Rizal Shrine/ Dambanang Rizal is one of the most-visited tourist attraction in Calamba, Laguna. It is the birth place of Jose Rizal, the Philippine national hero. The original house was destroyed during World War II but was restored and inaugurated.
Rizal Shrine (painted green)
The house was painted green in 2009. The new color may have caused a lot of eyebrow-raising, but I understood the reasons why it was painted such:
1. Rizal was an environmentalist.
2. The new color highlights and informs visitors of the meaning of his surname – RIZAL (comes from the Spanish “ricial” which describes a green field ready for harvest) The green hues are meant to honor the memory of the Rizal family and their way of life. (Credits to the tour guide-turned-photographer for this info)
The shrine serves as a museum containing memorabilias of Rizal’s earlier childhood.
Actual clothes worn by Rizal, the dining room "fan" and the master's bedroom
Rizal's painting of himself using a mirror to see his reflection (vanity!)
Doll's dress was designed by Rizal as gift
Rizal's sketch of a "cute" guardia sibil (hehe)
beautiful clay pots in the kitchen
On the grounds is a statue of the boy Rizal and his pet dog and the lot where Rizal’s parents remains were transferred.
Rizal and his dog, Braganza (or sometimes called Berganza)
huts in the garden which used to be his playground
It was noticeable that Rizal's family was quite well-off, they live in a house made of bricks (only the rich ones can afford this during their time). I was amazed at the antique and intricate designs of their furnitures, and the place was really spacious for a Filipino family at their time. We all learned about Rizal's life from our school textbooks (it was compulsory), but having touchpoint with his house made me more insightful about his real personality. ;)
Visitors can enter the shrine everyday and there’s no entrance fee, but donations are welcome. There are tourist guides who (upon request) will elaborate Rizal's childhood days.
The next time you visit Laguna, go ahead and take a stop at this educational place.