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.

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. José 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 monument also serves as the point of origin or Kilometre Zero to all other cities in the Philippines.

History

 

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.

· Monumentalizing Rizal (text by Robert Paulino)

The bronze and granite Rizal monument has long been considered among the most famous sculptural landmarks in the country. It is almost protocol for visiting dignitaries to lay a wreath at the monument. Located at the Luneta is not merely the statue of the national hero, but also the mausoleum that houses his remains. Both statue and mausoleum are located near the very spot where Rizal was executed.

On 28 September of that same year, the Philippine Assembly approved Act No. 243, “granting the right to use public land upon the Luneta in the city of Manila” where a monument shall be erected to Jose Rizal.” As conceived by the Act, the monument would not merely consist of a statue, but also a mausoleum to house Rizal’s remains.

A Committee on the Rizal Mausoleum consisting of Poblete, Paciano Rizal (the hero’s brother), Juan Tuason, Teodoro R. Yangco, Mariano Limjap, Dr. Maximo Paterno, Ramon Genato, Tomas G. del Rosario and Dr. Ariston Bautista was created. The members were tasked, among others, with raising funds through popular subscriptions.

The estimated cost of the monument was P100,000. By January 1905, that goal had been oversubscribed. When the campaign closed in August 1912, the amount collected had reached P135,195.61

More than twelve years after the Philippine Assembly approved Act No. 243, the shrine was finally unveiled on December 30, 1913 during Rizal’s 17th death anniversary.

Luneta is Spanish for half-moon in shape which seems to appropriately describe this promenade

The Luneta, Manila, Philippines

The Luneta, found in Manila, was a promenade well used by the socially prominent in Philippine history. Daily at sunset, the elite would arrive to admire the beautiful vista, and additionally to be seen. As can be seen from the photo, horse drawn carriages would circle around the track in a clock wise direction. The only exceptions to this traffic flow were for the Governor and the Archbishop, who were entitled to travel in the opposite direction. Occasionally, executions were carried out here to further entertain the crowds.

1910

2007