Celebrating its 121-year of independence (Araw ng Kalayaan), the Philippines has come a long way eversince it gained its sovereignity. Philippines has its share of rich culture and tradition. It has a diverse culture that originated from different colonizers that inhabited the island. The Philippines has been captive for centuries, thanks to the brave heroes that fought for its independence, Filipinos are now reaping the benefits of the freedom that was worth fighting for. Without these heroes like Jose Rizal – Philippines’ national hero, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Lapu-Lapu, Gregorio Del Pillar, Melchora Aquino, and Apolinario Mabini to name a few, Filipinos would probably be still enslaved. A history of bravery, unity and a sense of nationalism. These are just prelude to a hundred-year of history of the Philippines’ independence and national heritage.
Today, many Filipinos all over the world are remembering, if not celebrating that freedom. And what’s greater way to celebrate it is to visit those iconic and memorable places that contributed an impact to the Filipinos and to the world in remembrance of the sacrifices of these great heroes. Here are the four great places to visit this Independence Day to experience a glimpse of that chivalry and patriotism.
Philippine National Museum. What comes in mind in order to know the brief history of a country is to visit their national museum. Located at Manila, where you can take a walk near the famous Manila Bay afterwards, its strategic location is near the center of many establishments, the national park, and national facilities.
“The National Museum manages and develops the national reference collections in the areas of cultural heritage (fine arts, anthropology and archaeology) and natural history (botany, zoology,and geology and paleontology), and carries out permanent research programs in biodiversity, geological history, human origins, pre-historical and historical archaeology, maritime and underwater cultural heritage, ethnology, art history, and moveable and immoveable cultural properties.” – Philippine National Museum
To book a visit or support the museum’s cause, visit their website HERE.
Luneta Park. The Philippines’ national park that commemorates the Filipinos’ national hero – Jose Rizal. Luneta Park (a.k.a Rizal Park) is not just a place where national activities are held. Filipino families gather here to enjoy and be amaze of the park that is located in the heart of a city. Surrounded by lush greeneries, and trees, it has a fountain that highlights the three great islands that comprises the Philippines. Children can enjoy the playground that was built by the government. There are amenities that caters the needs of each individuals. The iconic monument that is guarded 24/7, is the main attraction that attracts many visitors both local and foreign. Even the most important diplomats of other nations, paid a visit to this monument whenever they are in the Philippines.
Intramuros. The cobbled streets and Manila’s Walled City, this is the home of the Spanish-era landmarks that reflected the influence of imperialist Spain that once conquered the Philippines for centruries. Home to the famous Fort Santiago, San Agustin Church museum, Casa Manila museum and the Manila Cathedral. If you are a devote Catholic or has a fascination of Gothic Architecture, this is a must-see place for you and your family.
MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park. Located at Red Beach, Palo, Leyte, you can book a flight to Tacloban City from Manila and Cebu. The said memorial has a rich history between United States of America and the Philippines. Dubbed as the red beach, it symbolizes the blood drenched in the war against Japanese invading the island. This memorial national park commemorates the promise of General Douglas MacArthur with his reknowned phrase “I shall return”. The largest battle in the Gulf of Leyte, also known as the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the last marine battle during the World War II.
A unified country represents the unified ideals of its citizens. It resounds the intention of the government to its people, not in a form of dictatorship but through a good governance and leadership. These heroes heard the outcry of its fellowmen, thus, resulting to the fight for democracy. This Independence Day, let us commemorate the sacrifices of these heroes beyond merits and recognition, but going to these national historical places will allow us to know them better and experience the sense of nationalism they once had. Through this Memorial places, we are also teaching the younger generations the pride of the country, the lessons learned from the history and the patriotism of why was the Philippines was worth dying for.
What other national memorial places in the Philippines you know that are not included in the list? Tell us in the comment section below.