Paco Park, a National Historical Shrine, is one of the most well-known attractions in Manila. It was once Manila’s municipal cemetery. It was where the remains of Dr. Jose Rizal, GOMBURZA, and other great filipinos were buried.
When I was still a student, I did not have the chance to visit Paco Park. Although I know about the place and my schoolmates frequent the area to shoot and whatnot.
During my two-week break from work, I was going on random photowalks within Manila. And so, I decided to finally head to Paco Park and see the place for myself.
The outer wall was made of thick adobe. The hollow walls serve as niches.
There is a monument dedicated to Dr Jose Rizal. Jose Rizal who was secretly buried in Paco Park after his execution at Bagumbayan. It was said to be guarded for fifteen days by the Guardia Civil Veterana. His remains were exhumed on August 17, 1898 and on December 30, 1912, his remains were transferred underneath his monument in Luneta.
Not too far from Rizal’s monument is another monument dedicated to the three martyr priests. According to the marker, their remains were buried in the cemetery grounds after their execution on February 17, 1892.
Located at the center of the park is a domed chapel dedicated to St. Pancratius.
According to the markers outside the chapel, the chapel had an altar that was originally white and gold. On each side of the altar are the repositories for the remains of the governors and bishops.
The Chapel of St. Pancratius is under the care of the San Vicente de Paul Parish.
Paco Park is a place where you can just sit and chill. I believe it can also be a venue to write or make art. The ambience is so serene that I had the sudden urge to settle down and contemplate.
Being there made me think about how much I missed Manila. I regret taking this city for granted when I was studying in college. If only I have discovered my love for places sooner, I would have gone on unlimited trips to the most well-known historical sites as well as the hidden gems in Manila. Imagine being in the heart of a city rich in history and culture and not being able to explore and learn about it. Ugh. Thinking about it makes me wistful. And now that I’m working in Makati and I no longer have the leisure to roam around the city unlike before, I can’t help but wish I was back in college.
Anyway, I shall wrap up this post before I end up being emotional. Haha! Come and see Paco Park if you have the time. It is worth the visit! 🙂