Paseo de Luneta is not just a historical place in the Philippines, formerly known as Nuevo Barrio (Bagumbayan) before it was inaugurated in 1820. It is now officially called the RIzal Park.
It sets in a sprawling real property in the western edge of the old city of Manila, once a marshy area, just south of the old fort of Intramuros, the walled city.
It has become the most photographed place, and the most visited park in the entire country. All Filipinos from all walks of life aspired to see the place at one point in their lives.
It’s considered not just a representative of the whole Philippine nation, the national pride, but is also the hallowed ground for a well loved Philippine hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal.
It was there that he gasp his last breath after being shot by a firing squad, ironically, by his own compatriots days after a Spanish Court convicted him of treason and sentenced him to die.
Luneta is a refreshing place of promenade even during the early days of the spanish colonial rule. Elite and middle class Spanish and Filipino meztisos dotted its nook and cranny especially during the early morning and late afternoon walk.
Hundreds of years later, the park maintained its aura as a place for promenading humans, it is still the shield from the punishing heat of the sun, its big trees provided a shade to a weary soul.
Most importantly though, Luneta or the Rizal Park, is the beggining point of any journey, any adventure and discovery.
You can not boast on conquering the paradise islands throughout the archipelago without first being subdued by the Luneta.
It is where the starting point begins, officially considered the Kilometer Zero, the count starts there, it is the beginning as one quests to discover the Philippines. All kilometer counts through out the country starts from there. It’s the ground zero of sort.
So it’s just fitting, as I intend to crisscross the Philippines, that I would start my journey here.
The Philippines is an archipelago, it’s composed of thousands of big and small islands. In it’s back waters are endless paradise.
In it’s mountain peaks are hallowed grounds and its far flung villages are mystical legends. The Philippines is a treasure trove of adventures.
So come and join me as I begin my quest, to bridge the islands and surmount the inescapable wilderness we all call our home: The Philippines.