FTF / #MindaNOWorNever Continued: Dapitan City

12:00:00 AM

I've long been fascinated by our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. A few chapters into Noli Me Tangere, back in my high school junior year, I started reading books and watching documentaries about him. He was a true Renaissance man - doctor, inventor, free thinker - and it pains me to say that the country did not deserve him then, and now, moreso. But anyway, my fascination with his genius was the reason why I wanted to visit Dapitan - his home for the duration of his exile.

Dapitan was part of the itinerary that Hannah made for #MindaNOWorNever - our last stop. As I've previously shared, I had to fly to Cebu for work, so I missed the last few days of our adventure together. But I was determined to see the place, so I still went on my own. While it was unfortunate that I had to take the brief walk through history on my own (as Hannah did a week earlier), I'm glad I took the trip. :)
Golden figures against a gray sky
Naturally, I started with the memorial of his arrival to Dapitan. It's not a spectacular work of art, but it's a must-see as it represented the beginning of a big chapter in our country's history. It was a gloomy day, so the statues seemed to show off a golden glow. After that stop, I checked in at Travel Bee before heading for Dipolog, where I had lunch at an art gallery.

Dipolog was very close by, so I was back in Dapitan in a couple of hours. I checked in at Travel Bee, from where I rented the bike I used to get around the city. I haven't ridden a bike in a while, so it took a bit of getting used to again. But all those years biking around Bulacan made getiting my groove back easy. :)

I went to the church first to say my prayers of gratitude. I couldn't go all the way in because the bike didn't have a lock, and I was scared it might get stolen or something. So I stood by the door and mumbled prayers from there. I looked up and I noticed the trippy ceiling - so I just had to take a photo! 
Old Church
Trippy ceiling
After praying, I hopped on the bike to look for Rizal Shrine, but before I actually found it (I didn't get lost... I took a leisurely route to get there. HAHA!), the Aniano Adasa Heritage House made me hit the brakes. I've been told by a number of people that I'm an "old soul," and maybe that's why the structure appealed to me so much. I sure hope they don't ever tear it down in the name of "progress."
Ancestral House
I was having a hard time accessing Google Maps, so to find Rizal Shrine, I had to resort to the old-fashioned way of finding places: asking the locals for directions. It was on the other side of the city, but the shrine was only ten minutes away on bike, so I got there pretty quickly. 

Being there was like being transported to a different time. I could almost see Rizal (played by Cesar Montano in my mind, haha!) opening the clinic in the morning to take in patients who needed his help. I imagined him as a teacher, holding classes for the youth of old Dapitan. I pictured him building a home with Josephine Bracken. 
Museum Facade
Rizal's Ladies
The Rizal Museum was under renovation at the time of my visit, but they did relocate the displays at the City Library so I dropped by there after the Shrine. There were some pieces of clothing that were preserved, and of course, there were pictures of Rizal's women. Our National Hero's quite the playboy in his time. 
Rizal wrote a lot of his work during his exile, and I think it's not just because he had a lot of time in his hands. He was surrounded with so much natural beauty, and if I lived here, I would definitely get a lot of writing done, too. My tour guide - a young girl who was still in high school - took me on an impromptu hike on the hill right beside the Rizal estate. At the top, you could see a big part of Dapitan. I stayed there for about ten minutes before we headed back down.
From above
After the museum, I took another hike - this time on Ilihan Hill. I wished I was in better shape, because the second hike of the day just killed me! The view from the top was wonderful, though. I wished I brought a pen and a notebook so I could just sit there and write.
Ilihan Hill
View from the top
I went back to the hotel to rest for a bit, and after dinner, I headed to the amusement park: Gloria de Dapitan's Fantasy Land. I was there on a Monday night, so I almost had the whole place to myself. I had fun on the rides - I had two runs on the rollercoaster (which I had all to myself) and on the caterpillar. There was a full-blown light show, too!

I wished I were still with Hannah, though - I felt a little lonely. :( She told me that she felt a bit lonely being there by herself, too.
Light show
Roller coaster to myself
By midnight, I went back to the hotel to rest before the 4am trip back to Dumaguete.

And that, my friends, is the end of The Great Mindanao Adventure 2015. *roll closing credits*


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