Parks and Recreation

Rizal Park, also known locally as Luneta Park, is a popular strolling ground at the center of Manila. With flowers, fountains, and lush lawns, it is usually filled with thousands of people in the late afternoons and evenings. It contains a memorial to Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero who was executed nearby by the Spanish in 1896. A changing of the guard ceremony takes place regularly, as well as twice daily light shows near a set of statues reenacting the execution. The 6:30 PM show is in Tagalog while the 7:30 PM show is in English. The park also contains playgrounds, a roller-skating rink, an open-air auditorium, and gardens in traditional, Japanese, and Chinese styles.

Other parks in the Metro area include Fort Santiago Park in Manila, and Quezon Memorial Circle and the Ninoy Aquino Park and Wildlife Center, both in Quezon City. The Manila Zoological Garden is in Malate. While it contains interesting specimens of the Philippine eagle and the dwarf buffalo, the facility is known to be crowded and many of the animals neglected.

The Chinese Cemetery in the area of Santa Cruz known as Monumento is a fascinating place because of the blending of Catholic, Buddhist, and Taoist traditions and the grandiose nature of some of the tombs. Some monuments include mailboxes, refrigerators, and even air-conditioning. Tour guides are available.

Golfing is available at 11 greens throughout the Metro Manila area.