Who in his right mind would go to Rizal Park this summer?
The concrete esplanade is a giant frying pan. Winds are on vacation. And Rizal’s very bones must be sizzling inside their kiln — er — monument. It’s the worst place to be in.
But I disagree.
Rizal Park is among the best places you can visit this season — especially if you’re into fitness. Just be at the park by sunrise. You’ll be amazed at how the place can awaken with life, music, and colors as fitness enthusiasts of all types converge in the area. Here are some of what you can do when you’re there:
The distance around the park and the Quirino Grandstand is about 3 km! So it’s easy to track your progress. No wonder the place has become a favorite among runners casual and pro. And since it’s still early in the morning, you need not worry about vehicle smoke. Besides, the upbeat, wake-me-up music playing at the park’s central fountain will be your loudest cheerer.
2. Join an aero-marathon session
Not the running type? Another option can be the aerobics “marathon” held around 6 am at the park’s “pocket court” beside the National Library; or the one at the Quirino Grandstand, between the carabao statues along Roxas Boulevard. People there are hyper, singing “let’s get loud” along with JLo.
3. Mimic tai chi masters
Somewhere near the Inang Bayan statue on the south side of the park is a group of tai chi enthusiasts. Some of them are Chinoy senior citizens. Their moves have always captivated me. Reminds you of Kung Fu Hustle in slow motion. And, yes, you’re free to imitate them! They won’t kick you out. And if they do, it’ll be in painless slow-mo. (Below: I arrived too late, so no tai chi peeps. Aww…)
And when you’re too tired to do any of the above, you always can feed the pigeons near the Maria Orosa St. part of the park. Feed them — or chase them.