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Rizal Park

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Rizal Park
Rizal Park is like an oasis for relaxation and fun in the midst of Manila and situated next to Intramuros. Rizal Park has gardens, historical markers, plazas, a grand stadium, an observatory, an open-air concert hall, an artists’ sanctuary, a light-and-sound theatre, restaurants, food kiosks and playgrounds, and dozens of fountains. Rizal Park is in the heart of Manila’s thriving financial, commercial, industrial and institutional centers, overlooking the famous and picturesque Manila Bay. The park was a tribute to the Philippine’s national hero, Jose Rizal, a doctor and novelist who was shot by firing squad at this site on December 30, 1896 on charges of fomenting local rebellion against the Spanish government.

At the center of it all is the 1913 bronze Rizal’s monument situated a few meters away from the marker indicating the actual execution site. Many national dedication days are held in front of the Rizal monument. It is also where foreign leaders attend wreath-laying ceremonies during state visits. The park is divided into three sections beginning with the 16-hectare Agrifina Circle adjoining Taft Avenue, where the Department of Tourism and the National Museum of the Filipino People (formerly the Department of Finance) are located; followed by the 22-hectare park proper that extends down to Roxas Boulevard; and terminating at a 10-hectare open field across Roxas Boulevard fronting Quirino Grandstand along the Manila Bay.

Points of interest
Children’s Playground, the section of the park built for kids, is located at the southeastern corner of the Rizal Park. The playground was also renovated in 2011. Chinese Garden. An ornate Chinese-style gate, carved with swirling dragons, leads you into this whimsical garden which looks like it has been transported from old Peking. Along the lagoon constructed to simulate a small lake, are pagodas and gazebos that are set off by red pillars and green-tiled roofs and decorated with a profusion of mythical figures. Concert at the Park at the Rizal Park Open-Air Auditorium are performances provided for free to the general public by the National Parks Development Committee, Department of Tourism and the National Broadcasting Network. Free entertainment are also provided elsewhere in the park. Featured shows are a mix of performances from dance, theatre, to musical performances by local and foreign artists. Diorama of Rizal’s Martyrdom.

On an area north of Rizal monument stands a set of statues depicting Rizal’s execution, situated on the spot where he was actually martyred, contrary to popular belief that the monument is the spot where he was executed. In the evenings, a Light & Sound presentation titled “The Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal”, features a multimedia dramatization of the last poignant minutes of the life of the national hero. Filipino-Korean Soldier Monument. This monument of two Filipino soldiers aiding a Korean soldier is dedicated to the Filipino combat soldiers who fought with the Korean troops during the Korean War. Japanese Garden. The gardens were built to promote friendship between Japan and the Philippines. Inside is nice place for pleasant walks around the Japanese style gardens, lagoon and bridge. Lapu-Lapu Monument (or the Statue of the Sentinel of Freedom).

The monument was a gift from the people of Korea as appreciation and to honor the memory of freedom-loving Filipinos who helped during the Korean War in the early 1950s (as inscribed in the plaque). Lapu-Lapu was a nativeMuslim chieftain in Mactan, Cebu and representative of the Sultan of Sulu, and is now known as the first native of the archipelago to resist Spanish colonization. He is retroactively regarded as the first national hero of the Philippines. On the morning of April 27, 1521, Lapu-Lapu and the men of Mactan, armed with spears and kampilan, faced Spanish soldiers led by Portuguese captain Ferdinand Magellan in what would later be known as the Battle of Mactan. Magellan and several of his men were killed. Manila Ocean Park is an oceanarium located in the westernmost part of Luneta behind the Quirino Grandstand and along Manila Bay. The complex opened on March 1, 2008. Manila Planetarium

Museum of the Filipino People, on the building north of Agrifina Circle, are the Anthropology and Archeology collections of the National Museum of the Philippines. National Library of the Philippines is the country’s premier public library. The library has a history of its own and its rich Filipiniana collections are maintained by the librarians to preserve the institution as the nations fountain of local knowledge and source of information for thousands of students and everyday users in their research and studies. National Museum of the Philippines, located on the northeastern tip of Rizal Park, is the natural history and ethnography museum of the Philippines. Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion, established in 1994, was a former parking lot developed into a one-hectare rainforest-like park. The Orchidarium showcases Philippines’ rich collection of orchid species and butterflies. The pavilion is also a favorite venue for weddings. Relief map of the Philippines is a giant raised-relief map of the country, including the Scarborough Shoal, Kalayaan, and eastern part of Sabah, in the middle of a small man-made lake.

Security
In 2012, 30 high-definition closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras were installed to make the area safer for local and foreign tourists. The National Parks Development Committee have stationed police and security officers in the key places in the park for added security

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