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Rizal Park Renaissance – Attracting new and old visitors

Its been a while since the last time I visited Luneta and after visiting the park couple of weeks back, I was totally surprised. It’s all diferent now, Rizal Park is glowing like an expectant mother! Sure, she’s a little bit older than most of the parks in the region, in fact, she’s the largest historical park in Asia. I guess it’s about time for Luneta’s well deserved restoration to bring back all of its old world glory.

Monument of Jose Rizal
Monument of Jose Rizal

Luneta was once the pride of the Philippines but for the past decade or so, it has fallen on some hard times. The wrinkles started to show and frankly, some people were thinking that the park should be put out of its misery.

Bloggers Tour in Luneta Park
Bloggers Tour in Luneta Park

For too long, images of garbage, waste, and crime were all people would think when they heard about Rizal Park but now thanks to the National Parks Development Committee, the park is being cleaned up, refurbished, and restored.

Philippine Department of Tourism Building
Philippine Department of Tourism Building

The NPDC Executive Director, Juliet Villegas has made it a priority to make the park wonderful again. With a beautiful new children’s playground, closed circuit security cameras, and plenty of wonderful new sculptures and landscaping in place, it’s almost hard to recognize the park.

Rizal Park Childrens Playground
Rizal Park Childrens Playground

Alberto Lim, the Tourism Secretary is assisting and hopeful that the park will be ready for the park’s namesake’s 150th birthday, Dr. Jose Rizal, national hero of the Philippines. Rizal was killed by the Spanish Soldiers on a spot in the park marked by a memorial stature.

Rizal Monument in Luneta
Rizal Monument in Luneta

Also to be restored is the beautiful fountain which sits where Rizal penned his incredible novel Noli Me Tangere. It will be the first piece in a special garden called, Noli Me Tangere Garden.

Sunset in Luneta Park
Sunset in Luneta Park

The park will have free wifi, plenty of parking, and lots of open green spaces for strolls and garden walks. No more walking in the malls, thanks to the green spaces. The free grounds are close enough to include a trip to the Children’s Museum and the two national museums, plus the Ocean Park. So, as you can see, Rizal Park is more than just a place to play on the swings or take a jog. It’s also an important events venue.

There is nearly always some great event to see in Rizal Park and the best of them might just be the dancing water fountain which is in the midst of it’s own refurbishment as the Lagoon area gets an overhaul. The fountain is scheduled to have choreographed water, lights, and Filipino music during daily shows at 6:30 p.m.

The complete restoration of Rizal Park is scheduled to be completed in 2016 but as you can easily see when you visit, the changes are already very noticeable. Rizal Park is becoming a world class urban area. It offers cultural events, wonderful history, exciting outdoors, and Filipino culture like no place else in the entire archipelago.

Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of Outoftownblog.com. He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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