Dapitan is in the heart

Water works built by Rizal in Dapitan City

I believe Dapitan would be in the heart of anyone who has known of Jose Rizal's La Liga Filipina, a civic society he established in 1892 while the Philippines was under the Spanish colonial rule (Wiki Pilipinas). As Rizal envisioned it, the organization was supposed to unite the whole country, protect and assist all members, fight violence and injustice, support education and study and implement reforms.

The town plaza of Dapitan was redeveloped and redesigned by Rizal 
 with the assistance of then Gov. Ricardo Carnicero.

The Spanish officials felt threatened however. Paranoid and believing the organization will rise up in arms against the government, they arrested him. On July 6, 1892, three days after La Liga Filipina was organized, he was deported to Dapitan, then a small, secluded and sleepy town in Zamboanga in Mindanao.

According to Austin Craig, an American historian who arrived in Manila on July 5, 1904 as a teacher and Rizal's first biographer, "Rizal in Dapitan was given considerable liberty. He had his medical practice. He put up a small hospital, bought a farm and planted on an ambitious scale, and carried on a school for fourteen boys of the neighborhood." In Dapitan, he was able to realize the visions of La Liga Filipina. It was the microcosm of his dream Philippines.

The Shrine City of the Philippines

The original estate of Dr. Jose P. Rizal has been declared a National Shrine. Annually, the National Historical Commission which administers the estate holds lectures and similar events there to honor Asias's first intellectual.

Devotees of the national hero are of the opinion that Rizal is as relevant today as he was in the 19th century. They view his Dapitan as both an inspirational idea and a solution to some of the country's current ills. Thus, how to apply his ideals - because he has proven this to work - would be the challenge.

How to get there

Both Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly to Dipolog City daily where the airport is located. Dapitan is a 15 to 20 minute-ride away.

The city can also be reached from any point in the Philippines usually via Cebu, the transportation hub for Visayas-Mindanao destinations. The means of transportation is a combination of buses, Ro-Ro boats and Oceanjets.


I haven't personally visited Dapitan but my sister who does photographic services for Department of Tourism says Dakak Park and Beach Resort and Dapitan City Resort in Sunset Boulevard are an option. Local residents also operate bed and breakfast inns and pension houses. Monina Pension House seems to be popular.

If you wish professional assistance though, Almighty Explorer Travel and Tours in Vito Cruz, Malate provides travel services at highly rates. Please us this form to contact them.

What to do in Dapitan

Besides visiting the Jose Rizal Shrine, the next best way to soak in and enjoy the sights and historical landmarks in Dapitan City is by foot. Also, don't leave the city without taking to the beach. The locals are the best resource for ideas if you wish to do more. Please contact us for this.

What does Dapitan mean to you?


Practical travel guide, information and tips.

Jose Rizal Travels home.



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