Manila: Paco Park and Cemetery

Located along General Luna Street in Paco district in the City of Manila, Paco Park and Cemetery is a recreational garden area which was once Manila's municipal cemetery during the Spanish colonial period.

Inside Paco Park
Paco Park
Paco Park was originally a municipal cemetery for the well-off and established aristocratic Spanish families. The cemetery was built in the late 18th century but was completed several decades later in 1822.
Paco Park = Former Paco Cemetery
Paco Park entrance
Entrance to the inner circular fort
The cemetery has a circular shape, with an inner circular fort that was the original cemetery. As the population continued to grow, a second outer wall was built. A Roman Catholic chapel was built inside the walls of the park and it was dedicated to St. Pancratius.

Here lies the three martyred priests -GOMBURZA
Jose P. Rizal's original burial ground
Can you guess what RPJ stands for? 
The park was famously known as the interment site of several Filipino heroes who were executed by the Spanish. The Filipino priests, Jose Burgos, Mariano Gomez, and Jacinto Zamora or GOMBURZA and the National Hero Jose P. Rizal were among those buried in Paco Park after their execution.

Infront of St. Pancratius Church
Interment at the park ceased in 1912 and most of the remains were transferred to other cemeteries. During the Second World War, Japanese Forces used Paco Park  as a central supply and ammunition depot because of the high thick adobe walls that were ideal for defensive purposes. 
Wealthy Spaniards were once interned in Paco Park
The park was converted into a national park in 1966. Today, Paco Park is maintained by the National Park's development Committee.
Paco Park is a nice place to bond with the family.
Of course I enjoyed my bonding moments with the family.  
What I like about Paco Park is its solemn atmosphere. Once you're inside the park, you'd forget that you're in the heart of the city. The park is ideal for people who want an escape from the noise and pollution of the city but doesn't have the budget to travel to the far flung provinces.

Getting there:

Since Paco Park is in the heart of Metro Manila, there are lots of ways to reach it. Most would just ride a taxi for the comfort of the trip. Others would ride jeepneys passing through Taft Avenue, then board down on Escoda Street wherein Paco Park could be reached by walking. 

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