All the while I though I haven’t been to Paco Park, one of our country’s National Parks. My mom told me that I was flower girl twice to my uncles’ weddings at the church inside it. My Mom, Coco and I visited Paco Park when we were staying at the Arzo Hotel Manila a few days ago.
Located in the heart of Manila, Paco Park and Cemetery, originally, Cementerio General de Dilao, is a recreational garden and was once a Manila’s municipal cemetery built during the Spanish period. Up to this date, it is a very popular venue for weddings and garden-theme receptions, as well as pre-nuptial photoshoots.
Built in 1822, it is shaped in a circle structure with two concrete stone walls and at the center is the St. Pancratius Church where funeral rites where made. Its walls were made hollow and served as niches where people were buried. The top of the walls were made into pathways for the promenades. It wasn’t finished yet then, but they allowed burial during the height of the cholera epidemic. Burial at he Paco Cemetery stopped in 1912 and it seems abandoned until the 1960’s. That was only the time when its renovation to a park started. Descendants of those buried in the park transferred their loved ones to different cemeteries. How ever, there is still 41 people left buried there. In the last 200 years, it has evolved from a cemetery to a National Cultural Treasures of our country.
Notable people which is part of our Philippine History that were buried there are – the three priests – GOMBURZA, Father José Burgos, Father Mariano Gomes and Father Jacinto Zamora were and is still buried in the park. They were executed for their suspected role in the Cavite Mutiny in 1972.
The Philippines’ National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal was also buried there temporarily in December 30, 1896. His remains were dug up by his family 2 years later and was kept in an urn and was officially buried to where his monument is now at the Rizal Park 16 years later.
Ps. Glad I was able to bring Coco to one of the national spots in our country that he learned from his Araling Panlipunan modules.
St. Pancratius Chapel is still open for weddings. Inquire at San Vicente de Paul Parish Office – 959 San Marcelino St., Ermita, Manila
How to get there: The easiest option to get there via commute route is by riding an LRT1 to U.N. Station and then at the east end of P Faura Street. Landmark: Manila Science Highschool, at the end of it is the signage of Paco Park.
📍 General Luna Street and at the east end of Padre Faura Street in Paco, Manila
Open from 8 AM to 5 PM, from Tuesday to Sunday
No entrance fee