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

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

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

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

June 12 marks the day the Philippines celebrates its independence from centuries of Spanish rule in 1898. Philippines Independence Day is declared as a national holiday. Most Filipinos spend this holiday with family and friends to take a break from the bustling and hustling city life while others go on a trip down memory lane and reminisce the sacrifices that fellow Filipinos did for this long-fought-freedom.

This year, why not celebrate the Philippines Independence Day meaningfully by giving this list a try to show your love for the country even in small but significant ways.

Here are the things you can do to make the most out of the Philippine Independence Day!

1. Visit the National Museum

national museum manila

If you have been meaning to take advantage of the perpetually free admission to the Philippines’ National Museum, now’s the time to visit! Open this June 12 particularly in celebration of Philippines Independence Day, the National Museum is a great place to honor our independence by surrounding yourself with the Philippine culture, history, and biodiversity on display. There are three must-visit sections here: Art, Archaeology, and Natural History. So be sure to prepare your mind and body for long and thoughtful walks!

2. Stroll along Luneta Park

Why not rest your weary self this week by visiting the Luneta Park with family and friends this holiday? Take advantage of the no work, no school day to be one with nature and grasp the Philippine history by spending the day in a monumental place. You can unwind here by flying kites or by having a picnic. Also, don’t forget to catch the changing of the guards for the Rizal monument.

3. Explore Intramuros

Intramuros was where Manila’s most influential and wealthy citizens of the Spanish colonial period had lived. Explore the historic Walled City of Intramuros without spending a lot! Intramuros is one of the cheapest but amazing places in Manila that you can tour. You can either bike or just join the walking tours in the area. And once you’re there, you’ll feel like you’ve time-traveled to the past. There you’ll find Fort Santiago where Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal was imprisoned before his execution in 1896.

4. Eat Filipino street food

There truly is nothing more Filipino than Filipino food so, indulge yourself this Philippines Independence Day with the treats that you can find just on the streets! Don’t miss the isaw (chicken and pork intestines), fish balls, balut, penoy, and everyone’s favorite: kwek-kwek (quail eggs covered with orange batter).

Top it off with dessert in the form of sorbetes; the street-peddled ice cream in the Philippines. Eat them picnic-like with friends or while taking a walk in the park.

5. Movie marathon of Filipino historical movies

Binge watch the all-time Filipino historical films this Philippines Independence Day. You can never go wrong with the films José Rizal (1998), El Presidente (2012), Heneral Luna (2015), Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (2016), Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral (2018), and Quezon’s Game (2019). These are just some of the films to commemorate this holiday with. If you haven’t seen any of them, there’s no other perfect time than now, to appreciate the road to Philippine freedom.

6. Book yourself a trip at the best value

Make the most out of the holiday by treating yourself to a great and affordable vacation! With over hundreds of ZEN properties all over Southeast Asia, it’s never been easier to explore and unwind wherever you choose this holiday or this summer.

Book now at zenrooms.com for the best value stay-cation and accommodation.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.