Rizal Shrine in Dapitan: The Hero’s Exile

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“Don’t you realize that that is a useless life which is not consecrated to a great idea? It is a stone wasted in the fields without becoming a part of any edifice.” – The Reign of Greed by Charles Derbyshire (Complete English Version of ‘El Filibusterismo‘ of José P. Rizal)

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte

There was a period of interruption in the life of the Philippines’ greatest hero that seemingly skewed his journeys and activities. José P. Rizal had become renowned in the arts, social and political circles in Manila, Europe, East Asia, and the United States. But as his reputation grew larger than life, Rizal became a looming threat to the Spanish colonial authorities.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteImmediately upon his return to the Philippine islands from yet another sojourn abroad, Rizal organized La Liga Filipina in 1892. His name was dragged to revolutionary activities that the Spaniards capitalized to have him exiled to an obscure town in Mindanao island where they hoped Rizal could be reduced to oblivion or at least compelled to submit to their whims and caprices.

Rizal however had an entirely different agenda. With his share in the lottery pot, Rizal bought a parcel of land in a coastal village of Dapitan. Using his skills geodetic, engineering, architecture, and carpentry, Rizal developed the land and built a house, a clinic, a hospital, a poultry, a dam and aqueduct.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteThe Casa Residencia is a replica of Rizal’s former house in Talisay. Reconstructed in 1960, this rectangular house sheltered the national hero from March 1893 until he left Dapitan on July 31, 1896. It has a bedroom and features a veranda on three of its four walls and a comfort room accessible through a bridge at the rear. On various occasion, the house also sheltered Rizal’s mother Teodora Alonzo, his sisters Trinidad, Maria, and Narcisa, some nephews, his niece Angelica, and Josephine Bracken.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteThe Casa Redonda is a replica of the octagonal clinic of Rizal. It also served as a dormitory of some of his pupils. Reconstructed with similar materials as the main house, it now stands as a reminder of the numerous medications performed by Rizal during his exile in Dapitan. It was also here where he removed his mother’s cataracts.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteThe Casa Cuadrada is a replica of the pupils’ dormitory and workshop. Rizal effected the construction of the house to accommodate the growing number of pupils in his Talisay School. The area underneath the hut served as workshop of his pupils.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteThe Casitas de Salud are replicas of the hospital houses of Rizal and composed of two little huts with a floor area of 70 square feet. Each hut, one for male and the other for female, could accommodate two patients.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteThe Casa Redonda Piqueña is a replica of the hexagonal poultry of Rizal. Restored to its original hexagonal form with similar materials as the other huts, the poulty house is big enough to accommodate a few dozen chickens.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteThe Talisay Water System is composed of a dam and an aqueduct. Constructed by Rizal in 1895 with the help of his pupils, the water system provided adequate and year-round water supply for Rizal‘s farm and household needs.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteFacing Dapitan Bay, José Rizal and later on with Josephine Bracken, spent quiet moments in Mi Retiro Rock or simply Lovers’ Rock.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteThe most modern structure inside the Rizal Shrine is the Museum where it houses several memorabilia, including the preserved garment and clothing of the national hero.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteSeveral of Rizal’s timeless pictures are on display inside the Museum.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteAlso, portraits of Rizal‘s sweethearts Leonor Rivera, Segunda Katigbak, Josephine Bracken, Gertrude Beckett, Nellie Boustead, O-Sei-San, Suzanne Jacoby, can also be seen.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteBecause Rizal was one of the most prominent members of the Masonry, several Masonic symbols and structures are erected inside the Shrine.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del NorteAt dusk of July 31, 1896, Rizal, together with some family members and friends,departed for Manila from this point of Dapitan. He left behind a learned, transformed, thriving community. Five months later, he was executed in Bagumbayan (now Luneta) by musketry, thus ending

Pursuant to the provisions of Act No. 3915 otherwise known as the National Parks Act approved on February 1, 1932, President Manuel L. Quezon issued Proclamation No. 616 on September 3, 1940 designating the former estate of José Rizal as Rizal National Park. On January 24, 1974, President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 105 declaring Rizal National Park as a national shrine.

Note: This is part of LegendHarry’s Oct 1-10 Zamboanga Peninsula-Northern Mindanao-ARMM-Davao Regions Backpacking Trip.

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