This is the major historical landmark of Dapitan City. It refers to the more or less sixteen (16) hectares estate of Dr. Jose P. Rizal which he purchased in Barangay Talisay and is approximately two (2) kilometers NW from the City Hall.
In August 1892, a Spaniard from Manila brought lottery tickets to Dapitan. Dr. Jose Rizal, Capt. Ricardo Carnicero, the politico military governor of Dapitan at that time and a Spaniard residing in Dipolog bought a ticket which luckily won for them 20,000 pesos. Rizal’s share was 6,200 pesos. He gave 2,000 pesos to his father and 200 pesos to Basa, his friend in Hongkong. He invested his remaining winnings in business and bought lands and built houses in Talisay which is now the Rizal Shrine.
In March 1893, Rizal transferred to Talisay. Later on, his mother Doña Teodor Alonso, his sisters, some relatives and neighbors from Calamba, Laguna came and lived with him Talisay until 1896.
It was here where Rizal exemplified the ideal that, “A life which is not consecrated to a great ideal is useless. It is a pebble lost in the field without forming part of an edifice. “He epitomized the existence of a man with a mission. Making the best of every moment, even if the gods weave his tragic fate.
He spent his lonely but productive and altruistic life for four years in banishment working as a rural physician, farmer, merchant, inventor, painter, sculptor, archaeologist, linguist, grammarian, teacher, architect, poet, biologist, composer, surveyor, environmentalist, aside from being a lover, father, and brother to all Dapitanons.
The Court Martial that tried Rizal imposed to him not only capital punishment but also “the payment of indemnity to the State in the amount of One Hundred Thousand Pesos, the obligation to pay such indemnity being transmissible to the heirs of the accused”. On January 15, 1897, Rizal’s properties in Talisay were confiscated by the Spanish authorities and Don Cosme Borrmeo was appointed custodian of the sequestered properties.
In 1913, it was converted by the government into a park dedicated to the memory of Rizal. Years later, the park was reconstructed and in 1940, the late President Manuel L. Quezon of the Commonwealth government after visiting Dapitan several times issued Proclamation No. 616 declaring it as the “Rizal National Park” after which its administration were under the following:
Jose Rizal National Centennial Commission through Executive Order 253 issued on June 27, 1957 during the administration of the late President Carlos P. Garcia;
National Heroes Commission by virtue of Executive Order No. 20 isssued on December 27, 1962; and National Historical Commission effected through Republic Act No. 4368 approved on June 19, 1965. On September 24, 1972, by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1, the National Heroes Commission became the National Historical Institute.
The Rizal Shrine was declared as one of the national shrines through Presidential Decree No. 105 issued by President Ferdinand E. Marcos on January 24, 1973. (source www.dapitan.com)
The shrine houses the following structures:
Main House - this serves as a temporary shelter of Dr. Jose Rizal and his wife Josephine Bracken. They already altered some of the materials in the house due to the fact that it is made only of Bamboo materials.
Small Casas - used as sleeping areas by Dr. Jose Rizal's Students and some of his patients
The heart rock formation - they said this is the place where Dr. Jose Rizal and JOsephine Bracken married because at that time the Catholic church do not allow Rizal to be married giving him the reputation of being an ex comunicado. This is also the spot where Rizal made the poem Mi Retiro a love poem dedicated to Josephine Bracken. This is the most visited part of the shrine aside from the main house.
Dam - this is the most preserved part of the shine over 100 years old built by Dr. Jose Rizal an Engineer himself.
The Museum - A museum was built near the entrance where most of Rizals clothes, pictures and family tree are displayed.
Ampitheater - located at the back( part of the riprap I think) where Rizal used to teach his students.
Fort Pilar is an important part of the history of the city of Zamboanga.
The Fort was built as a defense against the raiders sent by the Sultans of Mindanao and Jolo way back in 1635. The construction was supervised by Father Melchor de Vera, a Jesuit priest-engineer. It was was originally named "Real Fuerza de San Jose", then "Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza" in 1719, and finally "Fort Pilar" after its capture by the American forces in November, 1899. Nowadays, the main attraction in this fort is the Shrine of the Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza.
