The Luneta of my childhood


The Luneta which is now called Rizal Park was in my early memory. I was in first year high school when I first saw Manila and one of the common stop is Luneta. In Luneta, it is required that you visit the monument of Jose Rizal who was shot by the Spaniards in Bagumbayan which was later called Luneta. Two military personnel in full uniform guard the monument and they do not move unless to perform some routine changing of places and when they were relieved of their post. Anyone visiting Manila is encouraged to see Rizal monument in Luneta and even dignitaries visiting the Philippines are laying wreaths to honor the Filipino hero who gave his life to spark the revolution which led to the Philippine independence.

Luneta is still vividly entrenched in my mind, the green fields around it, the Chinese garden, the fountain and the skating rink and map of the Philippines submerged in water to show the islands.The deaf mute serving in restaurants which is a part of witnessing Luneta aside from lovers and families who found a safe and good place to relax and commune with nature.

I did not see any deaf mute, no skating rink and no island submerged in water, the man-made lake in Chinese garden which was teeming with Kois before is now blackish with garbage and no fish can be seen. The green field is now devoid of grass but still with lots of families and children.

Where is my old Luneta?

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