The modern steel gate at the Rizal Shrine at Talisay in Dapitan City, is perhaps the only reminder that Jose Rizal was indeed exiled here in 1892. He was sent here because of his controversial writings which sparked the Philippine revolution. Back then, he was free to roam around the town, to teach some local students and even to practice medicine from time to time. Other than these metal bars, there is no other reminder of the exile that Rizal both endured and enjoyed for four years.
This beautiful property is located between the sea and the forest. Rizal purchased this estate with the Php6000 Manila lottery prize that he won. He then spent most of his time in this charming, peaceful place.
Today, there are replicas of the residential structures that were constructed during Rizal’s time. One must not also miss the dam that he himself built which is part of the modern waterworks system that replaced the kilometers of bamboo tube networks.
It is evident then that Jose Rizal did not only come to Dapitan just to be exiled. He said in a letter to Fr. Pablo Pastells that he is ‘determined to do all that he can in behalf of this town.’ The priceless legacy that Rizal left behind at Dapitan, is indeed a testament to his service and dedication to his countrymen.
How to get there
The stamp site for this leg of the Lakbay Jose Rizal @150 is at the Rizaliana Building inside the Rizal Shrine complex at Talisay, Dapitan City. The nearest airport to Dapitan is at Dipolog City. From there, take a trike or a habal-habal to the bus terminal, and then hop on an Evergood mini-bus. Alight at the Dapitan Plaza and take another trike for Talisay.
But what the author did was walk all the way from the plaza, then to the Santa Cruz Beach marker and finally to the Talisay shrine. He would not advise this to those who do not enjoy long walks. He also met some Rizalistas at the shrine which was one of the highlights of his trip. Had it been that he was not pressed for time, he would have listened to their other stories and take the massage service they offered.