quite good except for the flagpole area (I don't remember seeing all those pots and volcanic rock at the base of the flagpole before), which I find cluttered and very kitsch! Whoever approved that should be fired!

Around the park were several monuments to the martyrs of Bagumbayan and markers at the sites of execution of Jose Rizal, and the three priests namely Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora. Across Roxas Boulevard was the Quirino Grandstand. If you notice a small marker with the number zero on it, that's Kilometer Zero which is the reference point for all road markers in Luzon. Anyway, after that short stroll, I went back home.

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