03 April 2008

Paco Park and Cemetery

I recently saw the UP Guitar Orchestra perform at the Paco Park and Cemetery (they did a wonderful Songs of Ararat, among others). As the night creeped in, the fountain gave off a good reflection, and the sky was bright blue! Farkin beautiful.

The park is surprisingly peaceful compared to the roadways outside, and it's got wonderful structures, including the Chapel of St. Pancratius (patron saint of the pancreas?). The walls connect and have a walkway on the top level. There are numerous calachuchi, acacia, and palm trees, as well as bougainvilla, among others.

The place is lined with crypts, some empty, others occupied. Some contain eerie pleas (in Spanish), such as the one below. "Naning! Why did you leave us? How sad is life without you! Your Parents". So much for resting in peace.

Some have modern blessings for dead rockstars:

Since no one has been interred here since 1913, alternative uses are apparently being developed by resourceful employees. This area has been converted into a graveyard vegetable garden:

And this area indicates that people must be getting bored with their jobs:

On the whole, it's a good place to walk about or just zone out. Insider tip: at around 6:00 PM, a tree by the exit starts treating the air to this unbelievable fragrance.

You need to pay a whopping Php5 to get in this peaceful and quirky little park. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. On other days it is open from 10:00 AM til 5:00 PM. Exceptions are on Fridays (there are free concerts at 6:00 PM) and Sundays (there is Holy Mass at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, and 6:00 PM).

Oh, and one interesting extra peek into the "octagonal" origins of Paco Park.

Here is their calendar of events. Look under Paco Park Presents, which is below the schedule of Concert at the Park. Do not get the two mixed up, as the latter is a concert series in Luneta or Rizal Park.

Paco Park and Cemetery
San Marcelino Street and General Luna Street
(near Padre Faura), Manila
(+632) 524 2384
LRT1 Station: UN Avenue
From the station, it's about a 10 minute walk. Alternatively, you can get a pedicab.

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