The Provincial Tourism of Zamboanga del Norte, in its pursuit of strengthening the culture and heritage tourism of the province, has given its support to the City of Dapitan in its celebration of the Revisitamos Dapitan 1892.

The pale crescent moon shone like a silvery claw in the night sky at the Punto del Decembarco on the 17th of July 2022. Government officials and guests gathered at the landing site where the national hero took his first steps in Dapitan to witness a historic event that brought the past to life.

Dapitan City, as it is known by many, became the exile place of a political prisoner. From 1892 until 1896, Dr. Jose P. Rizal resided in this once small and secluded hamlet, where he battled feelings of hopelessness and hostility toward the repressive regime of colonial Spain.

Dressed in garments from the late 1980s, spectators from all walks of life witnessed a magnificent reenactment of the arrival of Dr. Jose Rizal in Dapitan. The theatrical production, El Deportado, was ushered in to appreciate the legacy and influence of the national hero on the lives of the Dapitanons a century and thirty years after his arrival. The performance then proceeded at the Casa Real, where the event came to a close.

In his remarks, Dapitan City Mayor, Hon. Seth Fredericl “Bullet” Jalosjos, highlighted the significance of Rizal’s stay in Dapitan; historical landmarks are well-preserved to honor and memorialize his life and the traces of the progress he left behind. Furthermore, the young mayor stated that he is committed to developing historical tourism in the city as a place near and dear to the hero’s heart.

The two-week celebration of the Revisitamos Dapitan 1892 featured another historical and cultural highlight on July 25, 2022: the launching and touring of the Balay Hamoy Museum. The Department of Tourism Region IX has granted accreditation to this home, the first residence on the Zamboanga Peninsula to be converted into a cultural museum. Among the objects on display were the belongings of Dr. Rizal.

Culture is a mosaic of ideas, customs, and social behavior; heritage is that aspect of culture that has been passed down from generation to generation and will be preserved for posterity. Governor Rosalina “Nanay Nene” Jalosjos pledged to perpetuate the culture and traditions of Zamboanga del Norte by aiding local government units with resources to safeguard the rich vestiges of the past.

Written by: Reina Joy V. Montes, Provincial Tourism Office