If Freedom had heroes, he’d make the cut. He spent his life fighting for freedom and lost his life for the cause.
Jose Rizal: Philippines’ National Hero. A writer, doctor, poet and a lover, he made significant impact in awakening our sense of heroism when we were under a tyrant’s grasp and spent most of his life fighting for the cause. Allow me to introduce to you Jose Rizal and the park made just for him and fifteen reasons why you should visit it when you come to the Philippines.
Address: Roxas Blvd, Malate, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
Opening/Closing hours: 5 AM – 9 PM daily
|WHY VISIT RIZAL PARK?|
1. SEE THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL FLAGPOLE
The Philippine National Flagpole also known as The Independence Flagpole holds the record of the highest flagpole in the country with an original height of 45.72 meters or about 150 feet, the flagpole was damaged by typhoon though in the year 1995 and was reduced to 32 meters or 105 feet. It is where the Philippine flag was hoisted when the country gained its full independence from foreign forces Fourth of July in 1946.
2. WITNESS THE “MOTTO STELLA”
Rizal Monument, also known as the Guiding Star or “Motto Stella” in Spanish was built in the memory of the Philippine National hero Jose Rizal. It’s perimeter is guided Day and night by the Philippine Marine Corps’. Its vignette was used in the “invasion money” introduced by the Japanese government during the World War II in 1943.
3. FIND ONE OF THE BIGGEST LAPU-LAPU STATUE
A gift of the Korean Freedom League to the Filipinos, this statue was built to celebrate Lapu Lpau as the first asian to successfully overthrow a foreign invasion. It stands proud ~ 30 feet tall on its 10 feet pedestal. The statue is aptly called as The Sentinel of Freedom as it shows Lapu Lapu not in battle but standing guard as he holds his scabbard.
4. STAND AT THE STARTING POINT OF ALL PLACES IN THE PHILIPPINES
Kilometer 0, the reference point for all distances within the country. It is situated across the Rizal Monument and is sometimes considered as the heart of the Philippines.
5. STAND ON THE ACTUAL PLACE RIZAL WAS EXECUTED
“Fuego”, these words came to my mind when I visited the actual place where Dr. Jose Rizal was shot to death by the Spanish colonial government. I walked around and witnessed his story unfold through the sculptures and scenes presented within the park and realised how indebted I was to him and his efforts in fighting for our freedom.
|OTHER PLACES WORTH MENTIONING|
The park also houses a Japanese Garden and Chinese garden. Each garden boasts of its beauty and bond with nature. The Japanese garden has a lagoon and a bridge inside while the Chinese garden also has a lagoon and traditional Chinese corridors, both resembles actual gardens founds in in their country and was built to promote friendship between each countries.
THE JAPANESE GARDEN
THE CHINESE GARDEN
It is also noteworthy how accessible two of Philippines national museums from Rizal Park namely: the National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of Anthropology. Both stands across each other and is a couple of minutes walk from park itself. The Museum of Natural History was built quite recently and is visited for its architectural design as much as for the astifacts it houses.
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY
- The park is just a couple minutes of walk away from Intramuros
- Three Catholic Popes have held mass in its grounds: Pope Francis, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.
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