If Only

This is my second and possibly last column in the Paularri. I am but blessed to know that there are people who like and are interested in reading my columns. Well, I hope you’ll enjoy this and have a silent reflection like what we had in the previous one. Good day!

Everyone is familiar with Luneta also known as Rizal Park, right? In my sixteen years of existence in this world, it was just last December that I have stepped on the very place where the hailed national hero of ours was killed. Indeed, I have nothing to say but, “Wow!” Seriously, the park is really the most beautiful, grandest, biggest and most loved park in the country. There is no question to this because tons and tons of people flock in its grounds everyday especially on Sundays and Holidays.

I was at the peak of excitement when we entered the park. A lot of people came trooping with us and I can hardly see things I am supposed to see. The first attraction that I noticed was the Philippine Archipelago situated in a man-made lake. O yes! It was unique! I saw one in the capitol but this one is different. Later on, we continued walking on the 48-hectare urban park and we saw the building of the Department of Tourism as well as the National Museum and National Library. I can see them when we pass by the streets in the area but looking at them up close feels so differently.

I consider it a park of our culture and history. For the park itself is history. There are structures built by famous artists. Some of them include the neck-to-head statues of different local heroes in the south. There is also a Chinese Garden and an area where a lights and sound presentation of Rizal’s last days is played. But what struck me the most is Rizal’s monument. Among the given attractions, it is the one to which utmost care and importance was given. Sadly, the knights guarding him that I expected to see weren’t there.

The recently added attraction to Rizal park is the dancing fountain that all Filipinos could really be proud of. It was just like Singapore’s my dad said. The fountains sway and dance to the beat of music being played at night beginning at 6 in the evening.

I agree that this park is one of a kind. Nobody can compare it to any other parks in the country and or even in the world. It is beautiful but there is a factor that makes it not beautiful. Want to know what or who it is? It is us, Filipinos. We silently kill the beauty of Rizal park by our insensitiveness and being self-centered. The beauty of the park and its attractions are covered day by day, minute by minute, by the whirling mantle of wrappers, emptied food containers and also of saliva coming from the very mouths of the people when they spit.

If only we know how to be responsible like the people in Singapore, if only we have the desire to preserve what we uniquely have like the residents of China and if only we try our best to love Luneta as if it was a baby cuddling in our very arms, there will be no doubt that Rizal Park and other man-made and natural parks will all be the most magnificent, exquisite and superb places of relaxation and fun in the heart of Asia.

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