San Marcelino & General Luna Streets, Manila, Philippines
www.nationalparks.ph/index.htm - 011-632-302-7381
Paco Park Manila Reviews
a cemetery turned into a concert park Jul 03, 2012
Paco Park is a 4,114.80 square meter recreational garden area and was once Manila’s municipal cemetery during the Spanish colonial period. It is located along General Luna Street and at the east end of Padre Faura Street in Paco district in the City of Manila.
Paco Park was originally planned as a municipal cemetery for the well-off and established aristocratic Spanish families who resided in the old Manila or the city within the walls of Intramuros during the Spanish colonial era.
The cemetery was built in the late 18th century but was completed several decades later and in 1822, the cemetery was used to inter victims of a cholera epidemic that swept across the city. The cemetery is circular in shape, with an inner circular fort that was the original cemetery and with the niches that were placed or located within the hollow walls. As the population continued to grow, a second outer wall was built with the thick adobe walls were hollowed as niches and the top of the walls were made into pathways for promenades. A Roman Catholic chapel was built inside the walls of the Paco Park and it was dedicated to St. Pancratius.
On December 30, 1898, Philippine national hero Dr. José P. Rizal was interred at Paco Park after his execution at Bagumbayan. In 1912, burial or interment at the Paco Park ceased. It had been the burial ground for several generations and descendants of those who were buried in the park had the remains of their ancestors transferred.
During the Second World War, Japanese forces used Paco Park as a central supply and ammunition depot. The high thick adobe walls around the park were ideal for defensive positions of the Japanese. The Japanese just before the liberation of Manila in 1945 dug several trenches and pill boxes around and within the Park with three 75 millimeter guns to defend their fortification against the charging 148th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Battalion of the United States Army and Philippine Commonwealth Army.
A National Park:
Paco Park was converted into a national park in 1966 during the term of President Diosdado Macapagal. Paco Park’s grandeur was slowly restored after the war and since then has remained as a public park and promenade for many teenage sweethearts who could spend quiet moments along the park’s benches and private alcoves.
Paco Park Today:
The park is under the care and responsibility of the National Park’s Development Committee (NPDC). During the Marcos period, through the efforts of the former first lady Imelda R. Marcos, culture was given emphasis and priority in the country and thus, Paco Park was one of the few venues chosen to host events related to culture. On February 29, 1980, Press and Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Philippines, started a classical concert within Paco Park as part of the celebrations for the “Philippine-German Month,” and the program became a tradition, a weekly fare held every Friday afternoons and called the, “Paco Park Presents.” This event featured and highlighted the exchange of Filipino and German musical artists who performed at Paco Park and it served as a means to strengthen the bond between Germany and the Philippines. In 1998, the celebration of Philippine-German month was moved from February to March, with the concert starting at 7:00 P.M. But Paco Park Presents continues to celebrate its anniversary every February.
The park is open Monday to Sunday (except on Wednesday) from 8:00 a.m.to 5:00 p.m. Every Friday by sunset, a FREE concert called "Paco Park Presents" feature the finest musical artists and chorales, local and guests performers for an evening of classical and traditional Filipino music.
Additionally, Paco Park has become a very popular venue for weddings and receptions for couples who prefer garden-like settings.
How to get there:
Take the LRT train and drop off to United Nation Avenue Station. You’ll see Manila Medical Center and Emilio Aguinaldo College. Look for General Luna Street and walk all the way to Paco Park. If you don’t like walking, there are pedicabs (tuk-tuk rides) over there, at the corner of Manila Medical Center that will lead you to the park. Another way is to walk through Padre Faura Street and at the end, you will come directly to PACO PARK.
Part of the list a FREEBIE for Us!
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