Rizal Park and Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte
Dapitan City, Philippines – You probably know the word “Dapitan” as a place in Sampaloc Manila unless you paid attention to your history class in your secondary education. If you’re still not familiar, Dapitan City is the land where the Philippines National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal spent his four years of exile.
Dapitan City is called “The Shrine City of the Philippines” and is located in the Zamboanga del Norte region. Although this place is not included in the Philippines’ top tourism destinations, it is rich in historical treasures and natural attractions. Dapitan City is also where you can find Dakak Park and Beach Resort – one of the top beach resorts in the Philippines.
There is no way that a person who makes a tour in Dapitan City will skip the famous historical monument “Rizal Shrine” located in the city. This Shrine is built in honor of the Philippine national hero “Dr. Jose Rizal,” who was exiled for the patriotic deeds fought for the country.
The José Rizal Memorial Protected Landscape, popularly known as Rizal Shrine, is 2 kilometers away from Dapitan City Plaza and is visited by many tourists visiting Zamboanga del Norte. The place consists of 16 hectares of land in Barangay Talisay, which the national hero purchased on July 17, 1892, during the exile period, is now converted into a national park.
Structures inside “Rizal Shrine”
The park is a cool shady place surrounded by century-old trees in which some are even older than Dr. Jose Rizal himself. Visitors can spot the replicas of diverse original structures used by Dr. Jose Rizal in this park. The entire atmosphere inside this park is invigorating. The park is well maintained by a Rizalista sect. This is an ideal place for nature lovers wherein the original beauty of nature is well preserved. Here are some structures inside “The Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City,” which is worth seeing:
- Mi Retiro Rock – This means “My Retreat rock.” A heart-shaped rock resting in a pond where the national hero had scribbled beautiful words from his famous poem Mi Retiro. It is believed that Dr. Jose Rizal had spent time watching sunsets in this rock place.
- Casa Cuadrada is a national hero’s home that is naturally reconstructed with original lights and natural materials.
- Aqueduct – A water reservoir system constructed with bamboo tubes connecting to the kitchen. This water system was built by Rizal in 1895 to serve as the primary source for farming needs.
- Casa Redonda – Casa Redonda is an octagonal dwelling used as a dormitory by some of Rizal’s pupils. Later, this was renewed into a clinic.
- Casa Redonda Pequena – It would be interesting for the visitors to witness this hexagonal structure used as the main chicken house in those periods.
- Casitas de Salud – Originally, two main structures used as tea houses were included in this. Later, this was transformed into a health clinic accommodating different patients from municipalities.
- Rizaliana is a modern building wherein the Rizalian books, scripts, and other periodicals are exhibited. A small portion of the same building functions as the Rizal Shrine Curator office as well.
- The Casa Residencia – A rectangular house where Dr. Jose Rizal lived during his days of exile. This house displays a bedroom, veranda, and the main room accessible from side to side a bridge.
A visit to this place will certainly help people to understand the depth of Rizal’s patriotism and noble service towards the country.
Visiting the Shrine is free of charge, but you can help the park administrators by maintaining the place’s cleanliness. Plain and simple… just put your trash in the designated garbage bin.:)
How to get there
The protected landscape and memorial is located some 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) north of the Dipolog Airport. It is accessible via the Dipolog–Oroquieta National Road and Jose Rizal Avenue in Dapitan which also leads to the Dakak Park and Beach Resort in Taguilon.