As a local told me, the shrine is respected by both the Roman Catholics and the Muslims alike. According to her, once there appeared a tsunami about to engulf the city. The people ran to the church to pray to the Lady and to at least save themselves within the walls of the church. It was said that a Lady wearing shining garments appeared floating on the air along the shore holding up her hands. The wall of water stopped advancing and slowly receded. All the houses and residents were saved. Since then all people regardless of religious persuasion celebrated the feast day of the Lady and nobody dares commit any sacrilegious acts within the walls of the Shrine. Indeed it is one of the best kept forts/shrines I've ever seen.
Pasonanca Park is interesting because it has a large camping ground (see the tents ready for campers) and swimming pools not of chlorinated water but cool spring water. It is set against a backdrop of lush mountain foliage.
I was able to tour the place past 5 pm so I was not able to take pictures nor go down from the car so to give you an idea, please look at the picture of the tents displayed at Jollibee Restaurant in Pershing Plaza.
This is a very beautiful and popular area in Zamboanga City.Some of the most beautiful houses in the Philippines are found here.There are houses with Mountain View and swimming-pools.Many people love this place.
Zamboanga has everthing from the white sand beach on Sta.Cruz island agross the city to the
Mountains within the city proper ,great place.
Hiking or swimming or shopping what do want or eat seafood ,Zamboanga City is the best place for that in the Philippines.
This park is a good enough place to visit when in Zamboanga City. Not that there are grand must-sees, but you'll get to see the cool breezy outskirts of the city plus some lessons in history.
The park is where girl and boy scout jamborees are usually held - their headquarters are there actually. There are teepee-like structures made of metal-sheets and painted green. Interesting to be roaming around the place and read the scout oath written on stones.
Did you know that the "scout triangle" in QC has some kind of a relation with this park? The amphitheatre is named as a memorial to the young scout Antonio Limbaga (who was from Zamboanga). And Scout Limbaga in Quezon City is the street named also after him. Actually the park and each of the teepees are dedicated to the scouts who died in that unfortunate plane crash on their way to Greece in the early 1960s.
There are also swimming pools - one is for kids, another a competition style pool while the other is good for grown ups to wade around. Local and foreign tourists usually dip in these pools and you too can, if you don't mind mingling swimming and diving with people who swim in their t-shirts, walking shorts, basketball jerseys - even jeans!
The aviary is good enough to consume at least an hour of your leisurely walk. Don't forget to spot that free-roaming cassowary - its lovely!
Been to Fort Santiago? Or Fort San Pedro? This place is a bit similar in terms of make and history. But there are interesting things inside that will spell the difference - of course Fort Santiago is in Manila and Fort San Pedro is in Cebu so you'll find this place an interesting learning experience in Mindanao.
Inside the fort, the ruins or remnants of what it used to be are of course a great sight. Never forget to climb up the elevated "watch area". Great views of the sea and waterfront on one side... a birds-eye view of the forts foregrounds (converted into an open-air chapel) on the other side.
Inside though is a museum (or museums) and are interesting for a learning of what was the Zamboanga of the past. Let us not describe here what you will see inside the museum lest you lose appetite going there. But it goes something like this...
You enter the fort from its side actually. Upon emerging from the massive brick wall that is the entrance, you'll be at a quadrangle which is a nice little garden of grass and flowery plants. The center is a wishing well. Accross from where you will be standing is the side of the fort that are all ruins (but the insides have been converted into something like an orchid garden complete with nets etc). To your right or left are entrances to the various museum displays about the history and culture of this place on earth!
Hint: I specially like the meaning of those totem-pole-like markers on graveyards of the natives. There are no writings or inscriptions on those poles but you could immediately tell the age of the person when he/she died. And if the graveyard is covered by a white cloth, it also means something... no am not telling here!
This fort/museum is your "must" stop to start learning about the cultural past of this city!
Rio Hondo means "deep river", but in this place, quit looking for the river as its not what you will need or want to see. This place is a settlement of thousands of families with their rickety houses on stilts above the water. What connects them houses? Paths (also on stilts) made of either wooden planks or bamboo poles . And yes, its a crazy maze of such paths. Drop anything and it will of course land on the waters below!
