Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rizal Shrine at Calamba, Laguna: Birthplace of our National Hero

Wazzup Pilipinas!

When in Calamba, Laguna - you must drop by the Rizal Shrine where you will see the birthplace of Jose Rizal, the Philippines' National Hero.

I was there for a tech seminar, but my guts prompted me to pass by the "Dambanang Rizal sa Calamba" but unfiortunately, the place is open only until 4:30 pm.

But due to the overwhelming desire to see at least a glimpse of the place (not really my first time but it will was several years ago when I last set foot at this very historical place.) my friends and I persuaded the guards to let us see the outer parts of the house.

The Rizal Shrine was restored by EO 145 of Elpidio Quirino with funds mainly contributed by school children of the Philippines. It was inaugurated in 1950 and the architect was Juan F. Nakpil. The old house was destroyed during World War II.

The Rizal Shrine in Calamba, laguna is being maintained by the national Historical Institute by the Department of Education and Culture.

There has been a controversy regarding the repainting of Rizal's house from the familiar white to a pale shade of green. The repainting was ordered by the National Historical Institute and according to NHI President Ambeth Ocampo, "the reason for painting Rizal’s house green highlights and informs visitors of the meaning of his surname. ...the Rizals who were also known by their other surname Mercado (market) chose "Risal" from the "Catalogo alfabetico de apellidos."

The word comes from the Spanish "ricial" which describes a green field ready for harvest. It was hoped that after asking, "Why is Rizal’s house green?" the visitor will get a relevant answer: "The green hues are meant to honor the memory of the Rizal family and their way of life."

The Rizal Shrine is along historic Calle Real, just a few steps away from the City College of Calamba, and the parish church. The shrine is a replica of the Spanish colonial style house where Rizal was born on June 19, 1861, to Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonzo. The house was typical of the residences of the Filipino gentry of Hispanic times.  

According to the NHI, "Although its woodwork and masonry are new, it occupies the same area and is made of the same materials as the original house of the Mercados. Its ground floor of lime and stone, its upper story of the best hardwood."

The house had a small stable for horses and storage for carriages on the ground floor.

In the garden is a bahay kubo (Nipa Hut) which is said to be a replica of the one where Rizal used to spend his days as a child.

There is also a statue of Rizal  as a boy – an added attraction made by Dudley Diaz for the 1996 Centennial celebration.

A replica of the house is located nearby along with some paintings dedicated to Jose Rizal.

I find this rather annoying to be placed at a historical site.

The only surviving feature of the Spanis-Colonial house is a deep well that has become a "wishing well" for tourists and visitors.

There is also a library with a Jose Rizal bust statue. The library is open for public reading. The museum offers guided tours for groups. It has a gift shop on the ground floor where postcards, books and souvenir items are sold. There is no entrance fee but donations are welcome.


Tuesday to Saturday, 8:30 am to 12:00 nn and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Contact#: (63) 49-54520110

More about the Jose Rizal Shrine soon here at Wazzup Pilipinas.

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Khristine Banquil

    Rizal Shrine may not be known as one of the historical places in our country
    but the one who lived there for years (which is our national hero Dr.Jose Rizal)and considered it as his home, played a huge part on our history that made his place an important one. And as a sign of respect and honor to our national hero we must take care of it and make sure that as the time passes by it would still look the way it is before because through that we are not only restoring his home but also we are restoring the memories he built there and we could not deny that that place technically became a part of his life.

    - I've been there years ago and I saw almost everything that really amazed me. From then I realized that we should really restore it. Well, renovations are not bad after all right? And I wish I could go back there and see it again :)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Tracy Mae V. CasesJune 4, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Tracy Mae V. Cases

    Nowadays, people tend to neglect to visit historical places like this, and they rather spend their time pampering themselves on beaches. Rizal Shrine may not be a must-go and exciting place, but it is a part of history after all. We were molded by history. And not to mention, Rizal Shrine was where Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero, used to live. Isn't it very tempting to know where our so-called national hero lived and how he turned to be this brave to claim his title? We may not know the answer on the walls of his house, but exploring his home lets us see how his life used to be.

    I've been there way back when I was four where his shrine wasn't renovated yet. Personally, I prefer that his house shouldn't be painted green because it looked like it was modernized. Yes, they can renovate a little since it was built like 100 or more years ago. But I think they shouldn't have major changes like that. It is still amazing if they preserved it the way it used to be a hundred years ago, letting the people feel the atmosphere and serenity under our national hero's roof.

  5. Ana Katrina Mendoza
    IV- Berzelius

    There were times people forget to visit the history of the people that are famous in the Philippines’ history. People tends to look forward to other countries but me as a student, must know first the background of the person who is also Filipino like me. The content of the article is about our Filipino hero, the article is great for the students like me to also visit and know Rizal more about his place where he grew.

    Furthermore, I’ve never been there before even though my mother’s hometown is Laguna and also I know well not only me everyone knows that Rizal’s place is Laguna, but never in my mind strike that I should also visit the place. But through this article I’m convince and gain interest to visit the place. Thank you

    Content: Rizal’s house at Calamba. Laguna

    1. sentence construction: some are grammatically wrong and some are wrong spelling

      paragraph: well-organized

  6. Jose V. Licuanan
    IV - Boyle

    Declared as the Philippine National Hero, it is important to honor him as well as preserving anything that is relevant to our history and his history. It was sad to know that his original home was destroyed, but the replica is better than broken ruins of his home. As a student, I make him my inspiration to my studies and education. If he was one of the most intellectual people of his time, then we could also be one of the most intellectual people in the present.

