Guess where I took my kid for a walk?

Even my wife, Tina had no word to explain what got into me when I decided to bring Gabby to this park on one weekend morning.  Perhaps, I wanted a breather between our usual routine of going to malls, coffee shops and restaurants or maybe I just wanted our son to experience a different space that may enhance his appreciation of things. Either way, we both enjoyed our 30 minutes in Paco Park, Manila.

It has been ages since my last visit to Paco Park. It was during those Holy Weeks back in the early 80s when we started to accompany my mom in her annual Visita Iglesia in 30 churches (Yes, you read it right–thirty churches including St. Pancratius Chapel inside Paco Park; probably it’s also the reason why I sort of memorized the sidestreets and main thoroughfares of Metro Manila).

Paco Park was initially a cemetery. So when I told Gabby that I’m bringing him to a park and a former burial ground, he was puzzled and just shrugged his shoulders.

The charm of this former cemetery lies on its architecture. It’s circular in shaped with thick hollow walls; old as history.

In 1912, burial or interment at the Paco Park ceased. It had been the burial ground for several generations and descendants of those who were buried in the park had the remains of their ancestors transferred. (Sourced via Wiki)

Walking through these walls reminded me that change is inevitable. The previously built cemetery for aristocratic Spanish families has been accessible for years now as a recreational garden for all and at present can be enjoyed for as cheap as FIVE PESOS ENTRANCE FEE.

There’s an area formerly dedicated to angels…

But the most famous Pinoy secretly interred after his execution at Bagumbayan in Paco Cemetery is no less than Dr. Jose P. Rizal.  Note that his initials at the cross was written in reverse to hide his remains’ identity.

Gabby asked me who RPJ is and I just simply replied he’s our National Hero. Although I got 1.50 in Philippine History and 1.25 in Rizal, the subject (1.0 being the highest) back in my pre-Med days in FEU, I cannot explain his works and life in few statements to my almost-6-year-old kid; I’ll let him discover who Rizal is as Gabby studies Philippine History when he grows up.

The St. Pancratius Chapel inside Paco Park is one of the favorite wedding venues of most Pinoy couples. I think it depends on one’s perception of the place; either you feel creepy about it or be lured to its uniquely amazing aura.  Every Friday afternoon, there’s always a free concert held titled Paco Park Presents.

As our half-hour stroll in this park came to a close, it was then Gabby became more fascinated and at ease with it. He ran and jumped around the lifeless fountain; he sat and assumed his favorite yoga-like pose; and probably began to absorb a little sense of the place.

Gabby requested if he can have his favorite drink. So guess where we ended up our morning?  We went to the nearest mall, Robinson’s Place Manila and he savored a grande of chocolate frappuccino.

The odd weekend became usual again in a blink sip. 🙂

Have you been to Paco Park? What do you think of the place?

32 thoughts on “UNUSUAL PASYAL

  1. ang cute naman ng meditation pic ni gabby 😀

    i’ve never been here and from all the pics here and other bloggers’ posts, i wonder why i never been here at all. this is one place that i think people can come to hide from the bustle of manila. will put this in my bucket list. thanks. happy weekend.

  2. heyyyy… this looks familiar. I think this place had a part in that recent Bea-John Lloyd film? I forgot the title haha.
    I’d love to visit sites like these. Old, history-rich, and beautiful. Someday soon I’ll get the chance 🙂

    1. lainee! how’s cebu blog camp? i’ll swing into your site soon.
      and btw, i think the movie’s called “miss you like crazy” *updated si doc!*

      1. aba! updated nga ;)) I did watch that movie, I’m just bad at remember titles of tagalog movies 😀
        btw doc, I’ll be transferring to another site soon. will inform you lang when I’ve made the move na 🙂

  3. .. the last time i was in paco park was when i attended an officemate’s wedding and that was years ago. good thing they still manage to keep it as it was.

  4. That’s awesome. I don’t know if there are some historical sites around here in Gensan but i would definitely bring my kids there if that place is near. A feel of their history is but a generous amount of knowledge you can impart to kids. Thanks for this shared post!

  5. i haven’t been there doc. and eto pa, di ko lam kung saan ang paco haha! so i guess pa ermita yan kasi nag rob place kayo eh hehe. wow si gabby pa starbucks starbucks nalang ahihihi!

    FYI – diyan nag shooting ng latest movie sina john lloyd and bea! 🙂 yay fanatic haha! 😛

    1. sorry i didn’t include the how-to-get-to paco park in my post.

      either you’re commuting or with a ride; take/follow the lrt taft then get off by UN station or take right turn to padre faura then at the end of the street, you’ll find the old walls of paco park.

      if you’re coming from legarda, take ayala bridge then left turn to san marcelino street. just go straight and after un avenue by the near end of san marcelino you’ll find paco park.

      yes, dyanie. i think it’s miss you like crazy. don’t ask why i know. alam ko fanatic ka ni jlc who happened to be my cousin’s classmate back in their elementary days in marikina catholic school where i also went decades ago.

  6. Doc, the last time I visited Paco Park was a decade ako. Thanks for sharing, It reminds me how peaceful and lovely the place is.

    Happy Weekend!

  7. hi doc 😀 ive been on hiatus and i have a lot of catching up to do, tsk tsk ang bilis mo kasi mag-update ng blog ehh haha! (please update my blog link doc, ive already deleted my blogger posts, ive switched to wordpress) — http://virtualanimosity.wordpress.com

    anyways, i havent been to paco park but ive heard raves about that place from my parents, jan yata sila madalas magdate ng tatay ko after kumain sa isang pizza joint na malapit jan haha!

    parang ang sarap magpapicture!!

    1. and what do you know. my parents also had paco park (and luneta of course!)as one of their date-place back in the 70s. it must be that lovely.

      thanks for the info, i’ll update my links and will visit your new site soon. welcome to wordpress, sub! 🙂

  8. I remember having a field trip there before… school stuff 😀

    haha and there goes the part I was waiting for.. FOOD! di pwede mawala sa inyo 🙂

  9. Reading this post about RPJ, took be back to the time when I studied Rizal and his works. A native Bisaya, we never had the opportunity to travel very often outside of Visayas. Thank you for taking us to Paco Park’s virtual tour.

  10. Doc, did you see a lot of couples there??? Uso pa rin ba ang mga nagdidate dyan sa Paco Park? hehehe I haven’t been there yet but I don’t think I would try to visit that place although it’s a nice place. Kasi maaalala ko lang na dating nagdi date dyan ang asawa ko e LOL

    By the waym nice pictures.

    1. yes, until now paco park is a famous dating place for all ages! naku peborit dating place pala yan ni mister mo, sardz. anyway, so when are you guys transferring to seattle from misawa?

  11. Paco Park is a great place to introduce kids to a bit of Philippine history besides being a green respite from the hustle and bustle of the streets just outside its walls. Been there only once.

    1. true that it’s a cool respite from the urban hustle and bustle! i want to enjoy that paco park presents concerts when i find time to go back. nice to know you’ve been there even once.

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