Weather :

Timings : 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 1 - 2 hrs

Entry Fee : PHP 10

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Paco Park, Manila Overview

Located on the General Luna Street in Paco in the city of Manila, Philippines, Paco Park is a green oasis and a recreational park that is based on the ground which was once the municipal cemetery of Manila. Initially called as the Cementerio General de Dilao, the cemetery was built by the Dominicians in the Spanish colonial period to bury the Spanish elites. However, later it also accommodated the Asiatic casualties, in the 18th century that resulted from the outbreak of the epidemic cholera. Today, the park is turning to be a hotbed for weddings, events and private parties, owing to the beautiful surroundings, lush green grassy carpet and the perfect ambiance for garden gatherings.

The circular park has unmarked graves of the three ancient priests and has a significant history to tell. It also has a shrine dedicated to Dr José Rizal- Philippine’s national hero and also a Roman Catholic chapel which is dedicated to St. Pancratius. The church is oval in shape and displays long faded marks of golden and white paint. One of the busy and popular tourist spots of the city, the park also organizes live brand performances, musical concerts and photoshoots.

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History of Paco Park

Paco Park was built in 1807 to bury the Spanish elites. The inner circle of the park still bear their crypts with the inscriptions of their specific names. However, later in 1822, due to the outbreak of cholera, the cemetery was expanded to accommodate the victims and the deceased. In 1872, during the Spanish colonial rule, three priests in the name of Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora (collectively called Gomburza) were branded as terrorists and executed by the government on the pretext of inciting a mutiny against the government. They have unmarked graves in the park. Some time later, in 1896, the national hero of Philippines- Jose P. Rizal was also executed on the same grounds. His grave can also be found here in the same manner i.e. unmarked. Later, on his sisters’ insisting, his grave was marked ‘RPJ’ (his initials). 

In the years to follow, during World War II and under Japanese rule, the cemetery became desolate and the grandeur was destroyed. Finally, the cemetery was converted into a National Park in 1966 under the President Diosdado Macapagal and gradually the beauty of it was restored. Today it is one of the most visited recreational parks in the city.

Architecture of Paco Park

Paco Park is built within a huge circular circumference with a smaller circular circumference to house the original cemetery. The original interior walls are hollow and light to serve as niches. So to compensate for the same, outer walls were built later which were much more sturdy and strong. The park also houses a small Roman Catholic chapel with a dome which is dedicated to St. Pancratius.

How to Reach

You can reach Paco Park in any of the jeepneys bound for Taft Avenue. Get down at the Escoda Street Stop from where Paco Park is just at walking distance. Alternatively, you can ride the LRT line 1, and get down at either of the two- U.N station or Pedro Gil station. The park is equidistant from both these two and can reach here in a tricycle. Or else, walk down the road following the Manila Science Highschool on Father Faura Street to come across a signboard for the park.

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