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Dapitan is Philippines First Heritage Zone


The Old Town of Dapitan City in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, where our national hero Jose Rizal stayed for four years in exile before his martyrdom, was named as the country’s First Heritage Zone in a resolution agreed and signed by the Board Members of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

As Heritage Zone, the city will be entitled to state funding and other support for the maintenance and upkeep of its landmarks and heritage sites.

The designation of Dapitan as a heritage zone was read by Atty. Beatriz Rose Angeles-Cruz, vice head of the National Committee on Monuments and Site (NCMS) in a simple program last May 27, 2011 as part of a series of activities during the celebration of Heritage month and the 150th Birth Anniversary of Jose Rizal.

Historical landmarks in Dapitan includes the following: the old house of Rizal, his school, his clinic and kitchen in barangay Talisay, the map of Mindanao, made by Rizal himself now a Philippine Treasure, CASA Real, the Old Town Plaza, his monument, the centuries old municipal hall, St. James Cathedral and the Punto de Desembarco de Rizal (place where he landed with Spanish Soldiers)

Dignitaries from Manila who came for the declaration were Hon. Felipe De Leon, Jr. chairman NCCA, Hon. Maria Serena Diokno chairman, National Historical Commission of the Phil. (NHCP), Hon. Jeremy Barns Director, National Museum of the Philippines (NM), Hon. Regalado Trota Jose Commissioner, SCH and Hon. Malou Jacob, Executive Director, NCCA.

The designation was accepted by Vice Mayor Patri B. Chan, City Officials. Former Congressman Romeo “Nonong” Jalosjos (a patron of the Arts himself and a great Lover of the Works of Rizal) and Ms. Icell Borja were present.

Last June 14, the Department of Tourism, Region IX, in coordination with the Provincial Government of Zanorte, City Government of Dapitan, City Government of Dipolog and the Municipal Government of Katipunan, had a “Lakbay Jose Rizal” and the Launching of the “150 Heritage Trail Project” The trail sites visited were, Punto de Desembarco de Rizal in Dapitan, Casa Real, Saint James Church, Relief Map of Mindanao, the City Plaza and the Rizal Shrine all this in Dapitan City, the Holy Rosary Church in Dipolog and the Rizal Farm in Katipunan.

Present during this activity were Ms. Amelia Garcia-Yulo Great Grand Neice of Rizal, Gov. Lnado E. Yebes, Cong. Cesar G. Jalosjos 3rd District, Cong. Bullet P. Jalosjos 1st District and Ms. Mary June G. Bugante acting Regional Director, Department of Tourism IX. On Sunday June 19, the LGU of Dapitan will go to the Rizal Shrine for a short program and flower offering.

As we commemorate the 150 Birth Anniversary of Jose Rizal. Let us sit back and recall what he did for his country, his works specially his books, a martyr who died for his country and the Filipino People so we can have our Freedom.
Hasta La Vista!

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