Friday, June 3, 2011

Blazing Jose Rizal At 150 Heritage Trail : My First Few Steps...

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

In celebration of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal's sesquicentennial birth anniversary, the Lakbay Jose Rizal @ 150 Project was launched last May 20, 2011 by the inter-agency led by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and National Historical Commission of the Philippines(NHCP).

The project aims to encourage tourists to relive Rizal's life and retrace his steps through a year-long travel to twenty (27) sites featured in the Jose Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail.

Blazing Jose Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail is a historical adventure worth taking! I see it as an opportunity to experience the history, scenery, and the satisfaction of being able to learn more about our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal and meet new people along the way! And though not my main motivation, I also hope to be one of the first 100 pilgrims to complete visiting all the 27 featured sites on the trail map. Tourists who will complete the trail within a year will receive a token, Kalakbay Ni Gat Jose Rizal Certificate and even domestic plane ticket courtesy of Cebu Pacific! Exciting huh!

And as an added incentive for me as part of the Pinoy Travel Bloggers group , the Lakbay Jose Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail is one of the topics for the month of June 2011 Blog Carnival on the theme Rizal and Travel being hosted by Ivan Henares of Ivan About Town . The compilation can be read by clicking June 2011 PTB Blog Carnival Rizal and Travel .

The first step to commence with this historical adventure is to get my own Rizal Passport from the Department of Tourism in Kalaw Avenue, Manila! I also got four (4) extra passports for any of you who wants one! (just be the first to text or send comment and you'll get it if you live nearby!)). For others, you can visit Room 106 of the DOT (or any Lakbay Jose Rizal Heritage Sites indicated below after June 19, 2011.)

As of today, I already got three (3) stamps on my Heritage Trail Map! Good start! But the trail blazing is, of course, far from over. So for this post, I focus on the six sites featured in the Jose Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail which I have already visited.


1. Rizal Park - then known as Bagumbayan was shaped like a small moon (lunette) and thus was later named Luneta.This was the place of execution of Jose Rizal on December 30, 1896 so the park was officially renamed Rizal Park in his honor.

Located along Roxas Boulevard,Burgos, Kalaw and Taft Avenues,Manila, Rizal Park is just a stone's throw away from the DOT building where we got the passports so it is a no-brainer why we (my brother Mike) chose this as the Heritage Trail's kick off site!

2. Rizal Monument - this bronze-and-granite monument serves as the symbolic focal point of the Rizal Park. The National Monument with the statue of the national hero was designed by Richard Kissling of Switzerland and houses the remains of Rizal.It was inaugurated during the 17th Death Anniversary of Rizal on December 30, 1913.

Rizal poem "Mi Ultimo Adios" ("My Last Farewell") is inscribed on the memorial plaque. The site is continuously guarded by ceremonial soldiers, known as Kabalyeros de Rizal (Knights of Rizal).

* Just one stamp for Rizal Park and Rizal Monument.

3. Rizal Execution Site - This is the exact location where Dr. Rizal was executed.

Rizal's execution at the age of thirty five, made him a martyr of the Philippine Revolution so there is a marker called "The Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal" at the execution site.

Behind this marker is a Light and Sound Museum (with P10.00 entrance fee) where you can simulate (almost) the moments before Rizal's execution by a firing squad of native infantry of the Spanish Army through the big scalptured figures. The Light and Sound museum was closed for the day in preparation for the Independence Day on June 12, 2011 so I am using my old picture(2009).

* Got my second stamp

4. Rizal Fountain - This fountain is where Dr. Rizal used to drink while writing the final chapters of his novel,Noli Me Tangere. The fountain was a gift by the people of Germany on December 30, 1964.

* earned me my third stamp

5. Prison Cell and Rizal Shrine - Fort Santiago in Intramuros,Manila.

6. Chapel Cell of Rizal - also inside Fort Santiago in Intramuros,Manila.

7. Site of the Ateneo Municipal de Manila - Anda cor. Sta.Lucia Street, Intramuros,Manila.

8. Site of the University of Santo Tomas - Banco Filipino Building, A. Soriano cor.Solana Streets,Intramuros,Manila.

9. Site of the Trial of Rizal - The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) at General Luna corner Muralla Street, Intramuros, Manila.

10. Paco Park - San Marcelino and General Luna Streets, Paco, Manila.


11. San Fernando Train Station - Brgy. Sto. Nino,San Fernando Pampanga

12. Kamestisuhan District - (Women of Malolos Marker/Bautista House)- Sto. Nino St., Malolos,Bulacan.


13. Rizal Shrine - J.P.Rizal St. Calamba City, Laguna

A National Shrine, this is the birthplace of our national hero. The original house , however, was destroyed during the Second World War but was rebuilt in 1948, by virtue of Executive Order No. 145 signed by President Elpidio Quirino.

