Besides the Canlubang Golf Course and Country Club and Barangay Pansol’s numerous hot spring resorts, Rizal Shrine is one of the top tourist draws in the developing City of Calamba. This shrine is is a reconstruction of the ancestral home of Calamba’s greatest son, Dr. José P. Rizal. The original house was destroyed during World War II, and through Executive Order No. 145 by President Elpidio Quirino, the house was restored through the supervision of National Artist Juan Nakpil. The shrine was then inaugurated in 1950.
In 1848, Rizal’s parents, Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonso, who were originally from Biñan, Laguna, got married and settled in Calamba. The house they built was of the Spanish architectural style of that time and was one of the first stone and hardwood houses in Calamba. On June 19, 1861, Rizal was born inside that house and was the seventh among the eleven children of Francisco and Teodora. He was baptized “José Rizal Mercado” at the Calamba Church right next door (the cross-shaped building to the east in the satellite image).
Photo by Benjie Ordoñez.
Rizal’s family were driven away due to pressure from the Spanish authorities and the house was sold to a Spaniard Don Isidro for 24,000 Philippine pesos. The house was destroyed during the Second World War and after the war, the Philippine government bought what remains of the property for 27,000 pesos.
Today, the shrine serves as a museum containing memorabilias of Rizal’s earlier childhood. On the grounds is a statue of the boy Rizal and his pet dog. The lot is also where Rizal’s parents’ remains were transferred. Visitors can enter the shrine everyday and there’s no entrance fee, but donations are welcome. Also, you cannot take pictures of the interior of the house, according to this blog account at the Pinoy Travel Blog. For more information, head on over to this excellent description of the Rizal Shrine.