Metro Manila

Lakbay Rizal – Metro Manila: Paco Park

By on April 17, 2012

rizal 150- paco cemetery
If not for the diligence of Narcisa, Jose Rizal’s sister, the Philippines would not have been able to give proper burial to its beloved national hero. After Rizal was executed at Bagumbayan on December 30, 1896, his body was then secretly carried away and then buried in an unmarked grave at the Paco Park. At that time, this served as the municipal cemetery for the Spanish aristocrats and elites. It stands out from other cemeteries too because of its circular shape.

Narcisa looked for Rizal’s grave in various cemeteries but to no avail. When she passed by Paco, she noticed that there were many guardia civil stationed outside the gate. This clue led her to a grave with freshly-turned earth. She then tipped the gravedigger to identify the site with a plaque inscribed with ‘RPJ,’ her brother’s initials in reverse.

However, the remains of Rizal are no longer interred there today as these were transferred to Teodora Alonzo’s house in Binondo in 1898. And in 1913, a monument designed by Richard Kissling was erected at Bagumbayan which eventually became Rizal’s final resting place.

rizal 150- miscellaneous

The left photo shows the site where the remains of Fr. Mariano Gomez, Fr. Jose Burgos and Fr. Jacinto Zamora are interred.

Paco Park today has become more than just a place for the departed. Photographers frequent this place for its architecture and the old niches. Musical concerts and even high-profile weddings are often held here.

With all its history and unique beauty, it is indeed worth a curious visit in Manila.

rizal@150 paco park The stamp for this leg of the Lakbay Rizal @150 could be obtained at Paco Park office. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The quickest way to get to the park would be via the United Nations station of the LRT-1 line. Other options in getting there are provided here.

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2 Comments
  1. Reply

    Mustachio

    April 18, 2012

    Interesting bit of information 🙂 Thanks Bren!

  2. Reply

    baktin

    April 18, 2012

    Hi Khon, you are most welcome. I'm not sure too if the interesting but information is useful. But I'm personally glad that my Rizal series will finally come to a close. Wheew.

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Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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