Architect Juan F. Nakpil in reconstructing Rizal's house used old photos, the written memoirs of Rizal, and the recollections of Rizal's surviving siblings and relatives to come up with a house which looked exactly like the house during Rizal's time. The re-built house was inaugurated in 1950 and opened to public.

At present, the shrine serves as a museum containing some original furniture, books, and memorabilia of the Rizal family. I have visited this shrine a number of times and have taken photographs so let me take you to the entire house.

Inside its walls, one will learn so much more about the early childhood of our national hero.

On June 19, 1861, Jose Rizal Mercado was born to Don Francisco and Dona Teodora, a well-to-do couple who originally came from Binan, Laguna but migrated to Calamba after their marriage.

Jose Rizal was the seventh of the eleventh children of the couple Francisco and Teodora. Those who came ahead were: Saturnina (1850),Paciano (1851), Narcisa (1852), Olimpia (1855), Lucia (1857), and Maria (1859).

The house is huge with daughters' bedrooms, sons' bedrooms, two dining rooms, a master's bedroom, a huge library, a living room, cocina, toilet and bath.

* I was wearing almost identical clothes during these two visits in 2009 and 2011!

There is also a huge backyard where you could see the nipa hut where Rizal's sisters used to play.

* need to come back for the rubber stamp coz visited it a week before the launch of Rizal @ 150.

14. Calamba Church - J.P.Rizal St.Calamba City,Laguna

Located right next door to the Rizal's mansion is the San Juan Bautista Church where Rizal was baptized “José Rizal Mercado” by Fr. Rufino Collantes on June 22, 1861. Young Jose was the first in the family to use the name Rizal in accordance with the 1849 decree of then Governor Narciso Claveria to change the surnames of Filipinos.

*need to come back for the rubber stamp coz visited it a week before the launch of Rizal @ 150.

15. National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Antipolo Church)- Oliveros Street, Antipolo City, Rizal

Bicol Region

16. Rizal Monument - Magallanes and Justo Lucban Streets, Daet, Camarines Norte

Western Visayas

17. Molo Church (St.Anne's Parish) and Escolta - Jocson and San Marcos Streets, Molo District, Iloilo City, Iloilo

Central Visayas

18. Dumaguete City - Rizal's boat, the S.S. Espana arrived in Dumaguete City and Rizal went ashore, visited Governor Regal of Negros Occidental

19. Fort San Pedro - Pier Area, Cebu City, Cebu

Zamboanga Peninsula

20. Rizal Shrine and Waterworks of Rizal - Barangay Talisay, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte

21. Dapitan Plaza - Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte

22. Site of the Casa Real - Barangay Talisay, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte (inside Rizal Park)

23. Dapitan Church - City Hall Drive, Barangay Sta. Cruz, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte

24. Relief Map of Mindanao - Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte

25. Santa Cruz Beach - Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte

26. Dipolog Cathedral - Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte

27. Rizal Farm - Katipunan, Zamboanga

Check out the previous blog carnival topics in Estan Cabigas' Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival archives

(First of a series of travel to the 27 sites featured in the Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail from June 19,2011 to June 19, 2012.)


  1. I'd love to have that passport! But wouldn't be able to follow the trail anytime soon because I'm currently drowning in the abyss of mummyhood. You've visited a lot already, awesome!

  2. hello Gay! I will reserve the passport for you and will hope to meet you in any forthcoming PTB event! The rubber stamp will always be there even after the June 19, 2012 deadline so it is alright to take your sweet mummy time to do the trail! Would be good to have the passport handy in any case! thanks for checking the post.

  3. jose rizal and i got 16 things in common, one of them is that we both grew up in a house right next to a san juan bautista church, his is in calamba, while mine is in taytay rizal..

    nice start! can't wait for the rest of the stops!

  4. Ron! wow,16 things in common with Jose Rizal cut you so close to being a national hero!!! why not di ba? would love to learn the other 15! is it written somewhere in your blog? well i know three at least - you are a globetrotter - pinoy traveler - and a great writer/blogger like him!!!

  5. I would love to do the Rizal trail in our country. Coincidentally, I'll be in Dapitan and Dipolog on the birthday weekend of our national hero because I'll be attending a friend's wedding. I've had my share of Rizal trail abroad, purposely visiting certain cities (Madrid, Heidelberg and Berlin) because of the Rizal connection. Recently, I realized that some of the cities in my backpacking Europe itinerary were also the pit stops of Gat Jose Rizal.

