Friday, July 20, 2007


I was finally able to visit Paco Park a couple of weeks ago, thanks to the street photography meet I joined in which this historical landmark was part of its itinerary. The main point of interest for me was Jose Rizal's grave; where he was interred right after he was executed by an eight-man squad of Filipino riflemen from the 70TH infantry regiment, The Magallanes of the Spanish Colonial Army, in the early morning of December 30, 1896.

Incidentally, Dhon Jason's site, Island Boy in the City, features a photograph of supposedly the very first monument of Rizal which is located in Daet, Camarines Norte.

Finally, I agree with Dean Jorge Bocobo of The Philippine Commentary. As a nation, we ought to celebrate Jose Rizal's birthday in June, not his death in December.


posted by Señor Enrique at 11:22 AM


Anonymous carlotta said...

being inside paco park gives me a case of the creepy-crawlies (in a good way). wouldn't it be nice to enter one of the empty niches and suddenly find yourself in the past? =)

come to think of it, rizal's birthday isn't made into a national holiday. i wonder why it's so. and about celebrating his death, i think it's more like to make the people remember what he died for.

July 20, 2007 1:21 PM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Very interesting post Eric.

Just wondering, where is Paco Park located? I plan to check it out if I get to travel to Pinas again!


July 20, 2007 4:53 PM  

Blogger cacofonix said...

Paco Park reminds me of my high school days as I went to a nearby high school. A set of stone steps (or so it seemed) in one of its musty-smelling nooks became a hang-out for peer smoking and sneaked-in beer experimentation for a while…:).

There is something about cemeteries that gives one a peculiar kind of calmness and serenity, something spiritual; and yeah, a sense of finality. You get to wonder about life stories of past as you walk by stone markers that give a bit of information unique to each person. Then you weave those thoughts with your present, future and would-be past….:).

Jose Rizal's birthday ought to be a national holiday on top of commemorating his death anniversary, I agree….:). Nice post S.E.

July 20, 2007 10:03 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

This is a little bit long but worth reading anyway.

July 20, 2007 10:58 PM  

Anonymous SexyMom said...

that is a refreshing picture you have --is that Paco Park? i wonder what time of day you took it, there were no people.

July 21, 2007 2:17 AM  

Anonymous myepinoy said...

I too agree that the birth of rizal we must celebrate the birth instead of his death.

July 21, 2007 3:46 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

There seems to be not a lot of national interest for where or when Dr. J.P. Rizal died or buried. Ahh... "dito pala nilibing si Rizal", people who visit the Paco cemetery must have uttered when seeing that marker.

from the web:
(The original grave was at the back of the Park. A plaque marks the place, and it reads: “JOSE RIZAL – Executed 30 December, 1896, interred secretly in this spot by the authorities on the same day. Remains exhumed 17 August 1912, laid beneath the monument at the Luneta.”)

July 21, 2007 5:49 AM  

Blogger Dhon Jason said...

I've been to Paco Park, and I missed to visit this spot.

Señor, thank you po. :-)

July 21, 2007 6:10 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Sort of a time warp, Carla? A time traveler! But let me tell you, I wouldn't mind :) I bet it'll be very interesting to walk around the city of that ear. I just have to watch for the horse droppings as I cross the streets :)

With Penguin Classics releasing an English translation of Noli Me Tangere, it'd be real tough not to remember Rizal and his contributions. I just find it weird to celebrate someone's greatness or significance on the day of his/her death :)

July 21, 2007 7:20 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes. Cemeteries, such as Paco Park, should be a place not only to honor the memories of one's beloved but to reflect on life in general as you've remarked, Cacofonix.

This is a nice park and I can imagine how popular it must have been to some high school students, especially after school ... hehehe.

I like the neighborhood, too! You're lucky to have gone to school around here.


July 21, 2007 7:26 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

What a touching story of Juan Kola. More admirable was that man who gifted Juan with the bust of the man he claims to be his father.

Thank you for sharing, Pete.

How on earth did you discover this :)

July 21, 2007 7:41 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That is actually the grave of Rizal at Paco Park, Dine; the spot where he was buried right after he was shot in Bagumbayan.

July 21, 2007 7:42 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Actually, Reyd, it wasn't until I read the English translations of both Noli and Fili (only a few years back), that I asked myself where the man was buried immediately after his execution. And since finding out, I've always wanted to visit Paco Park to see it for myself. I finally did :)

July 21, 2007 7:47 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You're welsome, Dhon! And thank you for sharing with us the photo of the very first monument erected to honor Rizal.

I was in Paco Park on an early Sunday morning (this should also explain to Dine why not too many people were walking/wandering about when the above pic was taken). I'd like to go back on a midweek afternoon to do some photographing.

Again, thanks Dhon!

July 21, 2007 7:50 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Kyels!

Just click on "Paco Park" at the beginning of the entry above. It'll lead you the its site.

Paco park is located on San Marcelino Street in Manila. They also have lots of cultural events going on in there like classical music concerts by some of our young artists. Check out its website :)

July 21, 2007 7:54 AM  

Anonymous rhodora said...

Ah,Paco Park, aside from Fort Santiago, is a very memorable park for me. I would like to visit that place again sometime soon.

July 21, 2007 8:44 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Do it on a Sunday evening so you may enjoy a classical concert also, Rhoda :)

July 21, 2007 9:07 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

There's a lot of books with funny anecdotes as well as parodies of Jose Rizal's past life. Celebrated in fables, Rizal's greatness as a hero is best told among a "gathering of the minds" in a local community barbershop and stretches out to a more bitter exchange in words when the siyoktong spirit kicks in!

July 21, 2007 11:09 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

t would be a more joyful occasion, too, Myepnoy, right?

December 31st can be overwhelmed by the Christmas, New Year and Three King holiday season.

July 21, 2007 11:14 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Oh, I see, Pete ... hehehe.

That "siyoktong spirit kicking in" has left too many men in Tondo with scarred faces due to hyper-passionate attempts to "meet siyoktong-influenced minds" :)

July 21, 2007 11:20 AM  

Anonymous niceheart said...

I attended my last two years of high school in Paco but I don't think I've ever been to Paco Park.

July 22, 2007 1:10 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Goes to prove you weren't "gala," Irene :)

Paco Park is a small but lovely park. Its administrators produce Sunday evening classical concert performances free of charge.

July 23, 2007 6:51 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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