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Today in History

July 28, 1909

MANILA, July 28 — On July 28, 1909, Governor-General W. Cameron Forbes endorsed the reconstruction of Rizal’s house in Dapitan, site of the hero’s exile.

Thus, Dapitan City in Zamboanga del Norte became a major historical landmark where the Rizal Shrine is located. Dr. Jose Rizal lived for four years in Dapitan as an exile from July 17, 1892 to July 31, 1896.

The Rizal Shrine is approximately two kilometers from the Dapitan City Hall. Its land area has been considerably restored to its original size of 16 hectares with the reclamation of 10,974 square meters.

Different shrines may be found including Rizal’s residence, pupils' quarter, chicken house, clinic, a water reservoir, a natural heart-shaped rock used to scribble verses of Rizal’s poems, amphitheater, and a concrete building which houses Rizaliana books, periodicals and other historical exhibits.

When Rizal reached Dapitan as a prisoner in July, 1892, he found it a sleepy little town but soon it blossomed with activity and progress. Together with his friend Father Sanchez, he helped remake the plaza which he jokingly said, "must rival the best in Europe".

Thus it was made even possible when Rizal won a lottery ticket worth P6,000, a relatively huge amount during that time, all of which he spent in his Dapitan enclave and an additional 16 hectares of land. (PNA)

DCT/SDT/mec

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