Style Correspondent Charles John Miñoza of MyLittleStyleFile
Destination Rizal Park (Luneta National Park)
Located in kilometer zero (0), this is literally the center of the city. This is Manila’s iconic national park that boasts almost 60 hectares of open lawns, gardens and ponds. It has paved walks, where local families enjoy afternoon strolls with their kids and even pets.
This park is not just important because of its location but because of the history it has undergone. It is one of the largest urban parks in Asia and one of the major tourist attractions of Manila.
Amidst the busy city life of the metro, Rizal Park offers a tranquil place for escape. Kids can run around and enjoy the open space. You can bring a picnic mat and sit on the grass watch the sun set. As night comes, the park even gets more lively with the dancing fountain lights, indeed a great sight for kids and adults.
Try to plan your visit during the week, as weekends can get busy.
Why go: Go to this park to have fun activities with the family and at the same time know the history of the country’s national hero, Jose Rizal. This Philippine’s national hero monument is where he was executed by the Spaniards. Fun fact: His monument is guarded by soldiers (sentries in full regalia) 24/7.
Who is it best for: All ages – kids can enjoy the open space running around, biking, skating while the adults can relax and enjoy the sites and sit on the grass.
Top tip: If you plan to visit the Park, it is best to go here at around 3pm. If you are riding the MRT or a bus to the park around 4-5pm, you might catch the rush hour in the transport systems instead of the sunset at the park. 3pm is the best time to schedule a visit – not too hot and not yet during the rush hours. Best transportation to take is by taxi but if you want to experience the local transport system, you can ride the jeep that is bound for “Quiapo” or “Sta. Cruz” and just ask the driver to drop you off at “Luneta Park”.
Facilities: Toilets and refreshment stands for food and beverages
While you’re in The Area: At the southeastern end of the park is the ever-popular children’s playground. There is also a Chinese Garden in the park as well as The Orchidarium is also a great place to visit if you are in Luneta. Nearby you could also visit the Manila Ocean Park, Planetarium and the National Museum.