Some things, seen or experienced separately, are beautiful, and even more beautiful when combined with other elements. For instance, the magical interplay of various colors, we call a rainbow, is created when light hits water droplets. Now, in addition to the combination of light and water, what do we get if we add sound and fire?
We get something nice like the Light and Sound Show at the Rizal Park, formerly Luneta / Bagumbayan, found at the heart of Manila City.
And it’s absolutely free. Luneta is a public park, frequented by families for picnics (and, uhm, lovers who are at home with the anonymity afforded by its vast expanse). The Light and Sound Show, which runs continuously from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., is open to the public (even to love birds who presumably care less about the display).
Many are familiar with Luneta as the place where Jose Rizal, the national hero, was executed in 1896. The site, just like adjacent places including the Fort Santiago where he was imprisoned before facing the firing squad, is an integral part of Jose Rizal‘s life.
It’s the premier public park in the Philippines, although the usual visitor, like us or even foreign dignitaries who lay a wreath at the Rizal Monument as a sign of respect, gets to visit and see only the front portion facing Roxas Boulevard. This is where the Rizal Monument is found.
The other half of visitors, a good mix of families and love birds, know Rizal Park as a picnic place. And there’s the negative perception that Luneta is frequented by the masa and jejemons, which is unfortunate given the significance of the place and quite untrue given the good mix of people that we observed while dropping by to see its latest attraction.
We saw the huge throng of people, concentrated at the vast open space at the back of the Rizal Monument, for the first time last weekend. In the middle of this mass of humanity is the Light and Sound Show.
We’ve seen a number of light and sound shows. There’s one in Sentosa (Songs of the Sea). although one need not go far because there’s now a light and sound show at the Manila Ocean Park (see Magical Fountain Show). These are nice shows, with eye-catching laser effects, accompanying sounds and narration, and short storyline.
These shows naturally charge an entrance fee, of course. The Lights and Sounds Show in Luneta is free.
We all have a rightful expectation that something we pay for should be worth it, and so we have a similar expectation that a show, just like the Lights and Sounds Show in Luneta, is simple and far from spectacular.
But while it’s far from spectacular, it’s not true that it’s lousy. The show at the Rizal Park has the basic ingredients for an interesting sight. The fountains dance with the music. The lights hit the fountains, creating various shapes and texture, adding emotions to the music flow. Fireballs occasionally light up the darkness and put emphasis with explosive sounds.
It is, in short, a show that would provide enough entertainment for the family. Luneta Park is surrounded by establishments that cater to people in vacation (restaurants, hotels, the Manila Ocean Park, among others). It’s a place of historical significance. It’s a place worth visiting. Enjoy.