  6. hello sojournersol! thanks for dropping by. checked your blog as well and enjoyed your posts. Are you a PTB or Pinoy Blogger? wow, lucky you that you'll be in Dapitan and Dipolog should bring / get a Rizal Passport so you can have 10 stamps!!! you would be finishing the trail ahead of me since I still have to book tickets for Dipolog given my busy sked. Nice to know about your share of Rizal trail abroad. I've been to some of the countries Rizal visited but didn't dawn on me to purposely visit those cities.only now that I am realizing how I missed a lot of chances to get to know our national hero more!!I am determined to pay off by doing the Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail!

  7. I recently joined PTB through Edcel (soloflightEd) during the Cebu Blog Camp last May. I hope the passport will be available in the DOT 7 this week. Otherwise, I have to get at the DOT Central office next week. Hope to meet the rest of the PTB soon.

  8. Sayang nung nandyan ako. March pa yon. Hindi ko na tuloy maipasok sa Blog Carnival natin yong na post ko na. may requirements eh.:-(. Neweys, nice post mhe-anne.:-). I like it.

  9. sir Bonz puede namang repost at may ibang angle ng "Rizal and Travel". According kay Ivan, topics can range from countries or specific cities Rizal visited, the Lakbay Jose Rizal Heritage Trail, your own travels to Rizal-related sites, Rizal's travel journals, or a discussion about Rizal as a traveler, among many other topics. Thanks sa palaging pag comment, nakakataba ng puso - kahit di masyadong maganda, maganda pa rin para kay sir Bonz. Thank you for the generous spirit!!!

  10. oh that's nice sojournersol, we would love to meet you too! sana nga meron ng Rial Passport sa DOT 7. pag wala i can send you the extra passport i have! san ka ba? hahaha

  11. I'm currently based in Cebu but I'll be in Manila mid-June. Thanks for sharing your passport. I would love to meet the rest of PTB. You can also keep in touch with me on Twitter, same username.

    Sol =)

  12. How I wish I had the pass port when I visited Dapitan. Can you reserve for me the one in your possession? Thanks for sharing this, made me dream to visit the other sites mentioned as I continue with my heritage tours.

  13. hello Ed! sure i have only one passport left and it is now reserved for you! i'll always bring it so i can easily hand it over to you when we meet. sayang nga. i really thought you have the passport that's why you are doing a heritage tour! hindi pala.balik ka ulit dapitan pag punta namin sa september!!

  14. hello Ed! sure i have only one passport left and it is now reserved for you! i'll always bring it so i can easily hand it over to you when we meet. sayang nga. i really thought you have the passport that's why you are doing a heritage tour! hindi pala.balik ka ulit dapitan pag punta namin sa september!!

  15. Thanks for the reminded Mhe-Anne, about the Rizal passport! I want to have one too. I hope there's still some available when I go there this week.

  16. Hello Atty. Grabe, ang dami nyo na napuntahan. galing galing! :)

  17. hello Aleah, i'm sure there will still be some passport. i have given out my four extras to PTBs but there's one i'm holding off for someone. if you aren't lucky enough to get hold of a passport, let me know. thanks for dropping by my site dear.

  18. hello Izah. have only three stamps but have visited all the 17 sites before the trail started so i will just revisit them. for the 10 Dapitan sites i hope to complete it during my trip to dipolog on september 19-21. let's go!!

  19. hello Izah. have only three stamps but have visited all the 17 sites before the trail started so i will just revisit them. for the 10 Dapitan sites i hope to complete it during my trip to dipolog on september 19-21. let's go!!

  20. Wow really so jealous that you guys have access to the passport. You are indeed of to a good start.

  21. Thanks Graciel for dropping by my blog. The trail is doable for every traveler who lives in Manila. I'm sure you would have completed the trail quite easily during your recent visit to the Philippines! Sayang nga lang that the project was launch a few weeks later than your trip. The consolation is this, the stamps will still be there even after June 19, 2012!

  22. Hello,
    Is this [email protected] heritage trail still available? My 10 yr old son and I will visit Dipolog/Dapitan in MArch.

  23. hello Neng,

    yes the [email protected] Trail is an on-going undertaking.When will you be in Dipolog. I will be there with 2 brothers from March 5-9 too.Each site like Dapitan/Dipolog (9 sites at least) have stamps. You can get your Rizal passport from there and have it stamped as you visit site. The stamps will be there indefinitely but to be a Kalakbay ni Rizal, we have to complete the 27 sites around the country from June 19, 2011 to June 19, 2012. Thanks


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