Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Many local Pinoys, though not of their own accord, had most probably visited Luneta in a not so ideal time of day or night. Such occurrences usually take place at this time of the year when many balikbayan friends and relatives come home for the holidays.

Pressed for having only a minimal set of time to do everything (dreamed of for years), a balikbayan aunt or kumpadre may spontaneously squeeze in an extra activity to an already long list of virtually impossible to execute itinerary for the day. Hence a quick visit to Luneta after a much-anticipated lunch at Aristocrat may suddenly come up.

Now, for those living outside of Manila, please allow me to show you some photographs of our virtually deserted national park on a Sunday early afternoon.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:50 AM


Blogger Photo Cache said...

One of the many regrets I have is not having explored Luneta as much as I could/should when there were plenty of opportunities. Like many, Luneta was the last on the list of places one thinks when "chilling session" is in the offing. Often, it is the cooler malls that attract people when whiling the time away. I hope you will feature more of Luneta, Eric. Thanks in advance.

December 18, 2007 9:23 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

When I was a kid, Luneta was "the" place to go for afternoon picnics. Kung wala ka namang dalang food, we would buy hotdogs from the kiosks. Those were fun times. We would bring "banigs" and just lay on the ground and eat. I've been wanting to take the kids but the hubby is hesitant. Says it's not too safe na daw. Maybe on a lazy, Sunday afternoon pwede na :)

BTW, I was there when the Rizal review (yung mga bronze statues) were inaugurated. One of Ed Castrillo's sons is a "kabarkada" kasi :)

December 18, 2007 9:47 AM  

Blogger pusa said...

hmmm is this around 2pm señor? i usually visit luneta at these times ... less people :)
but if you're like really early and in the afternoon after the sun has set down, dami pa rin tao sa luneta.

December 18, 2007 9:53 AM  

Anonymous rhodora said...

"Alaala, nang tayo'y mag-sweetheart pa, namamasyal pa sa Luneta, nang walang pera...."

Hehe, I don't know if you've heard this Tagalized version of the song The Way We Were, Eric. Sung by Rico J. Puno, it was a hit back then, in the 80s, if I remember right.

Ah, Luneta. I have fond childhood and adolescent memories of this park. Being from the province, visits to Manila were associated with "pamamasyal sa Luneta". I'm just sad that I have forgotten this park somehow, that my own kids, would you believe - have yet to see this place? Alas, the malls have eclipsed the historical and significant landmarks in the cities.

December 18, 2007 10:11 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

I recall Rico Puno's popular line in a song "...namamasyal sa Luneta, na walang pera." Of course, that made Rico J. quite moneyed :-) afterwards.
I once came across the vintage photos of Bagumbayan (now Luneta) even before the execution of Rizal. They were stashed in the Intramuros Administration offices while they were restoring the faces of historical sites around. It was quite unforgettable! There was a resto somewhere at the back of the Museo Pambata named Fisherman's Wharf. Me and friends would usually go there to enjoy the sunset and ukoy (with a bottle of San Mig lite)!

December 18, 2007 10:23 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, Pusa, it was around that time. The sun was at its most searing, too. However, that area where they have Rizal's marker and execution site has many trees which provide refuge. Many folks were mostly in there relaxing and taking pictures.

December 18, 2007 10:55 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Was it Ed Castillo who created those bronze works, Scrooch? I happen to like them very much :)

I think daytime and early evening is safe to enjoy the park, not past midnight, though, when some guards may also be taking quick naps ... hehehe.

I heard they used to hold kite flying events at the huge lawn near Quirino Grandstand.

December 18, 2007 10:59 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I'd be happy to, Photo Cache.

I'm really impressed with the city's ongoing maintenance and beautification efforts. Luneta is becoming more and more photogenic :)

BTW, there will be a major event here at the end of the month when the city celebrates Rizal Day.

December 18, 2007 11:05 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Unfortunately, Rhoda, haven't heard that song but I just tried singing it ... funny :)

Yup, many folks had taken to visiting the air-conditioned malls. However, when I was a kid, this park was teeming with people, especially during the early evenings when the air was cool and the light are on -- very pretty :)

Hopefully, when the Ocean Park opens up, many of its visitors will be attracted afterwards to walk walk around the park.

December 18, 2007 11:21 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Wow! That must have been a really big hit, Bernadette, because Rhoda had also mentioned it :)

The Fisherman's Wharf is still open. Yes, it's an ideal spot to enjoy the sunset with a drink or two :)

Those pictures ... would love to see them.

December 18, 2007 11:24 AM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Luneta! Your photos brought back so many decent memories of mine Eric. I miss strolling down the park and admire the beauty of it all.


Are they doing maintenance work at the monument?

December 18, 2007 11:56 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

A spruce job, indeed, Kyels. Jose Rizal's death anniversary will be commemorated at the end of this month. I'm sure a big event is in the offing.

Glad to know this photo essay on Luneta elicited fond memories of yours. Thanks!

December 18, 2007 12:39 PM  

Blogger luna miranda said...

I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve only been to Luneta 2 or 3 times. The first time was when I had to walk an American friend around Manila and I was too ashamed to say that it was also my first time to set foot in Luneta. It’s too hot during the day and dangerous at night…that only leaves early morning as the best time to visit Luneta.

Yes, there’s a kite competition at the Quirino grandstand grounds in the summer. A friend of mine is a kite enthusiast, they even have an association! I’m sure it’s a colorful event.

Thanks for sharing these pics of Luneta, Eric. Your photo essay reminds me to visit to visit this historical park soon.

December 18, 2007 2:26 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

They have wonderful shows going on every Sunday afternoon at the open theater near the Chinese Garden, Luna, it might be of some interest to you. But better go with a large group so you'd be more omfortable :)

Please advise if this kite flying enthusiasts have any website I could check out.

Thanks, Luna!

December 18, 2007 3:25 PM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

Yup, the Rizal review (The Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal) in bronze were done by "the" Eduardo Castrillo.

December 18, 2007 3:29 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Cool. Nice work!

December 18, 2007 3:54 PM  

Blogger luna miranda said...

Hi Eric, the name of the organization is Kite Association of the Philippines. I didn't find a website, found this KAP blogspot instead--- http://kaphil.blogspot.com/2005_10_01_archive.html

December 19, 2007 2:03 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Maraming salamat, Luna. I've just sent them an eail :)

December 20, 2007 11:24 AM  

Anonymous jasdupre said...

Hm. I always thought Rizal turned around at the last second so he was shot facing his executioners...

December 27, 2007 1:57 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thank you for pointing that out, Jasdupre. I once thought about it, too, but suspected the artist may have been given creative license to project his personal interpretation of the incident. He could also be a staubch supporter of Bonifacio as the one and only national hero ... hehehe.

December 27, 2007 7:19 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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