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The Best Hang-Out Place in Manila - Rizal Park

Updated on February 24, 2015
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Roselyn has been a freelancer for 40 years. She had been a street vendor, a baker, and a cook—until she found her niche: writing. :)

Rizal Monument
Rizal Monument | Source

Rizal Park: National Park and National 'Tambayan' of Filipinos

The Filipino term ‘tambayan’ means a place to hang out or unwind with a group of families, friends, and acquaintances.

The most common ‘tambayan’ venues in the Philippines are along the street gutters and in front of local ‘sari-sari’ (retail) stores, where most teenage boys squatted and huddled together while exchanging noisy jokes and exaggerated tips for favorite online games. They would also furtively share cigarettes and liquor and contact numbers of girls. Most street hangers-out are called ‘istambay’. How down-to-earth!

The best hanging-out places in Manila are easy to find, reasonably-priced, and -- friendly. So that whenever you have a need to unwind or relax, you can ride anything: a taxi, an electric train, a bus, a jeepney, or even a ‘pedicab’ (bicycle with a carriage attached to the right side).

The best destination to go hanging-out? The Rizal Park! Also affectionately known as Luneta.

Rizal Park:
Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines

get directions

Ninoy Aquino International Airport:
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL), Pasay, Philippines

get directions

Rizal Park is in the Heart of the City of Manila
Rizal Park is in the Heart of the City of Manila | Source
Rizal Monument
Rizal Monument | Source
Rizal Monument at Night
Rizal Monument at Night | Source
Manila Travel Map Second Edition (Periplus Travel Maps)
Manila Travel Map Second Edition (Periplus Travel Maps)

This map of Manila -- capital city of the Philippines -- is a folded map that looks like a brochure. It has a compact size that can easily fit inside your jeans’ back or jacket pocket, tote bag, or belt bag. This is a must in your travel to Manila.


Low-Cost Hanging-Out Places for the Budget-Conscious

The Rizal Park, or affectionately called ‘Luneta Park’, is located in the heart of Manila. It is free of charge, except for some enclosed areas that offer special attractions and charge minimal entrance fees. Every weekend families would bring the kids to relax and play with. The park named after the Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal is a hodge-podge of the old and modern Filipino culture.

Surrounded by financial, commercial, industrial, and institutional establishments, the bustling park is a daily witness to the spectacular and romantic Manila Bay sunset. Couples are recommended to ride the colorful and old-world calesa (a horse-drawn carriage) to intensify the experience of promenading along the sea at dusk.

The Rizal Park is indeed an oasis of fun, recreation, and history. The place is so big you need several days to explore it!

Rizal Park

Philippines (Insight Guides)
Philippines (Insight Guides)

This is ideal for Kindle users because it is in ebook format. Lots of great adventure places in the Philippines are discussed in colorful details. The authors went to a number of places and experienced all exciting stuff offered for tourists and travelers alike. The Philippines is a paradise for adventurers!


Change of Guards At Rizal Park in Manila Phillippines

Jose Rizal Execution

My Most Memorable Pedicab Ride Happened in Luneta

One time, I had a yen for going to Luneta to revisit old childhood playgrounds. It was several years since I last visited the biggest park in Manila so I was momentarily overwhelmed by lots of new sights and sounds after leaving the bus.

At first glance, the pedicab driver looked elderly. His face was wrinkled and his mouth toothless. But when he started pedaling - whoa - I started holding my heart inside my throat.

The driver, who seemed like a senior citizen, was a muscular and fearless navigator of old Manila streets.

He crossed the sidewalks and mini-parks to avoid the main roads and, obviously, the traffic enforcers.

The small sidecar was made of spindly steel bars welded together. I hear rickety noises every time we turned sharp corners. Both the bicycle and the steel cart were protesting loudly against the abusive use but the driver remained hell-bent on arriving to my destination.

After twenty minutes of the most speedy and bumpy ride of my life, I saw the tip of the Rizal Monument proudly pointing to the blue and white skies. To reach it, we had to cross a wide street first.

Amazingly, most cars and trucks gave way to us and to other pedicabs as well. It seemed pedicab drivers earned respect maybe because they use only their strong legs. No gas, no pollution.

The calesa, a wooded cart pulled by a horse, was another no-pollution ride. After several hours of exploring the lush gardens and various features of Luneta, I decided to ride the calesa. It was a relaxing one-hour ride. I arrived sedately at the bus terminal.

There are lots of interesting stuffs are waiting to be gawked at inside and around the Rizal Park. Visitors often need several days to enjoy each and every attraction listed below.

