Dapitan City lies on the northwestern
coast of the island of Mindanao with approximate geographical coordinates of 8o 50
North latitude and 123o 30 East longitude. It is about 404 nautical miles
(or 650 kilometers) southwest of Metropolitan Manila.
It is a double wedge-shaped mass of land bounded on the
north by the Sulu Sea and link on the south by the Municipalities of Mutia and La Libertad, on the east by the Municipalities of
Sibutad and Rizal, on the west by Dipolog City and the Municipalities of Polanco, Sibutad, La Libertad and Rizal, all of the province of
Zamboanga del Norte.
The City has a total land area of 29,521 hectares or 29.521
square kilometers. There are 50 barangays of which seven (7) barangays are in the
poblacion island. There are 13 coastal barangays and two (2) island barangays. The
poblacion has a total land area of 193 hectares representing 1.33 percent of the entire
Historical and Cultural Landmarks
Rizal Shrine - major
historical landmark of the City. It is the
original estate of the countrys national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, who lived for four years in Dapitan as an exile from July 17, 1892 to July 31, 1896.
Other structures that could be found
at the Rizal Shrine are the following:
Cuadrada - Rizals Home together with members of his family who came to visit him. It has been faithfully reconstructed in its
original light, native materials.
Redonda - an octagonal dwelling which served as the pupils quarters. It was later converted to a clinic and it was here
where George Taufer, the foster father of Josephine Bracken was operated on his eyes.
Redonda Pequena - a hexagonal structure which served as the chicken house.
de Salud - there are two of these structures intended as tea houses but which our national
hero converted into clinics to accommodate patients from far flung municipalities.
- a reservoir which served as a good water system. Bamboo
tubes used to connect the diversion canal to the kitchen and lavatory.
Retiro Rock - it is a natural heart shaped rock so called because it was here where our
national hero is known to have scribbled beautiful verses of his famous poem Mi Retiro and Himno a Talisay.
He also spent many hours watching the sunset here.
- an open air auditorium with a seating capacity of 500 which was constructed beyond the
Mi Retiro Rock by the city government from funds from the office of the Reginal
Commissioner headed by Rear Admiral Romulo M. Espaldon, now Minister for Muslim Affairs.
- a modern, concrete building constructed in 1972 which houses all Rizalian books,
periodicals and all sorts of historical exhibits. Part
of it also serves as the Office of the Rizal Shrine Curator.
- Relief Map of
Mindanao - Across St. James is a giant
Relief Map of Mindanao
roughly 900 sq. m. in area and made by
Dr. Jose P. Rizal with the assistance of Fr. Francisco de Paula
Sanchez, S.J. It
was intended as a
motivating device for teaching history and geography to the town folks and at the same time contributed to Rizals
beautification efforts of the town plaza.
Ilihan Hill -
To protect thriving settlements
invasions, the Spanish government constructed
military fortress in strategic places. One of these was Fort
de Dapitan which was established in 1762 at about the same time as Fort Pilar
in Zamboanga City, Fort Misamis in
Ozamis City and Fort Iligan in Iligan City.
Fort de Dapitan
was strategically constructed on
top of Ilihan Hill which is located in the Poblacion
overlooking Dapitan Bay. A stone wall was constructed along its slopes and
house with mounted cannons.
Relics of this ancient military fortress are still visible at Ilihan Hill. Two cannons were taken from the fortress, however, and have
been installed at the City Plaza just
across the City Hall.
- The present City Square is the very Plaza which Dr. Jose P. Rizal
beautified with the assistance of Gov. Ricardo Carnicero. His plan was
to beautify it to make it comparable with the ones he saw in Europe.
St. James Church
- These two
edifices symbolize the
early Christianization of Dapitan. The old Spanish masonry and architecture are still evident even if a century has
elapsed since their construction.
Our Lourdes Grotto - Rocky hillock
located almost at the Southwest foot of Ilihan Hill.
Sta. Cruz - Site where Dr. Jose P.
Rizal landed at 7:00 oclock P.M. on July 17, 1892 to
begin the life of an exile in Dapitan. With Captain Delgras and three
artillery men, they walked through Sta. Cruz Street with a
Farol de Combate to the Casa Real where
he was presented to Don Ricardo Carnicero, Spanish Military Governor of the
Casa Real - Official residence and Administration
Building of the Politico-Military Governor of the District. Here, Jose
Rizal lived as
an exile from
July 17, 1892 to March 1893 when he was transferred to Talisay, now the
Rizal Dapitan Shrine.
St. James Church - On this spot of St. James Church constructed by the Jesuits in 1883, Jose Rizal stood while hearing mass every Sunday during his exile in Dapitan in