Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tourist for a day in Luneta

Jose Rizal 150th Anniversary LunetaMy travel buddy Diana and I were inspired by the old tagline of the Department of Tourism, “Huwag maging dayuhan sa sariling bayan” (don’t be a foreigner in your own country), implicating that foreigners have actually been to more places than locals; So Diana and I decided yesterday, that we’d become foreigners in Manila! (although it is not impossible for locals to think we’re tourists because we both look Korean haha)

I have heard about the plans of renovation in the Luneta Park for the 150th birthday of our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal next year, but I did not realize that the implementation started this year. I was browsing thru my facebook the other day and came across photos taken by my web designer Phil who is apparently a great photographer as well! Photographs of the lights and sound show in Luneta Park which looked magnificent! Curious, I suggested to Diana that we check it out.

Jose Rizal 150th Anniversary Luneta

We arrived at Luneta 6:45PM, we thought that maybe we’d go around the park and look at the fountain; little did we know HOW MUCH people already knew about it! When we came down from the jeepney, every passenger that were on the jeep were going down at Luneta as well; and as we crossed the road we saw a MASSIVE crowd hanging around the park, like I’ve never seen before!

People were sitting on the grass having picnic and on the background the song of the internationally famous, Charice Pempengco, Pyramid was playing while the fountain danced around for people to see; and every time the chorus comes in “pyramiiiiiiid..” the tall fountain springs up in unison and everyone looks up all at the same time. Jolly Christmas carols were also playing among other famous songs for the Filipinos, like Celine Dion’s undying Titanic sound track, My Heart Will Go On. Lol.

I was so happy looking at the families eating together! Not that they wouldn’t be doing the same thing at home but now, the government has provided a place for them to watch musical fountains that I would consider of world-class standard, something I’ve seen in Japan or Singapore. Kids were playing and running around, while parents and grandparents watch them happily that finally they stripped the kids away from their computers and TVs; and enjoying the fresh air for a change!

Another thing that made me smile last night was how much business tourism is bringing in! So many enterprising Filipinos selling light balls, flashing eye glasses, lighting headbands, picnic mats! Street food dotting the street, complete from hopia (Chinese biscuit), mani (nuts), pop corn (well, popcorn); Isaw (bbq intestines), sorbertes (dirty ice crem) to kakanin (traditional Filipino rice delicacies). A line of tiangge selling clothes and what-not’s and even magic tricks (so cool that the vendor convinced me to buy 2 sets of magic tricks for my nephew!)

Jose Rizal 150th Anniversary Luneta

Indeed I believe what the former secretary of Tourism Ace Durano used to say, “May trabaho sa turismo!” (there are jobs in tourism!) Kudos also to the incumbent secretary Alberto Lim for improving Intramuros and Luneta! I hope this goes on for a long time!

*Musical Fountains are found just behind the monument of Jose Rizal
*It starts from 6PM until 12MN intervals of 30 minutes until December 30, 2010;
*repeat performance of the musical fountain will be announced in the future. Visit now!

Some photos taken by Petiks Photography / Phil Diaz that made all my photos lame! haha

Jose Rizal 150th Anniversary Luneta

Jose Rizal 150th Anniversary Luneta

Have you been a tourist in your own town? Tell me about it!