Every December 30, we Filipinos celebrate the Martyrdom of our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. To give you a little background, Dr. Rizal is our national hero, who fought the Spanish government by non-violent means like propaganda movement and thru literature. He is most familiar with his 2 books, the NOLI ME TANGERE (Touch me not) and its sequel, EL FILIBUSTERISMO (The Filibustering) in which he showed the tyranny and mistreatment of the Spanish government to the Filipinos.
We have been to the Fort Santiago before. The museum there showed his last moments before he was executed. This time, we went out of town to visit his ancestral home in Calamba, Province of Laguna where it shows his other life: his childhood and his home where he was born.
The 2 storey house erected here is only a reproduction of the original Spanish-colonial style where our national hero was born and raised. The original house was built by his father, Francisco Mercado in late 1800’s. It was confiscated by the Spanish government in 1891, and reclaimed by his brother, General Paciano Rizal during the Philippine Revolution. Unfortunately, it was reconfiscated by the Dominican friars and the house met its end when it was sold, and destroyed during the Japanese occupation during the World War 2. It was only then in 1949 that President Elpidio Quirino ordered to build the exact house of the Rizals to be enacted as a museum.
In case you are wondering why the house was painted green instead of the original white, it is to emphasize Rizal’s surname and to honor his family and their way of life. Their surname came from the Spanish word “Ricial”, which means “green field ready for harvest”.
Built in 1997, a gallery, library, audio-visual room and shop of Rizal memorabilia reside adjacent to the Shrine. The Shrine has a large lawn with a replica of the nipa hut and a statue depicting young Rizal with his dog. The remains of Rizal’s parents, Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonso, are also located in the shrine.
Dambanang Rizal sa Calamba (Rizal Shrine Calamba)
J.P. Rizal Street, Calamba City, Laguna
(6349) 834- 1599 / (+63) 9176564157
Museum Hours: Tuesdays-Sundays, 8am to 12nn and 1pm to 5pm (Closed on Mondays)
Admission is free, but donations are accepted.