Paco Park

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The Paco Park is located on the same name district in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Along with the Manila Ocean Park, Paco Park is one of the most popular places for recreation among locals and guests of the city.

Various concerts, events, as well as wedding celebrations are held in the garden. Paco Park is a place where popular music ensembles and local choirs of traditional songs perform from time to time.

Entrance sign at Paco Park Cemetery in Manila
Paco park © CarlyZel / Shutterstock

Former Cemetery

Today the area of the Paco Park occupies more than 4 thousand sq. meters. However, the park keeps the traces of a terrible past of Manila. Once there was a cemetery on the territory of today’s park. Mainly, the notable and rich Spaniards were buried here that lived in the historical walled area of Intramuros.

In 1822, there was a choleric epidemic in the city. The disease had depopulated the capital of the Philippines significantly. The victims of the infection were buried in the city cemetery. The remains of the deceased were placed in the special niches built into the necropolis in the shape of a circle.

With the increase of mortality, the cemetery expanded. Around the existing necropolis, there was built another external wall with niches. Along the top of the wall, there is a cemetery footpath for comers.

The prayers for those who passed into another world were performed in St. Pancratius Chapel, built on the territory of the cemetery. In 1896, the leader of the Philippine National Liberation Movement, José Rizal, who was executed by Spanish colonialists, was buried in the cemetery. He is honored in the country as a fighter for freedom and a national hero. Every year, on the memorial day of José Rizal, the President of the Philippines visits the chapel.

Entrance to Paco Park
Paco park © Stargazer Studios / Shutterstock

The Paco Park in the 20th Century

In 1912, the cemetery was closed. Some relics were transferred to other cemeteries. During World War II, the Japanese, who occupied the Philippines, set ammunition depots on the territory of the cemetery. The adobe walls had become a defensive installation for the invaders. The Japanese had trenched the entire land of the former cemetery and made a lot of gun emplacements.

The war had come to an end. Its traces were fading away slowly. In 1966, the former cemetery of Manila was proclaimed as a national park. The garden was rebuilt and garnished. Today, the park is a popular place for rest and recreation.

Former Park Paco Cemetery
Park Paco © Walter Eric Sy / Shutterstock

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