Free Luneta Park Tour Photo Walk for January 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

* Warning, long post up ahead.

Who knew the inaugural photo walk for the year would happen so soon? During the first week of the year, Carlos Celdran announced that he was giving a free tour of Luneta Park. It was his way of supporting the park’s celebration of Jose Rizal’s 150th birthday and their efforts to restore the place. The usual photo walk suspects and I grabbed the opportunity and got slots for us.

I’ve attended a Carlos Celdran tour in the past so I knew this would surely be an awesome experience. However, we arrived late. Hahaha! When we got to themeeting place, the tour already started. We missed the part where Carlos talked about the Philippine map area in the park.

Before bombarding you with photos, here’s my assessment of the tour. The group was much bigger than the Imelda Walk so it was difficult to hear Carlos from time to time. There was a point in the tour when we were left by the group! Mwahahaha Again, our fault. You want to know why? You’ll read about the reason below together with the photo.

I didn’t absorb as much information as I wanted but that’s because of some mistakes we made. But the star of the day was truly Luneta Park. 

Welcome to the Children’s Playground! This made the news last year (or was it 2 years ago?) when the park was renovated and colorfully designed by university students. 
For P10 kids can enjoy this – (I call this) organized chaos! Mwahahaha The children were running up and around these slides that I thought I was gonna get hit. Surprisingly, they took their turns and no one was fighting. 
We only had 10 minutes here so I wasn’t able to explore the whole playground. The kids looked like they were having so much fun. If you’re not a parent or a fan of children, this is not the place for you. Haha Some of the kids looked too happy, like sugar-high-kinda-happy in a good way. Haha
Dogs were welcomed in the tour.
We headed back to the Agrifina Circle for the Department of Tourism Building. 
A close up photo of what the Agrifina Circle looked like before.
Then and now comparison.
Sighs. The weather cooperated with good looking skies for the photo walk. 
A different version of the usual kalesa. 
Why are there so many stalls in the park?? It was the last day of the Paskong Pinoy Perya that was set up for the Christmas Season. It also coincided with the last day of the Rizal day festivities. 
THIS was the reason why we were left by the tour group! Haha The whole group stopped to but trinkets, drinks and snacks. Danix and I got our matching bracelets in rainbow colors – our fave. After getting our goods, the group was nowhere to be found. 
We made our way to the monument thinking the group was there. 
Danix and I loved the older brother’s kite. 
Do you see those tiny black things in the sky? They’re not birds but kits. 
Since Luneta Park has a lot of security and coordination, we asked one of the guards if he knew where the tour group was. After radioing another guard, we were able to track down the group. 
The final stop of the tour was the Lights and Sound show of the last days of Rizal. It was closed when we arrived. Show is free and happens every day from 5-7 PM. 
Mi Ultimo Adios!
This brings back memories since we performed this in our batch’s choral presentation. Our class made it to the finals but didn’t win. We gave Famas worthy performances and breathed, ate and internalized Rizal’s “My Last Farewell”. 
After the tour, we decided to chill at the park. We didn’t bring our mats so we ended up sitting on the grass and it didn’t feel icky at all! 
What would a Luneta trip be without the ubiquitous sunset shout?

I remember visiting the park for school projects back in the day and the park is exponentially different now! Luneta has lost some of its creepy and dirty feel and has been replaced by this cheerful and sunshine shooting-out-of-your-ears kind of energy. Trash wasn’t as widespread as before; I was told there were more trash cans available now and personnel handling it. The park also has 24 hour CCTV cameras installed as well. There was also a new fountain installed but we opted not to go any closer because the crowd thickened as nightfall arrived. I don’t have a photo but trust me on that. Don’t fret; the park isn’t scarily packed on normal days. 

There were a lot of excellent feedback about the tour and people clamoring for another one. Carlos is trying to see if another one can be arranged. I’ve since liked his page on Facebook, so should you.

Things are looking bright for us Filipinos since this is just the start of the transformation that’s set to be completed in 2016 by the The National Parks Development Committee (NPDC). Note, all these are happening because of the committee and NOT because of the Alfredo Lim led City of Manila.

I get giddy thinking about the wonderful possibilities! I really do hope they get to improve not just the Luneta Park but more parks around the country. As Carlos said, more people should revisit Manila and give it a chance. Danix and I agree! Manila City is our habitual photo walk location since 2011 and we have more places to tick off on our list.

What an astonishing way to kick o
ff 2013 Photo Walk Series!


Past Photo Walks:

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  1. ang ganda pictures.... I LOVE LUNETA PARK <3 <3 <3 (^_^)

    1. Thank you Rai! Ang laki na rin talaga ng ginanda ng Luneta, must visit talaga. =)

  2. Hi! I am Rachelle Siazon, writer of May I request for permission to use your photo of the Luneta Park with kids/people in the background for my article on PEP? Thank you.

    1. Hi Rachelle! Thanks for the inquiry. I would appreciate it if you could send an email and please do let me know what the article is about. Thanks!


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