Perhaps unknown to many, the Rizal Park, or Luneta Park, in Manila has been reopened to the public since August 24, 2020, according to the National Parks Development Committee. BUT!—and that’s an all-uppercase ‘but’ with exclamation point—only its central area, only for physical fitness purposes, and only from 5AM to 9AM. Which basically limits the use of the park to residents of Ermita and Malate and other nearby streets.
But if you’re looking to shake up your morning routine and make the drive to Manila, we won’t take it against you. Just look at the photos we got from Old Manila Tours guide Ivan Man Dy! Waking up earlier than usual will be worth it.
“Seeing it again after 5 months is refreshing,” says Ivan who was at the park very recently to shoot a virtual tour project. “Even kinda emotional too. It’s a city landmark and its always comforting to see something very familiar at this close an angle.”
The tour guide and heritage conservation advocate made special mention of the park’s plants and trees which are all the more noticeable with less people in the area. “But I also realized, despite the greens, we could—should—have more greens as its not enough given our city's size.” Luneta is considered one of the largest urban parks in Asia.
For those interested to visit, the National Parks Development Committee is implementing new health protocols in light of the pandemic. As per the office’s Facebook post, guests are required to check-in with a QR Code, FB Messenger or via SMS. See the photo below for more information.
The National Parks and Development Committee encourages prospective visitors to apply for their QR Code and entry request ahead of time to facilitate a smooth check in process. Entry requests are valid for 1 day, with multiple entry/exit during park hours.