Once a cemetery, it has since been converted to one of the nicer and historically significant parks in Manila.
I used to watch a TV show where various classical and contemporary musicians would come together and play under a canopy of trees inside a public park. I used to think how wonderful it must have been to be able to play at such a nice place. I would later learn that the site was called Paco Park. Established during the Spanish Occupation, it was built as a cemetery for Aristocratic families. As the population of Manila boomed they found the need to expand the cemetery laid out in a circle. When viewed from the sky, what you would see are two circles on top of each other.
During the Japanese occupation, the Cemetery was converted into a munitions depot. It’s shape giving the advantage to sentries who would be on the look out for guerrillas trying to compromise the fortress. The place was run down after the war but fortunately it was rebuilt and restored and soon became a favorite spot of the Marcoses to hold evening galas and cultural performances. There are still monthly shows and performances done by classical musicians, if you’re lucky, you might chance upon a performance or a marriage ceremony.
That’s the only time the park opens during evenings. You see there’s a chapel in the middle of the park and before you think that we get of on getting married in cemeteries I should tell you that all remains were exhumed an moved to a different location when the site was renovated back in the 60’s. Usually operation hours are from 8am to 4pm. Curiously there is a flock of mostly white pigeons that have resided in the park. I imagine they were released at the end of weddings but soon decided to just stay in the park where trees are abundant and they can mooch of the tourists.
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