Dr. Jose Rizal is the National Hero of the Philippines. He is also the most famous son of Laguna, a province just south of Metro Manila.
Dr. Jose Rizal’s home town is Calamba, Laguna. His home is located just beside the town’s church, the Church of San Juan Bautista or Saint John the Baptist Church.
The house is called the Rizal Shrine. It is also known to locals as Bahay ni Rizal. Rizal Shrine is a very popular educational fieldtrip destination in the Philippines. It is also one of the most popular tourist spots in Laguna. There are no entrance fee inside the Rizal Shrine but there are donation boxes and the money collected here are used as funds for keeping the house and it’s grounds clean.
Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna
It is estimated that the Rizal Shrine in Calamba serves around 500 to 1000 visitors a day. Many of which are students who are on an educational fieldtrip but a large portion also represents foreign tourist such as Koreans and Japanese who makes Rizal Shine a part of their Laguna tour going to Pagsanjan Falls.
Just like many museums and historical sites in the Philippines, the Rizal Shrine is closed during Mondays.
Rizal Shrine Facts and Features
The original Bahay na Bato of Dr. Jose Rizal’s family was badly destroyed in World War II. The house was then commissioned to National Artist Juan Nakpil to be reconstructed under the orders of President Elpidio Quirino. The work was finished in 1950.
Rizal Shrine Marker
The reconstructed house shares the same features as the original house of the Mercados and Rizals. It still has the same elements of the traditional Bahay na Bato where in the foundation and the lower portion of the house is made from stone and is primary used as a warehouse or kamalig, and the upper portions are made from local hardwood and serves as the living quarters of the family. You can also find the kitchen at the upper portion of the building.
House of Dr. Jose Rizal Painted in Green
The Rizal Shrine is now painted green as it was said that the family name Rizal came from the Spanish word of “Ricial” which means “green fields”, thus the house was painted in a light green color to honor the Rizal family.
One of the most eye catching features of the Rizal Shrine is the deep well where Jose Rizal and his family used as their main source of water. Now it serves as a “Wishing Well” for visitors particularly those small kids who are on a field trip.
Pail for the Deep Well inside the Rizal House
At the back of the house is a bronze statue of Rizal as a child or Pepe as he was called then and his dog Tagpi.
Pepe at Tagpi Bronze Statue
There is also a museum at the back of the Bahay na Bato. This museum showcases some of the works of Jose Rizal such as some literary works as well as some of his sculptures.
Tallest Jose Rizal Statue in the Philippines
Dr. Jose Rizal is known worldwide and many monuments around the world have been made in his honor. Also, almost every town in the Philippines has their own Jose Rizal statue either located in front of their Munisipyo or town hall or beside the flag pole of their Central School.
But it is rightly so that the government of the City of Calamba to show their love for their local hero by putting up the tallest Jose Rizal statue in the world and not just in the Philippines. The tallest Jose Rizal Statue stands at 22 feet and is located in the premises of the new Calamba City Hall. The statue was made by an artist named Jonas Roces. Previous holder of the title was the statue located Nueva Vizcaya that stands 18.6 feet tall.
The 22 feet high Jose Rizal statue represents the 22 languages and dialects that our National Hero can speak. The monument also features 15 steps representing 15 decades of Dr. Jose Rizal, for the statue was inaugurated by Pres. Noynoy Aquino, ( coincidently the 15th President of the Philippines), on the 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal.
For more details and pictures of the tallest Jose Rizal statue please go to this blog post:
How to go to Calamba, Laguna and the Rizal Shrine
If you are from Metro Manila, you can either board a bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna from Cubao in Quezon, City or go to various bus stations located in Buendia LRT. The trip would cost you around 97 pesos for air-conditioned buses. It takes about an hour to an hour and a half to reach Calamba. Just tell your conductor to drop you off at SM City Calamba. From there you can board a tricycle and tell the driver to bring you to Bahay ni Rizal, or to the Simbahan. Tricycle fare is only 8 pesos per person.
From Rizal Shrine, you also need to board the tricycle to go to the tallest Rizal statue in the Calamba City Hall.
Other Important Jose Rizal Shrines in the Philippines
- Rizal Shrine in Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila
- Jose Rizal Shrine in Dapitan in Mindanao