Driving rains from the northeast monsoon failed to stop, by police count, 5,000 people from staying at the bayside Luneta, a historical urban park in the capital city of nearly 16-million people, on Christmas eve to sunrise Tuesday.
The 58-hectare Luneta, adjacent to the old walled city of Intramuros in the heart of Manila, is one of the largest parks in Asia and is a favorite leisure spot frequented by residents on Sundays and holidays.
The rains, dumped as well in the outskirts of the capital as in Cainta and Taytay towns near Laguna de Bay, also contributed traffic in some avenues leading to the heart of the city because of rising floodwaters that quickly subsided.
The isolated thunderstorms on Monday provided a cap to the 20 storms that had previously whacked the typhoon-prone country that averages 21 a year, according to weather observers.
Police authorities, who monitored movements of residents during Christmas eve and those who went to the urban parks, reported no untoward incidents.
They said Christmas celebration in the metropolis had been generally peaceful.
One of those who went to Luneta was Ariel Tombo, who admitted his family wanted to spend Christmas differently in 2018, instead of staying at home—reason they flocked to Luneta.
Some of the attractions visitors—some were from the provinces visiting relatives residing in Metro Manila—had their eyes on were the dancing fountain which undulated to the rhythm and beat of happy Christmas songs.
The downside in the overnight stay at the Luneta by the visitors, according to garbage collectors, was the heap of trash strewn in nearly every corner.
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