Metro Manila · Paco Park
Paco Park was once Manila’s municipal cemetery for an exclusive circle of people. Decades later, the former burial ground was converted into a park.
Paco Park is among the oldest parks in Metro Manila and with it, comes a long and interesting history. Its construction, according to an inscription found at the park, was issued in the year 1807. At the time however, it was built as a burial ground to make room for those who died from the cholera outbreak that hit the capital.
Maestro de Obras Don Nicolas Ruiz is said to have developed a plan for the Paco Cemetery meant as a burial site for an exclusive circle of people.
Used prior to its inauguration in 1822, the place we now know as Paco Park underwent a number of changes after it was established. Some of these changes includes an extension of the cemetery in 1859. The expansion, according to accounts, was done by a Chinese builder for 19,700 pesos.
By December 30th, 1896, Filipino reformist Jose Rizal was reportedly interred in the area after his execution at Bagumbayan. The Paco Cemetery has served as a burial ground for almost a century until interments at the site was halted in 1912. Descendants of those buried at Paco Cemetery later exhumed the remains of their relatives and transferred them to other cemeteries.
By the time the Second World War reached the pacific, Japanese forces came to the Philippines. Some of their forces used the former cemetery in Paco as a supply and ammunition repository because of its thick adobe walls.
Years after the war, this part of Paco became a National Park. It was slowly restored and remained as a precious patch of greenery and promenade since then. The park’s management was later transferred to the national government during the Marcos presidency. During that period, Paco Park hosted a number of cultural activities.
In the early part of 1980, a concert for the Philippine-German Month was held at the park. It was followed by many concerts after that.
Today, the park, along with the Chapel of St. Pancratius that stands at the park grounds, is now considered by locals as a nice venue for weddings.
The history of Paco Park is one of the most interesting things about it. Aside from Jose Rizal, three friars linked to the mutiny in Cavite during the Spanish times were also buried in this part of Manila.
Paco Park hosts regular concerts.
Location & How to Get There
San Marcelino & Gen. Luna Streets, Paco, Manila, Philippines
Tel: 63 (2) 302 7381