This is a truly special (probably one-of-a-kind). The small houses can be home to 10 or more people, children could be seen running amongst the paths on stilts or playing on the shallow waters below while adults could be seen tending to their fishnets, doing the house chores, fetching water from a hose at the house of the Barangay Captain or simply sitting around talking to friends - watching your every move waiting and eager to giggle why you seem to be having trouble walking along their "pathways". But declare so, and most everyone will be ready to aid you along those tricky planks and bamboo pathways above seawater!
A waterborne settlement indeed! But check-out my notes on the warnings & dangers tips!
One of the finest architectural exterior finishes of a city hall in the country I've seen, considering that this has been the government seat since it was built in 1906.
The building which was originally built as the provincial capitol is in record as the first concrete building in South Philippines. The beautiful interiors are made of hardwood cut from Zamboanga and worked up by local artisans. The exterior walls are of adobe stones while the roofs are of red terracotas. Very prominent is a belfry-like tower that protrudes above the facades roofline. The restorations done have made it look more elegant and eye-catching.
This well-maintained and very clean museum is A MUST-SEE in Zamboanga City.
Built in the late 17th century by Spanish authorities and have been restored, Fort Pilar was declared as a National Cultural Treasure in the '70s. Within its vast historic structures, the Zamboanga National Museum was housed and was opened to the public in 1985.
The various collections of species of marine life specimens collected mostly from the waters of Sulu Archipelago are featured in one wing. Another structure displays the material culture of three distinct ethnic groups in Mindanao featuring some collections of traditional wooden boats including a houseboat.
One wing is dedicated to artifacts recovered from the sunken British ship, Griffin, that sunk at Sulu Sea in the 1761 and discovered in the '70s.
A landscaped court at the open area of the center of the fort provides a relaxing atmosphere while going around the newly restored structures of this Spanish-architecture building.
The famous Tree House at Pasonanca Park has basic amenities of a modern house. Built about 4 meters above the ground on a robust acacia tree, the house feels cool inside with the tree branches canopy shading it from the sun. The info book says that guests could stay overnight for FREE by reservation through the Office of the Mayor.
Built in the '60s, it has seen a lot of years and I guess it is now only maintained as a Hall-of Famer favorite tourist spot.
A small park within Pasonanca Park is the Cesar Climaco Park, where the body of the most-beloved mayor of Zamboanga City, who served in the '70s but was felled by an asassin's bullet, is buried. The well-maintained park is covered with green grass complemented with beautiful flowering plants.
The park is a good place to take a rest when touring around the very wide area of Pasonanca Park. Take your time and relax for a while under the tall trees at the perimeter of the park.
Pasonanca Park has 3 big swimming pools of continuously-flowing-water coming from mountain spring. With the city government maintaining it and charging a very minimal fee of P10/person to enjoy the place, the place gets easily crowded on weekends. Exciting facilities that visiors would love are the diving board area and the 4 long slides to the lower pool. Picnic cottages a few steps from the pools are for rent.
The place is well-maintained and best enjoyed when water is abundant in the months of June to November.
The Aviary at Pasonanca Park is not that big and can be toured in 15 minutes. It is well-kept and birds here are mostly endemic to the Philippines. The colorful feathers of the cuckatoos are eye-catching.
It is comfortable to make this place as a rest stop while turing Pasonanca with the towering trees providing a great shade from the heat of the sun. The sight and sound of the flowing stream by the side of the zoo add to a more relaxing stop.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was just built in 2000 and is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zamboanga. It is considered as the most modern cathedral in Mindanao. A two-leveled building, it houses a columbarium and a chapel at the ground floor while the main church is at the second level. It should be noted that Zamboanga City is predominantly Catholic Christian in this mostly Muslim-dominated part of Mindanao.
A unique feature of its design is the big cross on top of the facade where the church bells are installed. No more bellfry needed.
Gov. Camins Avenue, Zamboanga, Philippines
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
We booked two standard rooms with the price per room is 2,212 Phil. pesos per night. The room we...more
Sunset Blvd., Dapitan City, Zamboanga, Philippines
Good for: Families