History and Culture

Exile in Dapitan: 4 Heroic Deeds of Jose Rizal in the Shrine City of the Philippines

Zamboanga del Norte

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | Jan 06, 2016
Exile in Dapitan: 4 Heroic Deeds of Jose Rizal in the Shrine City of the Philippines

The national hero, José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, was exiled to Dapitan on July 17, 1892.  Even when he was deported, he always thought of what he could do to alleviate the condition of his countrymen.

Rizal acquired a 16-hectare land after he allegedly won PhP 6,200 in a lottery.  He utilized this property to be of service to the people of Dapitan.

The Shrine City of the Philippines has become Jose Rizal's second home.  He spent most of his time thinking of innovative ways to better the community. What are his heroic deeds? 

1. Build a dam

Upon hearing that the people of Dapitan needed water, he immediately volunteered to construct a dam to bring the spring water of Linao to the residents. They made bricks using bamboos and clay pipes.

Even until now, remnants of the Linao waterway are visible at the Rizal Shrine.

2. Create a lighting system

Using the 500 pesos that he got from treating an English patient, he placed coconut oil lamps in glass protectors that serve as lanterns. These lanterns lighted up some dark areas in the town proper.

3. Make a relief map of Mindanao for students

Geography and history became more interesting when students can actually picture out locations in the relief map.  The first of its kind in Mindanao, the relief map has become popular among tourists.  

4. Help his fellowmen 

Dr. Jose Rizal was a physician and surgeon who usually undercharged his patients if not for free. He catered to both rich and poor and accepted payments in kind from those who had no money.

READ: 7 Must-Do’s in Dapitan

There is a hut in the shrine that is patterned after the clinic that he had during his exile. Until now, the Rizal Shrine is a reminder of his generosity toward his kababayan and his undying love for the country. 

Aside from the shrine, the city of Dapitan has a lot more surprises in store for the visitors. 

According to the 2010 survey, Dapitan has 77,441 residents spread over 390.53 square kilometers. Part of the beautiful landscape of Dapitan is beaches that can take your breath away.

READ: Have a Perfect Exile in Dapitan’s Less Famous but Beautiful Beaches.


How to get there:

Philippine Airlines flies daily from Manila to Dipolog.

Dapitan can be reached from Dipolog by bus (Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. or Evergood Transit), jeep, van, and other motorized vehicles. It's just a 30-minute ride.


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