Laguna: Jose Rizal Shrine in Calamba
Located in Calamba City in the province of Laguna, Rizal Shrine is the birthplace of Dr. Jose P. Rizal -the National Hero of the Philippines.
Rizal Shrine is probably well known as the ancestral house of Rizal's family. The house serves as a museum which contains furniture and items that belongs to the Rizal family.
For those who doesn't know the house that stood in the lot is actually only a replica of the old ancestral house which was destroyed during the Second World War. The replica was constructed right after the war. The construction was supervised by the late National Artist Juan Nakpil. It was inaugurated in 1950.
According to local guides, the only surviving part of the original house is the well, which is now famously referred to as the "wishing well."
|The wishing well as seen from the house.|
|Here's what you'll see when you look up from the well.|
During one of my backpacking adventures (actually field trip with my students), I noticed that the house was repainted puke green from the traditional white. Curiosity jumped in and I googled why on earth did they repainted the house puke green. To my surprise, it was actually a "symbolic" change and it was all connected to the family's surname "Rizal". To those who didn't know, the real surname of the National Hero of the Philippines is Mercado and his father changed it to Rizal to protect him from the suspicious Spanish authorities.
Now going back to the connection of the surname "Rizal" and the color green, it was said that the family chose the name Risal from the Catalogo alfabeto de apellidos. They later changed it to Rizal. Risal or Ricial is a Spanish word which means green field ready for harvest. Now that answers the question why it was painted green.
|Replica of Jose Rizal's bahay kubo|
The Rizal Shrine is open Thursdays to Saturdays, 8:30AM to 12NN and 1:00PM to 4:30PM.
From Manila, ride a bus heading for Sta. Cruz Laguna. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Calamba City . If you feel your lost, there are plenty of tricycles that would take you to your desired locations.