‘When was the last time you went to Luneta Park?’ i asked myself moments before Bryan Karl, Jerome and I headed to the National Park of the Philippines after our Ocean Park trip. I can’t really remember the exact date, but i think it is sometime in 1995 or 1996. I insisted of going there because i saw it at our Sibika at Kultura textbook. As a fan of Jose Rizal’s greatness, the Little Mica got what she requested.
During our short trip to Luneta Park at the first weekend of October 2010, my mind was a bit messed up. I wasn’t even sure if we were already in Luneta not until I saw Dr. Jose Rizal’s statue, where the guards are standing there with pokerface. Too bad we weren’t allowed to take a closer picture with them. We’ll cause too much distraction, i bet.
What was I thinking while we were walking and taking pictures? I realized that some Filipinos, especially those who are living nearby with their families still spend quality time together at the park. You will see some families renting out mats so they can sit at the picnic area. You will see loads of them. Some children and teenagers were playing ball games, badminton and flying kites. The simple park foods such as popcorn, green mango with bagoong and cotton candies are around the place. I am impressed that in a way, the cleanliness of our National Park was maintained.
The subject that caught my attention were the old photographers, who are stuck in the film-develop process. I admit i was insensitive when i asked one of them ‘May nagpapakuha pa ba sa inyo?‘. He gave me a hard look and walked away. I know what i did was wrong and i am sorry.
After shooting a short video, the three of us walked and saw a developing center for the old photographers. You see, years ago, they were in-demand especially on graduation and wedding ceremonies. The rise of digital cameras deprived them from getting projects and since ‘change’ is one thing that most Filipinos don’t want to embrace, they ended up sticking to their old ways thus less income and gigs.
Ok, this post has nothing to do with our beloved National Hero. A number of bloggers wrote a tribute post for him today, his 114th death anniversary. He was shot in Bagumbayan (now Luneta) and his martyrdom made a lot of Filipinos cry during his time.
Luneta Park is not only a place where we can reminisce that a certain Dr. Jose P. Rizal a.k.a. Pepe existed years ago. It is also a living witness on how we’ve changed in the past years.
** Originally written last December 30, 2010**
Photo Credit: Jerome Locson (failed to upload some of my shots lol)