Rizal Park: Rediscovering Its Beauty and Exploring the Parts Unknown

luneta park manila

The city of Manila is known for so many things—cool museums, preserved Spanish structures, the world’s oldest Chinatown, and the historic sites where some of the most significant events in Philippine history took place. Mention this city and without a doubt, Rizal Park automatically comes to mind. 

While it’s popularly known for being the site where the Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal was executed, Rizal park is more than that.

About Rizal Park

rizal park luneta

Also known as Luneta Park, Manila’s iconic 58-hectare park is considered as one of the most historical places in Manila because this is where Jose Rizal was executed on December 30, 2896—the day that led to a revolution. 

His remains were dumped in an unmarked grave at the Paco Cemetery but in 1898, it was transferred to the Rizal Park monument in Luneta under American rule.

What’s inside this blog?

Read this blog to learn more about Jose Rizal Park for a fun and fruitful adventure.

Rizal Park History

Before it was known as the site of Rizal’s death, it began as barely habitable marshland, then became a hub of the Spanish leisure class. Originally named as Bagumbayan or the “new village,” the park’s proximity to some government offices, its accessibility from the new country homes being built in the outskirts of Manila, and the fresh air it brings from the sea is a respite from the tropical heat. That’s why it was an ideal spot for the Spanish and Manila elite seeking comforts.

The Luneta Park tagalog draws its name from the word lunette, meaning “crescent-shaped structure for defense used in fortifications in the 17th to 18th centuries.”

Luneta Park then became the capital’s killing field—the place of martyrdom of three secular priests falsely accused of leading an uprising, Mariano Gómez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora (GomBurZa), and of course, Jose Rizal’s execution site.

Rizal Park Facts

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To make your trip more educational, here are some facts about Rizal Park tagalog you must know.

1. Three Popes held Mass here

  • Pope Paul VI – 1970
  • Pope John Paul II – 1995 (Holding the record for the largest papal crowd in history from the Guinness Book of World Records, with an estimated 4-5 million attendees, mostly youth.)
  • Pope Francis – 2015

2. Considered as the largest urban park in Asia

3. A usual venue of various attempts to break world records

Rizal Park Location

Luneta Park location is one of the most historic sites in the Philippines. It is found in Ermita, Manila. 

How to Get There

From around Manila

Option 1: Ride a jeepney along Rizal Avenue bound for Taft Avenue and ask the driver to drop you off at T.M. Kalaw.

Option 2: Take LRT-1 going to Taft and get down at United Nations station. Upon arrival, walk towards T.M. Kalaw.

Option 3: You can ride an FX along Roxas Boulevard with a sign Sucat-Lawton then, tell the driver to drop you off at Luneta.

From Pasay

Option 1: Ride an FX or bus going to Manila City Hall or Lawton and get down at Luneta.

Option 2: From SM Mall of Asia or along Taft Avenue, take a jeepney going to Divisoria either via Taft or Mabini route. Get down at Luneta.

Option 3: If you’re coming from Makati, ride Libertad-LRT or Buendia-LRT-bound jeepneys or Ayala-Leveriza-bound buses and alight at the LRT station. Ride either an LRT or jeepney along Taft Avenue and get down at United Nations Station or Luneta Park location.

Tourist Spots Near Rizal Park

You can experience a calm environment away from the city’s hustle and bustle when in Luneta. The park has also become a favorite leisure spot in Manila. Here are some of the best tourist spots to visit near the location of Rizal Park. 

Rizal Monument

Rizal Monument at Luneta Park

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Rizal Park monument is a 42 feet standing bronze sculpture of Rizal, set on a granite stone base which his remains are interred inside. 

National Museum of the Philippines

national museum of the philippines

The National Museum of the Philippines is the perfect location to appreciate the country’s rich culture as works of art by Filipino artists are featured in the multiple levels of this museum. Famous artworks like “Spoliarium” and “Parisian Life” by Juan Luna and artifacts from different periods in the Philippines can be seen here. Plus, it’s completely free so it’s definitely an enriching experience! 

Relief Map of the Philippines

Relief Map of the Philippines rizal park manila

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

It is a 3D relief map of the Philippines situated in the middle of a small lake in Luneta Park location. 

Chinese and Japanese Gardens

Chinese and Japanese Gardens rizal park manila

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Another attraction you can find near Rizal Park address are the Chinese and Japanese Gardens. You can stroll around the area to see beautiful gardens, small lagoons, and Chinese and Japanese-inspired structures.

Monument of Lapu-Lapu

Lapu-Lapu Monument, Rizal Park manila

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The 40 feet bronze statue of Lapu-Lapu, another Filipino hero, stands in the middle of Agrifina Circle within the eastern portion of Luneta Park.

It looks towards the sea, almost mirroring the famous Rizal Park statue of Dr. Jose Rizal. Lapu-Lapu’s monument is 400 meters away from the Rizal monument. According to Senador Richard Gordon said it symbolizes the 400-year historical distance between Lapu-Lapu and Rizal.

