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Monday

Luneta Park: A Trademark of Filipino Culture

                
If you will mention the name of Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines, it is impossible without thinking about the Luneta Park, where he was executed by Spanish soldiers on December 30, 1898. But it was a long time ago. Luneta was built in honor of him, a tribute to his greatness. This national park became a national symbol of our country. It would seem that the Philippines would not be the Philippines without Luneta.
Today, Luneta is quite different compared with the previous years because it became organized. Illegal vendors now are not allowed to sell their products at the park. Only those vendors who have the proper permit can do that. Aside from that, homeless people and beggars can no longer stay there at night. Police visibility also became stronger to protect the park’s visitors. We know that even foreigners visit Luneta and see the statue of Rizal being guarded by honor guards who cannot be interrupted while they are standing at the front of statue. They practiced great discipline to do that hard work. 

The management of Luneta also developed the park. They renovated it and the result is adorable. The children’s park in Luneta is now more enjoyable for children because it became so colorful. During Christmas season and Independence Day celebration, they organize a dancing fountain show on evenings. It is pleasurable to see the fountain with many lights that is why it is the center of attraction at the park.  By the way, last time when I went there, the management allowed tiangges or bazaars. 

Of course, the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta is a venue for gatherings, even for political rallies. Remember, that the Million People March against pork barrel was held here. Religious groups also gather at the grandstand, like the El Shaddai Movement of Mike Velarde. But if there is no rally or big event this is a wide playground for children and anyone can fly a kite or simply have a picnic here. 

Luneta is also a lover’s lane. Why not, it is for free because everyone is welcome here. Besides that the venue is so romantic. It seems that the park is designed for love birds. It is good to walk while holding hands or sit down at the bench while whispering sweet words to the ears of your partner. While doing this, remember the song of Rico J. Puno about Luneta? Do you memorize the lyrics of his song? If you want to be more romantic view, go to the Chinese Garden and appreciate the beauty of the flowers in that area. Or just check if there is a free concert at the Luneta Paco Park. Why not walk further and view the sunset at Manila Bay?

Luneta is not only dedicated to Dr. Jose Rizal alone because you will also find here the giant statue of Lapu-Lapu. Lapu-Lapu was the first hero to fight against the Spanish conquerors. Aside from him you will see also the statues of unsung heroes. They are not as famous as Rizal or Lapu-Lapu but they also contributed to our country’s independence and progress. See, how historical Luneta is? Come to Luneta and be a part of our culture.
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