Monday, June 6, 2011

Wandering in Dapitan Pt. 1

I am both sad and happy that I was in Dapitan last month. Happy that I finally got to see the place where the great Jose Rizal spent four years during his exile. Sad that I was there before the Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail passport was issued. I could have gotten my passport stamped, now I need to go back and retrace my steps,  Boo hoo. Enough of my dramatic meanderings, if you have not been to the heritage city of Dapitan, then now is the time to explore the sites.With the country celebrating the 150th year of his birth, a Rizaliana inspired trip is a must for every traveler.

We were in Dapitan as part of our office's planning and cultural immersion program. Hint, hint, it's up to you to guess where I work.
Santa Cruz Beach - Punto del Disembarko de Rizal en Dapitan, Sunset Boulevard 
On July 17, 1892, Rizal landed on Santa Cruz Beach at 7 p.m. with Captain Delgras and three artillery men. They walked through Sta. Cruz Street with a farol de combate to the Casa Real where he was presented to Don Ricardo Carnicero, the Spanish military governor of the area. On May 19, 2011, The Wandering Lion arrived in Dapitan along with some angry birds.

After taking some pictures in Santa Cruz Beach, we then went to the Relief Map of Mindanao that Rizal built located right in front of St. James Church.I was not able to get a picture of the map as there was a lot of people (translation: office mates) having their pictures taken. Rizal created the map as an aid in teaching history and geography to the locals.

The facade of Dapitan Church a.k.a. St. James Church of Dapitan
While everyone was busy having their Kodak moment, I decided to go inside St. James Church and make a wish, as it is the belief that you must make a wish the first time you visit a church, I dunno who started it but who knows, my wish might come true.

Interior of St. James Church
 The St. James Church of Dapitan has a historical marker which can be found in the exact spot where   Rizal stood every Sunday during his exile from 1892 to 1896.

 We also saw some kids playing soccer in the town plaza who, as their coach told us, played in the  recent Palarong Pambansa which was held in the Dapitan.

The Jose Rizal Monument in Dapitan
My only complain was that the tour was so fast that I was not able to fully appreciate the surroundings. Hope I can come back so that I can also get my Rizal Passport stamped. More of Dapitan in my next post. :)