Saturday, March 28, 2009

Calamba and Rizal

Who wouldn't love being in the birthplace of our national hero? I guess nobody would care half as much as I do. Not when they don't have a "Joe" in their names. Kidding!

Jose Mercado Rizal, the Philippines' national hero, was a journalist, doctor, educator, farmer, linguist, and scientist. Born in Calamba, Laguna, he was aptly called the Calamba Joe. He, too, was claimed as the pride of the Malayan race. Beyond this, his personal life remains very interesting to many.

Yes, I was there working for a semiconductor company that so challenged me in many ways (kudos to my mentors). However physically and mentally demanding my job was, I didn't allow myself to miss the opportunity of meeting new people, of knowing their ways, of seeing the bigger part of the country, and of speaking in Tagalog that so punished me a bit (err, I'm trying to discount the fact that indeed I had a hard time in this aspect).

Above photo is the Calamba Rizal Shrine, a replica of Rizal's house. It was reconstructed by architect, Juan F. Nakpil and inaugurated in 1950 during the time of Pres. Elpidio Quirino. Hope I can still remember everything I saw: so there was the master's bedroom (there was an almario, where pillows and blankets were kept), the boys room, the girls room (the mosquito net made me smile all the way and the Singer sewing machine), the dining room (there was a gigantic, fan-like thing used to shoo away flies), the kitchen room, the comfort room, the bathroom, the wishing well, and some memorabilia.

Sure I had fun and so the bunch of kids painting outside. They were talented.


  1. Wow I'm glad you wrote about this. Rizal was like a high school and college subject only and it's good to tell the world that this human being really existed. Kudos to you! :)

  2. I wish you've taken pictures. Question, was their old house completely destroyed? Or it was just really reconstructed? I have the complete travels of Rizal here

  3. @Mike: You're not allowed to take pictures. :) The shrine is a reconstruction of their ancestral home. Their old house was completely destroyed during WWII. Thanks!

  4. Cool! I was grew up in Calamba in my grandma's. Yung house namin is one street away from Rizal's house, walking distance lang!! Actually went in Calamba last May 1 lang.. :)

  5. @HOMER: Wow, a true CalambeƱo! Thanks! ;)

  6. I want not approve on it. I regard as nice post. Specially the title-deed attracted me to review the sound story.