Part 1:

  • National Museum of the Filipino People (and Department of Tourism) Building
  • Philippine Flagpole (also referred to as ‘kilometer zero’)
  • Rizal Monument
  • Quirino Grandstand
  • Manila Bay
  • Manila Hotel
  • Army Navy Club
  • Gallery of National Heroes
  • San Lorenzo Ruiz Plaza (the first Filipino saint)
  • Lights and Sound of Rizal
  • The Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal
  • Lights and Sound Complex (consists of Rizal’s mural, Gomburza marker, and Rizal fountain)
  • Artists’ Haven
  • National Historical Institute
  • National Library

Part 2:

  • Central Lagoon
  • Chinese Garden
  • Open-Air Auditorium, Planetarium
  • Rizal Park Library
  • Masscom Library
  • Chess Plaza
  • Flower Clock
  • Japanese Garden
  • 27-foot Cascade
  • Orchidarium
  • Butterfly Pavilion

Part 3:

  • National Museum
  • Skating Rink
  • Plaza Olivia Salamanca (first Filipino woman physician)
  • Children’s Playground
  • Relief Map
  • Halamanang Pilipino (Filipino Garden)

i play. Baby Flap Sun Protection Swim Hat, Royal Blue, 9-18 months
i play. Baby Flap Sun Protection Swim Hat, Royal Blue, 9-18 months

Tropical countries like the Philippines require everyone to wear a hat for protection against the sun’s heat. Children are super sensitive to skin-damaging ultraviolet rays so they should be protected by wide-brimmed hats. The iPlay Babywear Brim Hat comes in different colors. Each has strings that can be tied under the chin.

Entrance to Rizal Park
Entrance to Rizal Park | Source
National Museum of the Filipino People (and Department of Tourism) Building
National Museum of the Filipino People (and Department of Tourism) Building | Source
Gomburza Monument
Gomburza Monument | Source
Manila Baywalk Statues
Manila Baywalk Statues | Source
Manila Baywalk
Manila Baywalk | Source
Manila Bay Sunset
Manila Bay Sunset | Source
Calesa - Horse-Drawn Carriage with Wooden Wheels - Credit: the
Calesa - Horse-Drawn Carriage with Wooden Wheels - Credit: the
Neutrogena Age Shield Sunblock Face, SPF 90, 3 Fluid Ounce (Pack of 2)
Neutrogena Age Shield Sunblock Face, SPF 90, 3 Fluid Ounce (Pack of 2)

Adidas is almost always the name that comes to mind when thinking of a footwear. Why not when Adidas is known as sturdy and trendy all over the world? For travelers, men or women, The ‘Adidas Original Unisex Adilette Sandals’ is more than adequate travel companion for the adventurous feet.

Carabao (Water Buffalo) Monument
Carabao (Water Buffalo) Monument | Source
Japanese Garden at Luneta Park
Japanese Garden at Luneta Park | Source
A Place to Sit and Relax
A Place to Sit and Relax | Source
Lighted Water Fountain in Luneta Park
Lighted Water Fountain in Luneta Park | Source
Plaza Olivia Salamanca
Plaza Olivia Salamanca | Source
A Small Food Store in a Nipa Hut Made of Bamboo Leaves & Trunk
A Small Food Store in a Nipa Hut Made of Bamboo Leaves & Trunk | Source
Children's Playground
Children's Playground | Source
Colorful Balloon Vendor
Colorful Balloon Vendor | Source
National Museum
National Museum | Source
Caruaje - Spanish term for Carriage
Caruaje - Spanish term for Carriage | Source


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    • queen cleopatra profile imageAUTHOR

      Roselyn Mendoza 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you for visiting here, jill of alltrades! :D

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      It's been a long time since I last visited Luneta. Your hub reminded me of fun memories. Maybe I should visit again one of these days!

      Thanks for this!

    • queen cleopatra profile imageAUTHOR

      Roselyn Mendoza 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Lita,

      Thank you for a very articulate comment. Jose Rizal's two novels "Noli Me Tangere" and "El Filibusterismo" had enlightened my way of thinking after reading them. Obviously, our national hero is my favorite hero. :)

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      I viewed the video of our National Hero-Jose P. Rizal's execution. The players played the reenactment well especially actor, Cesar Montano.

      I only have one comment- some of our history books described Rizal to have moved around and faced his executioners at the sound of "fuego" to receive the fatal shots to bring to his grave his plea of innocence- He was NOT A TRAITOR. I was once a teacher and that's what I emphasized in my

      history class. Good work. Our young must know this part of our shining history. Thank you for sharing this.

    • queen cleopatra profile imageAUTHOR

      Roselyn Mendoza 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you, quicksand :D The promotional aspect is quite incidental. This hub was a peek to my happy childhood when I and my family still had time to hang-out in the Luneta Park. I guess, I just missed being a child. lol. Many thanks, too!

    • quicksand profile image


      8 years ago

      Your Majesty, you have posted some great pictures. I am sure the Tourism Industry in the Phillipines will benefit a great deal via your promotional efforts.

      Good luck and many thanks to you!

    • queen cleopatra profile imageAUTHOR

      Roselyn Mendoza 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you for such a warm comment, DjBryle :D

    • DjBryle profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      Nice one... this hub has warmed my heart! Great pics and videos too! Manila, Manila... there's no place like Manila! Voted up! Thanks for sharing! =)


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