A record two million people visited the Rizal Park, better known as ‘Luneta’, during the holiday
This was learned from National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) Executive Director Penelope
Belmonte, who said that the head counters in the park recorded the visitors covering the period of
from December 24 up to January 1.
She noted that the figures peaked during the New Year countdown held at the park, with at
least 230,000 in attendance to watch the fireworks display and welcome 2018 by spending the night
there and enjoying all the attractions that were offered for free.
These attractions include the giant Christmas tree, giant ‘Belen’, the palm tree with LED
lights and the Santa Claus Corner where kids were able to have their pictures taken with Santa and
where Belmonte distributed gifts to some 15,000 children who were there on Christmas Eve.
As part of the park’s Christmas celebration, Belmonte ordered all the gated facilities to be
free from admission. These include the classic attractions like the Diorama lights ‘n sounds, Chinese
garden, Japanese garden, Kanlungan ng Sining, Binhi ng Kalayaan, (Orchidarium) and the newest
attraction which is the National Parks Museum and Archives.
These are on top of the famous dancing fountain and the Children’s Playground.
Also under Belmonte’s stewardship, the rest-rooms can now be used free of charge.
Belmonte said the 230,00 people that were present in the park during the New Year countdown
doubled the following day, January 1, causing heavy traffic in the area.
Meanwhile, the load of garbage collected averaged two to three truckloads during each
collection which was made three times a day. The collection peaked at seven trucks per pick-up on
Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
“We at the NPDC are very pleased that the public enjoyed all the new and old but enhanced
attractions at the park,” Belmonte said.