Thursday, December 1, 2011

Manila, Manila!

Back in the province, when we were just little children, Manila is synonymous to Luneta Park for us. That is before the gigantic malls have taken over the landscape of metropolitan Manila. So, you can just imagine the fantasies that we conjure in our minds as we daydream of that day when we can finally set foot in the country's capital. 

Many years later, I grew up and got side tracked by life and other events. I've forgotten about it. Then, in a twist of fate, I now consider myself a resident of the Philippine capital. Yet, it took me many years to finally take a leisurely time to get to know this landmark. 
The National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal at the Luneta Park.
When I found the time, it was just perfect. We chose to visit it on the commemoration of the Philippine Independence, June 12. Very symbolic, eh? Here lies the man who showed us Filipinos that indeed, the pen is mightier than the sword. 
The martyred hero.
He taught us the concept of nationalism and instill the virtue of knowing your identity as a people. And loving your skin color and language. Walking around park is sort of a wake up call. Inasmuch as you have to embrace the new world, you have to always go back to your roots. You don't turn back from it in order to move forward. 

Zarah and I.
This wall could speak.

While we roam around Luneta, one has to realize that this is not the figurative walk in the park! It covers such a big area that you feel as if you've walked an entire city. Zarah was our impromptu history guide. She took us back to the events that led to Rizal's martyrdom and what did it mean then and now. Analysis thrown in, opinion tossed by our small group as we enjoyed the view. Quite a respite from the usual gossip in everyday life. ha ha ha. 
Luneta Park plays a significant role in the country's identity; it marks Km. 0.
Adjacent to the park are art installations that dot the stretch of Roxas Boulevard. 
Dancing Rings by Olympic Sculptor Jose Datuin.
Beautiful mural.

In my bucket list, Luneta Park has been crossed out already along with Intramuros, the historied fortress of Manila. But I intend to do another Manila Walk again. This time with the Walking Man of Manila himself, Carlos Celdran. 

Until my next tour of my own city. 
Hello from Manila.

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