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Let’s Explore Manila : Paco Park and Cemetery


After our overnight stay in Go Hotels Otis, we packed our things early and proceed to our next destination in Manila. I have been aiming to visit this place for a long time and when I found out that it was just one ride away from our hotel, we decided to put it on our itinerary.
20170102_101803tWe visited the Paco Park and Cemetery, a simple and quaint park in Paco, Manila. Although it is being tagged as Cemetery, the place is now a recreational garden and is a popular wedding venue for those couples who want a garden-like settings. It might be a small and simple place in Manila but it has a huge historical significance too.
20170102_100021tA welcome sign near the gate of Paco Park.
20170102_100037tThe Paco Park was once a cemetery. An order to construct a municipal cemetery was made after and outbreak of a cholera epidemic in Manila in 1807. The cemetery was primarily designed as a municipal cemetery for the affluent and established aristocratic Spanish families who resided in the old Manila, or the city within the walls of Intramuros during the Spanish colonial era. It is also interesting to note that the remains of our National hero, Dr Jose Rizal and the martyred priests (GomBurZa) ; Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgoz, andJacinto Zamora were all interred in Paco Cemetery. It is not surprising why this place was declared as National Historical Shrine.20170102_100047tA historical marker mounted outside the walls of Paco Park and Cemetery20170102_100124tPaco Park is a well-maintained place. It features a very serene and neat atmosphere and the entrance fee of Php10 per head is really reasonable to keep this place back to its former glory.
IMG_0133tThe inner gate of Paco Park. The park is circular in shape with an inner circular fort that stood as the original cemetery. The outer wall was built with thick adobe walls. The top of the walls were then made into pathways for promenades20170102_100342tThe walls were made hollow to serve as niches
20170102_101036tA panoramic view of the niches. I’m not sure if the some of the remains are still interred here but they said that most of the  remains here were exhumed and transferred to other cemeteries in Manila.20170102_101108t
20170102_101521tThe pathways on top of the thick walls. Here, you’ll see the inner and outer walls of the Paco Park
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20170102_101727tLocated at the center of the park is a domed chapel dedicated to St. Pancratius, a Roman citizen who converted to Christianity, and was beheaded for his faith at the age of just 14 around the year 304.20170102_100752t20170102_100824t20170102_100839tThe chapel was closed by the time we arrived there but according to the markers outside, this dome and oval chapel had an altar that was originally white and gold. On each side of the altar are the repositories for the remains of the governors and bishops.20170102_100854t20170102_100907tSchedule of masses of St Pancratius Chapel
20170102_100939tIt is also interesting to note that the Chapel of St. Pancratius is under the care of the San Vicente de Paul Parish and the Vincentian fathers who also manage the nearby Adamson University.20170102_102048t20170102_102702t
20170102_102222tIn front of the chapel is a huge circular pool/ pondIMG_0139t20170102_100606t20170102_101825tOf course, the park is adorned with luscious greens and colorful ornaments as well.
20170102_102301t20170102_102330t20170102_102553tOn one side, you’ll find a monument dedicated to Dr Jose Rizal. Jose Rizal was secretly interred at Paco Park after his execution at Bagumbayan on December 30, 1896, and was guarded for fifteen days by the Guardia Civil Veterana. His remains were exhumed on August 17, 1898 and on December 30, 1912 was laid underneath the monument dedicated to him at the Luneta as stated in the Park’s marker.
20170102_103020tNot too far from Rizal’s monument is another monument dedicated to the three martyred priest. According to the memorare, their remains after their execution on February 17, 1892, were buried in the cemetery grounds as they were linked to the Cavite Mutiny, as stated in the Park’s marker.20170102_101933tThe park as viewed from the top walls.
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Things You Should Know Before Going to Paco Park and Cemetery
►The entrance fee to Paco Park is Php10 per head
►The park is open to general public from Tuesdays to Sundays from 8am to 5pm
►Comfort rooms are available
►Weddings could be held here
►Masses are held in St Pancratius every Sundays and Holidays (10am│11am│5pm│6pm)
►They also conduct masses every 12th Day of the Month at 9am
►Wedding Arrangements and inquiries can be done in San Vicente De Paul Parish
►Some scenes from the movie Starting Over Again (starring Toni Gonzaga and Piolo Pascual) were shot here
►National artist Ildefonso Paez Santos Jr. was involved in the designing of Paco Park (he is also the one behind the landscape designs of CCP and Rizal Park)

How to Get to Paco Park From Manila
Going to Paco Park and Cemetery is not really challenging. If you are commuting from Manila, just take a jeepney bound to Taft Avenue. From there, get off in Escoda Street and you can just walk to Paco Park. In our case, from Otis, we just ride a Tricycle that brought us directly to Paco Park for just Php20

Where To Stay in Manila
In case you are looking for more budget hotels, feel free to check our hotel recommendations via TravelBookPH and see which one suits your budget!

After spending time in Paco Park and Cemetery, we headed to our next destination and possibly the most popular park in Manila, the Luneta Park or Rizal Park! I will post more details about this trip in my next #LetsExploreManila entry.

or the mean time, you can also follow me on my Social media account for more updates

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Feel free to watch this video summary below and don’t forget to subscribe!

In case you missed an entry, here are the rest of the entries you might want to read.

LET’S EXPLORE MANILA TRAVEL SERIES
►Let’s Explore Manila Prologue
►Journey to the Past – Intramuros Part 1
►Journey to the Past – Intramuros Part 2
►The Papier Tole Souvenir Shop
►Intramuros In Black and White
►Fort Santiago
►Go Hotel Otis : A Traveler-Friendly Budget Hotel In the Metro
►Paco Park and Cemetery
►The Historical Rizal Park (Luneta Park)
►The Rizal Execution Site
►The Chinese Garden
►The Manila Zoo and the Current Condition of Mali
►Baluarte De San Andres and Baluarte De San Diego of Intramuros
►The Seven Great Churches of Intramuros
►The Manila Baywalk

You may also want to visit my past Manila-related entries
►Manila Pilgrimage Tour
►A Trip To Binondo Series
►A Day With National Museum

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