Luneta Date

View across the street from Rizal Monument
Hubby and I couldn’t think of anyplace to go within the metro a few weeks back, so we decided to check out Luneta and see the newly renovated relief map which was supposedly converted into a huge fountain.
Unfortunately,hubby was misinformed and the map (this is the scale model facing LRT) was still there – water dried and some boards and cement strewn here and there, but nowhere near fountain-y like.

A good thing though that the government has decided to spruce up Rizal’s Monument, fittingly enough as we are celebrating his 150th birthday in June. The grass looks fresh and about ten meters on all four sides up to the monument has been cordoned off. Plus points as I personally find it a sign of gross disrespect when vendors, beggars and “photographers” crowd in front of Rizal.

Rizal Monument

Open air auditorium

We also saw some new monuments. Exactly how new, I cannot be sure since it’s been more than a year since I last visited Luneta (Ipe and I visit every New Year’s Day but missed this year due to the horrendous traffic): the Filipino-Korean Soldier Monument.

 two Filipino soldiers helping a wounded Korean

The monument is a tribute to the Filipino soldiers who fought to defend South Korea from North Korea’s invasion (the Korean War) during in the 50s. Numbering 7,500 troops, this was the 4th largest contingent under the UN.
Another monument, the Soul Wave, stands nearby, this one representing the “souls of humanity united in their cause for freedom.”

There are other attractions in Luneta – the Chinese and Japanese gardens, planetarium, and the Orchidarium. The latter used to be a popular events venue, even for garden wedding, but unfortunately, it was closed when we got there. 😦

Oh well, at least I have something else to look forward too the next time we visit. Luneta may not be your ideal date place – oftentimes, it is too crowded and you can barely find enough space to walk leisurely or sit, but it is historic, and if it’s not too crowded, the air is quite nice and offers a nice vantage point to view the surrounding buildings – Department of Tourism, National Museum, and various hotels. Not to mention cheap. We didn’t spend a single dime!

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