If Luneta could talk, it would tell an outstretched volume of words, like a fabric spun out in threads of momentous historical events, intertwined with stories of ordinary lives.
An important tourist landmark located adjacent to Manila Bay, the park is home to several points of interests in the historical, educational, science, arts, recreation and sports areas.
It was renamed Rizal Park in memory of national hero Jose Rizal who was executed practically in the spot where his remains now lie, reminding each and every Filipino that death does not matter if one dies for love of country and others.
Failing to escape my attention on T.M. Kalaw Avenue is the belle epoque facade of the Luneta Hotel, a testament to the old splendor of Manila. A WWII survivor and a National Historical Landmark, the edifice (designed by Spanish architect/engineer Salvador Farrel and completed in 1918) is undergoing a much-awaited makeover.
On Roxas Blvd, right across the Rizal Monument is the Kilometer Zero marker of the Philippines, which serves as the point from which road distances from Manila are measured.
Below is a photo of the “Ang Bagong Pinoy” sculpture by Olympic artist/sculptor Jose “Joe” Datuin.
A short walk away from the Rizal Monument is the oldest premier hotel in the Philippines. Designed by New York architect Wiliam Parsons and built in 1909, the Manila Hotel retains its stately elegance. It was home to Gen Douglas MacArthur (from 1935 to 1941) and visiting VIPs such as JFK, the Beatles, John Wayne, Sammy Davis, Michael Jackson and so forth.
Unlike Rico J’s version of The Way We Were, I had money left in the pocket for salted duck egg ice cream, a specialty at the hotel’s Mabuhay Palace. More in the next post.
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013