After an overnight stay at a hot spring resort in Pansol, Laguna, hubby and I had a stopover at the Rizal Shrine in nearby Calamba. The Rizal Shrine is a reproduction of the original house where our national hero Jose Rizal was born on June 19, 1861.
Like most Filipinos of my generation, I grew up learning about Rizal in classrooms. In fact, I still have in possession an old book which my sister and I read during our early years as students. But it was only now that I had the chance to visit his family's Spanish colonial house.
|Pages from an old textbook describing Rizal's house|
I feel a sense of pride as the nation's hero is also a writer and a well-traveled person. I leaped with glee when I saw facsimiles of his manuscripts and drawings displayed on the ground floor of his childhood house. I was reminded to keep hard copies of my scribbling and scan them for posterity!
The second floor of the house is the main living quarters of the family. It has a library, a living room, three bedrooms (master's bedroom for Rizal's parents Francisco and Teodora; one bedroom for his nine sisters; and another bedroom he shared with his brother Paciano), a dining room, a kitchen, and azotea. Some artifacts and utensils which the family used are also in display.
|Did you also use an arinola like Rizal's parents did?|
Outside the house is a sprawling garden and a museum that houses other artifacts from Rizal's later years. The Rizal Shrine is accessible to both public and private transportation as the Shrine is in the heart of the City of Calamba.
If you plan to visit Calamba, Laguna, you might also want to spend a day or overnight at the many hot spring resorts in nearby Pansol, or Los Banos and bring home a pasalubong of buko pie, carabao's milk or cow's milk for which the place is famous for.