TRAVEL GUIDE: Jose Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna

A statue of young Jose Rizal and his dog. Image grabbed from Rizal Shrine Calamba’s Facebook page

Jose Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna: A Look into the Hero’s Life

You may have read about our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, in your history books, but have you actually tried to learn more about him and his life by actually going to historic spots he lived in? If you want to learn and travel simultaneously, visit the Jose Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna.

Statue of little Rizal by Chadelvalle via Wikipedia CC
Statue of little Rizal By Chadelvalle – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,  CC

The current house that you’ll see standing in Calamba is actually not the original house. The original establishment was sold and destroyed during World War II and was reconstructed in 1949 using the materials from the old building and at the same site. It was in 1950 that the reconstruction was finished.

Inside the Jose Rizal Shrine in Calamba

The house is a bahay na Bato, a typical house of middle-class families during the Spanish colonial period. Outside, the house is repainted with a striking green shade which makes it easily recognizable. The green shade apparently symbolizes the surname of Jose Rizal. Going inside, you’ll find a traditional design, with narra flooring, capiz shell windows, and a red ceramic roof.

You’ll see the servant’s room, workroom, and food supplies room on the ground floor. It contains memorabilia of Jose Rizal’s life, from his childhood days up to adulthood. Originally, the ground floor of the house was built as a horse stable. Currently, it houses Rizal’s writings, certificates, and more.

The second floor is historically where the family’s rooms, library, dining area, and bathrooms are. Their backyard was previously filled with different kinds of plants and fruits such as atis, santol, makopa, plum, and kasoy. There was also a small nipa hut which was said to be the national hero’s hideout in his younger years.

In 1890, the family was evicted from their own home due to an altercation with friars. It was then that the demolition started. Thankfully, through the donations of schoolchildren, National Artist Juan F. Nakpil reconstructed the house in 1950.

The Galleries

The establishment also serves as a museum that shows six galleries that’ll tell you more about the interesting life of Rizal.

Inside the Rizal Shrine in Calamba by Tsambaproductions via Wikipedia CC
Inside the Rizal Shrine in Calamba By Tsambaproductions – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

The Kaliwanagan gallery shows the family life of Rizal in Calamba. Kapaligiran gallery depicts the town of Calamba as an agricultural town, highlighting the birthplace where our hero once lived. In the Karunungan gallery, you’ll learn about Jose Rizal’s education from his education at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila and Universidad de Santo Tomas.

The fourth gallery, the Bahay-na-Bato, would be perfect for those who would like to know more about Rizal’s house and the things that make their house a home. Another gallery, called the Unang Paglalakbay sa Europa, exhibits the life of Rizal in Europe, which shows his studies and writings on his novel Noli Me Tangere. The last gallery, the Pangalawang Paglalakbay sa Europa, highlights Rizal’s second journey to Europe, which tells about the propaganda and his second novel El Filibusterismo.

A statue of young Jose Rizal and his dog. Image grabbed from Rizal Shrine Calamba’s Facebook page
A statue of young Jose Rizal and his dog. Image grabbed from Rizal Shrine Calamba’s Facebook page.

You’ll find other interesting memorabilia and activities in the museum, from holograms to interactive booths, to e-learning. This museum will surely entice you to learn and know more about Jose Rizal in a fun and interesting way.

How to go to Rizal Shrine in Calamba

Via bus: From Manila, ride a bus going to Sta. Cruz or Calamba. Alight at the Crossing Terminal. Ride a tricycle going to Calamba Bayan, and tell the driver you’re going to Rizal’s House.

Details

Address: Francisco Mercado St. cor. Jose P. Rizal St., Brgy. Poblacion, Calamba, Laguna
Contact: 0917 553 7198 or 834-1599
Entrance fee: FREE admission
Email address: museonijoserizalcalamba@gmail.com

Note: The Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna, is currently closed to visitors during the community quarantine. You may email or contact the details above to ask about its reopening date.

Source: National Historical Commission of the Philippines

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Also read: The Top 7 Stunning Airbnbs In Laguna PH With Private Pool Access.

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