Just 30minutes from Dipolog City via an old-school not-so-mini Evergood bus and P20 fare, we arrived at Dapitan City. We alighted as soon as we saw Rizal’s statue standing at the center of a park which obviously is Dapitan’s Rizal Park or Dapitan Plaza. Unknown to us, the building fronting the park now Police Station/City Health’s Office used to be Dapitan’s City Hall.
|St. James Church of Dapitan|
Then just across the church is the Relief Map of Mindanao, said to be a national cultural treasure created by Rizal as live representation for his history and geography teachings. It was at this site that a lady approached us who happened to be Dapitan’s tourism staff. She provided us with a map, assisted us in our next tourist destinations, referred a budget accommodation and arranged for our habalhabal tour. It’s nice to know that Dapitan’s tourist promotion is in place. Indeed, a help least expected.
|Relief Map of Mindanao|
We were able to negotiate for a habalhabal ride for P500 for the rest of our Dapitan destinations including the drop-off to our hotel. Time check then was 3:00pm and first off was the Ilihan Hill for the overlooking view of the city.
Ilihan Hill at 60masl used to be a Fort established in year 1762. Remnants of the old stone wall are still visible in some parts. Our driver/guide said that the fort used to house two cannons, one was transferred to the Old City Hall ground while the other was at the Plaza. Also at the southwest foot of hill is the Lourdes Grotto said to be an ancient burial ground of pre-Spanish Dapitanons.
|overlooking view at Ilihan Hill|
Next off was Rizal’s Landing Site along Sta. Cruz Beach. Its marker says: On this Beach of Sta. Cruz, Jose Rizal landed at 7:00 o’clock pm on July 17, 1892 to begin the life of an exile in Dapitan.....
|Rizal Landing Site|
Then we passed by the Tourism Office before proceeding to Dapitan’s New City Hall. We visited also Aquamarine Dampa but unfortunately only one restaurant was open and the price, well…
|Dapitan Tourism Office|
|Dapitan New City Hall|
Our last destination before Dakak Beach was the 16 hectare park in Brgy. Talisay. It was declared as Rizal National Park per Proclamation No. 616 by Pres. Manuel L. Quezon in 1940. The park houses the Rizal Shrine, Rizaliana Museum, Casa Residencia, Aqueduct, Mi Retiro Rock, Amphitheater and several other casas and casitas depicting the living of Rizal.
|Mi Retiro Rock|
Our visit at Rizal Park was concluded by a stroll along the seawall with the sight of Linabo Peak from afar. Well, there's always next time for the 3,003 steps of Dipolog's Linabo Peak. Until then...