Luneta Park in Manila is one of the largest parks in Southeast Asia. It has an area of almost 58 hectares. During the Spanish time, it was called Bagumbayan. It was used as an executing ground for Filipino rebels. This was also the place of execution of Dr. Jose Rizal.
At present, Luneta park is a place for fun and relaxation. It has playgrounds,fountains,beautiful gardens,historical markers,plazas,food kiosks,restaurants,an observatory,open air concert hall.
The park was also a tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal who was executed by firing squad on December 30,1896. A bronze-and-granite monument was built for him and it is among the famous sculptural landmarks in Philippines.
The park is divided into three and is situated between Roxas Boulevard, TM Kalaw Ave, Taft Avenue and Intramuros.
Tourist Attractions in Luneta Park
Luneta park is one of the tourist spots in Manila. One thing that I like in this park is the man-made lake that has a relief map of the Philippines in the middle. Lots of people visit this place every Sunday for picnics. You will also see that some groups of martial artists are using this park every morning for practice like Eskrima,Filipino Martial Arts,and Tai Chi practioners.
Park Main Attractions and Landmarks
Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion was established in 1994. It is a hectare of land that was transformed into a replica rainforest park. You will see inside the orchidarium the different species of Philippine orchids and butterflies. To learn more about this place you can visit this blog that talks about Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion.
Lapu-Lapu Monument was a gift from Korea as a thanks and honor to the Filipino soldiers who helped during the Korean War. Lapu-Lapu was the first national hero of the Philippines who fought gallantly against Magellan and his men. Magellan and some of his men were killed during the fight. It was later called the Battle of Mactan.
Diorama of Rizal’s Martyrdom. It is located on the north area of Rizal monument. A set of statues were built on the same spot were Dr. Jose Rizal was executed.
Japanese Gardens. It was built to uphold the good relationship between the country of Japan and the Philippines. You will see inside the garden beautiful landscapes like Japanese style gardens, lagoon and bridges.
Chinese garden. The first thing you will see in this garden is the Chinese-style gate. It has carvings with swirling dragons. Once you get inside the garden, you will see pagodas and gazebos.
Outside the park is the National Museum,Planetarium,Department of Tourism, Canadian Philippine friendship Area,Manila Ocean Park, and the Museo Pambata (Children’s Museum).
If you get tired and your stomach is craving for a food, then you don’t have to worry. There are a large number of places to eat. You will see many snacks available inside and outside the park.
You can also rent a Calesa (horse drawn vehicles) to tour the area but make it sure to negotiate first for the price. It will take an hour to tour around.
Luneta is easy to reach by MRT (UN Station is closest).jeepney,bus,or taxi. Cost of entering the attractions inside Luneta are very affordable but going inside the park is free.