Biñan, Laguna: Witness to Rizal's Formative Years
Choose Philippines | Oct 02, 2015
Once a quaint residential community and an affluent town during the time of the Spaniards, Biñan in the province of Laguna is now one of the Philippines' largest industrial estates. Dubbed as the "Trading and Commerce Center of the South," it houses the two world-class industrial parks of the Philippines, the Laguna International Industrial Park (LIIP) and the Laguna Technopark Incorporated (LTI).
As Biñan transforms into one of the country's major growth areas, it shouldn't be forgotten that it once housed the young Jose Rizal.
When Jose's tutor Leon Monroy died, his parents decided to send him in a school in Biñan. It was one Sunday afternoon in June 1869 when Paciano accompanied him to their aunt's, the Alberto House. Built in the 1800s, the 600-square-meter structure belonged to his wealthy grandfather Don Lorenzo Alberto Alonso and is the ancestral house of Jose's mother. The two-storey bahay na bato with its tile roof and capiz windows once stood with grandeur right beside the town plaza, emanating the promince and high status of the Albertos.
Jose spent a year of his youth in the house while studying in a nearby private schol. He was placed under the tutelage of Justiniano Aquino Cruz, from whom he learned Latin and Spanish. He also studied painting under the tutorship of Juancho Carrera while in town.
Right now, a huge percent of the Spanish era house has been torn down after owner and heir Gerardo Alberto sold it to a real estate developer. Its wooden planks, doors, and stairs were brought to a private resort in Bagac, Bataan, much to the ire of historians and heritage advocates. As a result, the glorious tile roof has caved in.
What's next for Rizal's temporary home?