Dapitan City

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Dr. Jose Rizal's House in Dapitan

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 land area.  


A.   Historical and Cultural Landmarks

  1.   Rizal Shrine  - major historical landmark of the City.  It is the original estate of the country’s 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:

a.  Casa Cuadrada - Rizal’s Home together with members of his family who came to visit him.  It has been faithfully reconstructed in its original light, native materials.

b.   Casa 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.

c.   Casa Redonda Pequena - a hexagonal structure which served as the chicken house.

d.   Casitas 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.

e.   Aqueduct - a reservoir which served as a good water system.  Bamboo tubes used to connect the diversion canal to the kitchen and lavatory.

f.    Mi 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.

g.   Amphitheater - 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.

h.   Rizaliana - 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.

  1. 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  Rizal’s beautification  efforts of the town  plaza.
  2. Ilihan Hill   -    To    protect    thriving settlements     from    foreign 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 a  guard   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.

  1. City Square   -   The  present  City  Square is the very Plaza which Dr. Jose P. Rizal developed  and  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.

  2. 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.

  3.  Our Lourdes Grotto - Rocky hillock located almost at the Southwest foot of Ilihan Hill.

B. Historical Markers

  1. Sta. Cruz  -  Site  where  Dr.  Jose  P. Rizal landed at  7:00 o’clock  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 District.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 1892-1896.

C. Other Scenic Spots

  1. Dapitan Bay -    A  stretch  of  clean  beaches  on the   northern   section  of  the  Poblacion.   Ideal  for  beach  parties  and  highly  accessible.

  2. Aliguay and Selinog Islands  -  These  are  island  barangay  located roughly 10 to 14 kms. respectively  from Tag-ulo Point.  Both islands   have white sand beaches and rich aquatic resources.

  3. Panoramic  view  of  the  Ridge  at  Barangay  Daro  -   A   breath taking view of the Sulu Sea north  and east of  the City  stretching as far as the municipality of Sibutad, Zamboanga del Norte and Baliangao in Misamis Occidental.

  4. Panoramic  view   of  Ilihan Hill and  Foot   Trails  at  Talisay -   A winding  concrete  steps  towards  the  top  of  the  hill  under  the  shades of mahogany tree  in Ilihan   Hill and mango tree at Foot Trails.  At the  peak gives a wonderful view of the splendid gift of  nature  of  clean  beaches  of Dapitan  Bay  and the  scenic mountain of Dapitan.

   Source: http://www.dapitan.com/attractions.htm