Friday, September 02, 2011

Haunting Paco Park

Haunting Paco Park

Paco Park is one of the favorite locations for pre-nuptial shoots, wedding receptions, and the St.Pancratius Chapel inside the Park as a wedding venue. But it was only last May that I get to visit this place together with my siblings and my brother's girlfriend; I wonder why no one from my friends or relatives choose this place for their event:)

Paco Park used to be a cemetery for the elite during the Spanish Colonization Period in the Philippines and was converted into a Public Municipal Cemetery during the cholera outbreak in Manila in 1820.

This used to be the old gate of the Park, on top of the arc the following words are inscribed, "beati mortui qui in domino moriuntur;"
which means, "blessed are they who died in the Lord."

The cemetery is circular in shape and most of the remains of those who were once interred here were already transferred to other cemeteries. At the center of the cemetery is a chapel dedicated to St. Pancratius.
The Chapel was closed at the time of our visit, so we were not able to go inside and see the repositories of the remains of the former governors and bishops of Manila found at the sides of the altar.

This marker commemorate the martyrdom of the GOMBURZA (Fr.Mariano Gomez, Fr.Jose Burgos and Fr.Jacinto Zamora); the three Filipino secular priests wrongly accused of starting and organizing the Cavity Mutiny. The priests were buried in a shallow ground here at Paco Cemetery right after their execution through guillotine on February 17,1872; their deaths inspired the Filipinos to fight the Spanish Colonizers.

Jose Rizal, our National Hero, was also interred here right after his execution in Luneta in December 30,1896. The Guardia Civil guarded his grave for fifteen days and in order to conceal the identity of the person buried in this spot, they put the acronym RPG on the cross which is the initials of Jose Protacio Rizal backward. Jose Rizal's remain was transferred from Paco Cemetery to Rizal Park in 1912.

This place is not only rich in history but is also a quiet place where one can relax and unwind. I find the Paco Park beautiful in its old charming way:)


nurseabie said...

Such a beautiful place that we have!

Vickie Heully said...

Wow, such a beautiful place! You did a great job taking photos of, it and I enjoyed reading the history about it. Thanks for sharing.

Pearl said...

Hi! I haven't been in Paco Park before. Is it still a graveyard today? But isn't it odd that wedding receptions are being held there, if it's a cemetary? Anyway...nice post, and photos!:-)

joy said...

@Pearl - the remains of those who were once interred here where transferred to other graveyards. this place is now declared as a national park so many people choose to have their wedding reception here.

Vera said...

I was a little girl the last time I've been to Paco Park. It looks really nice and well maintained. We should totally go visit. What time kaya is best? Yung di masyadong mainit!

joy said...

@Vera, early morning but it's better if its late in the afternoon or early evening because there's a free concert at the park at night and the fountain is opened too. Just check the schedule of the concert.

Anonymous said...

correction: the gomburza priests were executed via garrote ( a strangulation device), not guillotine (a beheading device). Nice pics though :)


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