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ONE-STOP HERITAGE TRAIL OPENS as Rizal Park gets a face lift

June is a very important month in the Philippine calendar. Not only because it's the time for weddings but because it's our Independence month and at the same time the birth month of our National Hero Jose Rizal.

Whenever we talk of such, one thing enters our mind----LUNETA. 

Rizal Park as it is otherwise known is steeped in heritage and has been the site of some of the most significant moments in Philippine history. AMong them was the execution of our national hero Jose Rizal, thus the park was renamed in his memory. Also Mariano Gomez, Jose Apolonio Burgos  and jacinto Zamora for their involvement in the 1872 Cavite mutiny. Rizal Park was the place where the Philippine Indepence from US rule was declared on July 4 1946. More recently, it was recently the site of political rallies of former presidents  Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino.

I constantly visit Rizal park and I have seen its transformation over the years. At times, I see disturbing changes, but most often pleasurable.

A few weeks ago, the NATIONAL PARK DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE under the leadership of Juliet Horfilla Villegas invited us for a tour of Luneta. At first I thought it's just an ordinary event. I later on realized that I haven't seen Luneta for months--at least in detail and I was surprised at the transformation it is undergoing.

A group of bloggers were taken through carriages and tram across this expansive park which is the largest public park in Asia.


Past the Childrens Playgroudn which was even featured in CNN for the effort of the committee in partnership with some students from the University of the Philippines to renovate it and make it more colorful and safe for children. If you have kids, this place is worth checking.
childrens playground_LUNETA
Rizal Park's attractions include the Chinese Garden which has  a small, picturesque lake and pagodas, the Japanese Garden with its romantic lagoon and bridge, Orchidarium, a showcase of the richest collection of orchids in the world and the Monument of Lapu-lapu, a tribute to the country's first national Hero.

They also opened recently a light and show fountain which excites the visitors at night.

Another surprising development is the ONE STOP HERITAGE TRAIL at the Relief Map of the Philippines along Taft Avenue.

The said project is meant to celebrate the upcoming 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal . It will serve as an overview of all heritage sites within the country. The walkway was in its final phase of construction when we visited and officially opened in May 20.

Phil Star article here: 
Imagine walking through the map of the Philippines and learning a piece of history. Restaurants  with ""al-fresco"" settings of the Philippine and International cuisine will be installed along the walkway on both sides of the ONE-STOP HERIATGE TRAIL. One of the dishes that will be featured is Rizal's personal favorite, ""tinolang manok with papaya""
bloggers during the heritage tour of Luneta

Moreover, the public will have on-the-spot historical information of the sites relating to Dr. Jose Rizal, such as region IV, where Rizal's house is found in Calamba Laguna, Region IX, which houses the Shrine in dapitan Zamboanga del Norte and region V where his first monument stands in Camarines Sur.

All these are efforts of the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) in collaboration with the Department of Tourism--Office of Product and Research.
DOT_Juliet Villegas
the executive director of NPDC Juliet Horfilla Villegas doing presentation for the bloggers
bloggers in LUNETA
Rizal Park is administered by the National parks Development Committe which is also mandated to develop nearby paco Park and Pook ni Maria makiling Forest Park in Los banos laguna.

In the past, the NPDC, an attached agency of the department of tourism has been led by many prominent personalities including two first ladies. Today, its lead to greater heights by its Executive Director, Juliette Villegas, a veteran of the tourism industry.

She was personally there during the culmination of the tour where she explained to the bloggers in detail the master plan for Rizal Park, the historical background, the ongoing developments and projects as well as future plans. She eagerly answered the questions brought about by the bloggers concerning Rizal Park.
bloggers at the VIN55 restaurant during the media launch

I was personally amazed at what I saw. At least I know now that there is an agency which really has a good vision for the Luneta that we all love. Surprisingly, I talked to some bloggers who admitted that they haven't seen Rizal Park, not even once. Travel bloggers as such. This only shows that some of us still ahve a lot to discover about our own heritage. Wag maging dayuhan sa sariling bayan. For us who occassionaly go to Luneta, this is the good time to visit. Like me, I am sure you will be delighted with  these developments.

Rizal Park has a very rich heritage that it deserves this much needed face lift.