    I disagree with the idea of painting it green, because the originally the same color as it is. I may have not yet visited the shrine, but that doesn't mean I won't visit it in the near future.

  7. Isabelle Louise D. Pozon

    People nowadays must learn to remember the commendable things our Filipino heroes had done. Dr. Jose Rizal is the first hero I've ever heard of when I was a mere toddler and I still regret the fact that I've never visited this place. It was quite saddening at first, when I knew about the repainting of the said house but then on second thought, it was also for the betterment of the whole facility. It gave me an idea that it might lengthen the life of the house and it was for preservation purposes. It only means that I can visit this place in the near future or maybe when I already have kids. Dr. Jose Rizal has been a great icon to the Filipinos and I would also like my kids to be as intelligent and brave as him.

  8. Rexielyn SC Santos

    Who could forget this guy who has ever been with us strengthening the nation and serving as a rolemodel for every filipino citizen. People, especially young citizens nowadays often forget what he have done for us. It is quite saddening that material things has been one of the reasons which erases from the memories of so many of our countrymen the hopes and misfortune of our homeland.

    Its good to know that some organizations are working for the preservation of places like this. Rizal Shrine used to be the home of our beloved national hero "Dr. Jose Rizal", we are not required to restore this place but if you come to think of it, he have done so many things for us. And now, its our turn to honor him for everything he have done for the Filipinos.

    I havent been in this place yet, in spite the fact that we often go to Laguna because my dad works there. But I know sooner or later I'll be standing in front of this place's entrance remembering the things I learned back in elementary when my history teacher have taught me about him.

    I have read feedbacks of people especially students regarding its renovation. Several people including me disagree with the idea of painting it green. But as I come to think of it, since this place is already old, it really needs a lot of renovation. And its good that they didnt just put any color on it instead, they chose a color that suits the place and has relation with our national hero.

    As I said earlier I havent been in this place, but if time permits, I would like to go there together with my family or friends.

  9. Honoring our Philippine National Hero (Jose P. Rizal) and preserving his said house is a big sign of respect for our hero. It is a good decision by our government and other type of people who help to preserve that house. For me, our government should make that place a tourist spot so that schools who are not yet visiting that place should plan to visit it so that students can realize what Dr. Jose Rizal have done for our country.

    Painting it green is not a good decision. They should keep that house as it is. I am not able to visit that place, but I promise myself to visit it in the future.

    Angelbert D. Golino

  10. It's really good to hear that we, Filipinos are still preserving the most memorable and important part of our history which is the Rizal Shrine. As we all know, our Philippine National Hero which is Jose Rizal who had started his life in Calamba, Laguna had made a greatest contribution in the history of the Philippines.

    So I guess that it is really important that we value the most important thing for our Philippine National Hero and I think that's the way on how to respect him too. But let us also not forget the other Philippine Heroes that who made us proud too.

    Belle Angelica B. Rolle

  11. Nowadays, people forget what our national heroes had done to us. And as a Filipino citizen, I find myself very disappointed about it. Our national heroes offered their lives, just for our country's freedom. And we should be thankful of that.

    And as we all know,Rizal Shrine is not just a tourist spot here in the Philippines but it's the place where our national hero, Jose Rizal was born. In this article, I'm glad that there's still some organization in which they preserve our historical places. At first, I disagreed in that painting and replica thingy, though I realized that it is for the betterment of the place. And our government should take charge about this issue. Though, I haven't been in Calamba Laguna but I promise to myself that I'll go there someday.


  12. Shania Kayelev Francisco

    Calamba Rizal Shrine is one of the most important historical places because it contributed in our history. This shrine was once the home of our national hero, Jose Rizal. Maybe it was constructed hundreds of years ago, and it was also said that it was destroyed in the era of the World War II. I guess the house had witnessed how our country in Spanish regime, so it means it has sentimental value not just for me, but also you, who is also a Filipino, so it means it’s a also a part of your history. I like how the NHI wanted to restore the beauty of the house but I think if they just let it look what it’s supposed to look, so therefore I disagree with them.

    I can observe that some of the words are misspelled, and some are grammatically wrong. But on the contrast, the paragraph is organized and the pictures are really great.

  13. First of all, I admit that I've never been to Rizal shrine in Calamba,Laguna but I know for a fact that it is one of our historical places here in the Philippines. It is where our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal lived.
    The name Jose Rizal is one of the names that I frequently heard or read from the books ever since I was a kid. In fact,he's the first hero I've ever known. I've read so many things about him already and with his bravery and intelligence,I can say that he is really deserving to be our national hero. And as a national hero,we need to honor him. We, Filipinos should also preserve things related not only to him but also to our other courageous heroes. I'm glad we were able to preserve many things or places that took a huge part on our history. I hope that our government together with our fellow countrymen will continue preserving things or places related not only to our national hero, Jose Rizal but also with the other heroes.
    For me,painting the Rizal Shrine green is not a good idea.
    I've never been there,but when there is time, I would like to visit not only Rizal Shrine but also the other historical places here in the Philippines.

    Sherina Joy R. Santos

  14. I'd only knew about the Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna about today. I didn't know that there is a Shrine of Rizal in Laguna. But I like the concept of it being a museum, for the history of Rizal to be widely known by the people.

    I don't like the suggestions of the house repainted. It loses the history in it, especially the history of the house of our national hero, Jose Rizal

  15. Gosh! memories.
    It was back in 1980 when my Office friends brought me to Rizal's shrine in Calamba.
    And it is today after 35 years that I managed to contact Keith de Leon and we spoke for three hours using Viber free call. We mentioned about this tour that he and his staff organized to show me around a bit of the Philippines before I left.
    What fond memories.


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