Where to Stay

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In case you’re planning a quick getaway just around Manila, here are the places you can book for safe staycations in Manila

1. ZEN Rooms V Plaza Manila

v plaza manila

Isn’t it great to have a safe hotel staycation Manila without worrying about your wellbeing, and of course, your budget? ZEN Rooms V Plaza Manila is a perfect place for those looking for a cheap staycation in Manila. You’re guaranteed to have the best experience at this hotel as it offers great amenities that will totally relax you.

Address: 3003 Juan Luna St., Gagalangin, Tondo, Manila

Tourist spots near the hotel: Chinatown, Divisoria, 168 Shopping Mall, Intramuros, Escolta, Quiapo Church

Ideal for: Backpackers, Traders, Young Professionals, Business, Leisure

Amenities: 24h Security, Parking, Baggage Storage, Shared Lounge / TV Area, Designated Smoking Area, Concierge, Air Conditioning, Hot Shower, Free WiFi, Flat Screen TV, Private Bathroom, Cable TV Channel, Window in the Room, Study Desk, Bath Gel/Soap, Shampoo, Bidet

Price from PHP 800/night

Check-in note: No age restriction

Book now

2. Slouch Hat Inn Manila

Slouch Hat Inn Manila

Now this one’s really perfect if you’re coming straight from Rizal Park tagalog. This hotel features a hotel bar and restaurant, rooms with complete amenities, and more. The location of the hotel is along the main street of the city, a few minutes away from historical places in the country, like Intramuros.

Address: 1112-1116 M.H. Del Pilar St., Ermita, Manila

Tourist spots near the hotel: Manila Baywalk, Manuel Roxas Monument, Museo Marino, Intramuros, Rizal Park description

Amenities: 24h Front Desk, 24h Room Service, Hotel Restaurant, Hotel Bar, Designated Smoking Area, Baggage Storage, Air Conditioning, Hot Shower, Free WiFi, Flat Screen TV, Cable TV Channel, Fridge, In-Room Safe

Price from PHP 930/night

Book now

3. Baymont Suites & Residences

Baymont Suites & Residences

If you want to experience the best staycation in Manila, consider booking a stay at Baymont Suites & Residences. It’s near the airport and other attractions that’s why it makes a great destination for hotel staycation in Manila.

Address: 3992 Airport Road cor. Mactan St. Baclaran, Parañaque City

Tourist spots near the hotel: Baclaran Church, Manila Baywalk, SM Mall of Asia, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Manila Ocean Park, Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Amenities: 24h Room Service, Airport Shuttle (Extra Cost), Ironing Facilities, Baggage Storage, 24h Security, SPA (Massage), No Parking, Air Conditioning, Hot Shower, Free WiFi, Non Smoking Room, Flat Screen TV, Private Bathroom, Cable TV Channel, Window in The Room, Bottled Water, Coffee & Tea, Kettle

Price from PHP 2,100/night

Check-in note: Valid ID and fill out health declaration form upon check-in

Book now

4. Rizal Park Hotel

rizal park hotel

Photo credits to Rizal Park Hotel

Address: Rizal Park Hotel is located at South Road Drive, T.M. Kalaw Ext., Ermita, Manila

Price from PHP 9,000/night

Frequently Asked Questions About Jose Rizal Park

Q: Why is Luneta Park important?

A: Luneta Park before and after plays a significant role. First, it was a popular leisure spot for Spanish and Manila’s elite, and second, it’s a site where some of the most significant events in Philippine History took place, like the execution of Dr. Jose Rizal and the three martyr priests GomBurZa.

Q: What can you see in Rizal Park?

A: Luneta Park features a lot of great attractions every traveler must visit. These are:

  1. Rizal Monument
  2. A 58-hectare park
  3. National Museum of the Philippines
  4. Relief Map of the Philippines
  5. Chinese and Japanese Gardens
  6. Monument of Lapu-Lapu
  7. Kilometer Zero
  8. Manila Baywalk

Q: What is the Luneta Park description?

A: The Luneta Park tagalog draws its name from the word lunette, meaning “crescent-shaped structure for defense used in fortifications in the 17th to 18th centuries.” The original name of Luneta Park is Bagumbayan.

Q: Why is Rizal Park considered historical and famous?

A: Luneta Park has been the site of the most significant events in the Philippine History. These include the execution of the Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal on December 30, 1896 that sparked the fire of the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish colonizers; the place of martyrdom of three secular priests falsely accused of leading an uprising, Mariano Gómez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora (GomBurZa).

Q: What to do in Rizal Park? 

A: There are many things to do in Luneta Park at night and day. These are:

  1. Picnic
  2. Walking tour
  3. Visiting the Chinese and Japanese Gardens
  4. Learning Arts and Culture at National Museum
  5. Watching the dancing fountains in Luneta Park at night

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