Erratum: Thanks to one violent comment from a reader, I stand to be corrected--Rizal's first monument stands in Camarines Norte and not in CamSur.:my bad.D


  1. tagal na yung last time na nagpunta kami ng family ko sa rizal park. mukang nagbago na yung park.

    parang gusto ko din matry ulit malibot dyan.

  2. Anton, you know what, the last time I went to Luneta park, was around 10years ago, when I was still in High School. We used to watch religious/biblical debates of different people from different religion or denomination. Usually, the "Free for All Debate" starts at midnight... Meron pa kaya nuon sa Luneta? It's been a long time, pero mukhang gumanda na nga ang Luneta, nice pictures! Tnx for sharing! God bless! =)

  3. wow, an laki na pala ng pagbabago ng rizal park, siguro one of this days, i papasyal ko mga kids ko dun...thanks po for sharing...^_^

  4. your site is informative, but i lost my interest after reading this post with several incorrect details


    -region V where his first monument stands in Camarines Sur. - this is wrong. It is located in Camarines Norte.
    -More recently, it was recently the site of political rallies of former presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino. - how recent is 25 year ago?

    Please do some more reseach so as NOT to mislead or feed wrong information to your readers. It would also be good if you do some proff reading before posting, it has a lot of typo and grammatical errors. thnks

  5. I mean, proof reading.

  6. anonymous--given the long history of Luneta park---25 years is still considered recent. That's my opinion. I didn't just mention Rizal Park, I think I mentioned Luneta or Bagumbayan which was in existence even before Rizal's execution.

  7. About weather it is Camarines Sur or Norte------- I hope you can give me details of your research pointing to the specific province where the statue was first erected. I always appreciate positive feedback.

    thanks thanks

  8. About the grammar and the typos---I am sorry but I am have no OCD so as to annoy myself too much of that. After all-this is no grammar or English lesson blog.hehehe

  9. it's your responsibility to research before posting any information in your site. FYI, it's actually a monument, not a statue, haha! It seems you really didn't do any reseach. Tsk, tsk, tsk!

    this is no grammar or English lesson blog. - I Agree!

    It is just disappointing to read such article knowing that tou are an online ESL teacher. Is that what you teach to your Korean students? Haha! Now I know why their English is so bad. Haha!

  10. Haha! Thanks for the info Kuya!

    Ang tagal ko nang hindi nakakagala riyan... Haha! EDSA lang kasi ako madalas!

  11. Smile Kuya :) I am still your fan...

  12. I am just compelled to answer because I feel for my fellow blogger... So call me nakikisawsaw, I don't care.

    Anyway, what's wrong with haters like you is that you leave your criticism but omit your name. Why? Got no balls to stand for your opinion?

    People who posts negative comments anonymously is called a TROLL and that's what you are.

    You know if you think you could write better, create your own blog. The funny thing is that Trolls like you enjoys critiquing us blogger though you have no idea what it is like to be a blogger at all! Why don't you try being your own, web admin, photographer, layout artist, researcher, writer and editor all at once?

    C'mon! If you're looking for a blog with a flawless grammar, go to a blog created for grammar nazis like you. And yeah, you suck!

  13. FYI, this is NOT a personal attack against the writer.

    Criticisms should be taken constructively. And the problems with you - "SO CALLED BLOGGERS" - you are not open to criticisms. If you don't want to be criticized, then keep to yourselves all of your writings. never publish it on the net.

    Please be RESPONSIBLE writers / bloggers!

  14. I agree with Sheila.she's a great blogger.i know her, i read her blog.

  15. too bad i did not attend this one, because of other commitment.

  16. anonymous----thanks for passionately commenting about my post. Okay---after research, I am retracting that information and admit that I made a wrong claim on this one.thank you.

    Abuot the grammar--- Not to be very defensive but my post is over 300 words, if errors in grammar or TYPO were made, then so be it. That would make my blog a very good subject for GRAMMARIANS.

    if I may add, yung COMMENT mo about my TYPO errors ilang words lang nagkamali kapa sa PROFF reading--napansin mo? see what I mean?

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. i'll check out the improved Luneta Park this Friday. I'll be touring my parents and sis. my dad loves to see historical places.

  19. mainit ang comment section. well at least may erratum sa post. erratum? eratum? erattum? lels

  20. lovely post..very colourful ;I would love to visit Philippines sometime

  21. ang init dito. wew! easy lang sana...

  22. wow! ang ganda na ng Luneta Park natin, makapagyaya nga pumunta dyan minsan hehe


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