Though pained by his banishment to Dapitan in northwestern Mindanao on 17 July 1892, Jose Rizal used his time and skills productively to ease his solitude. For four years (1892-1896), Rizal kept himself busy with various pursuits and occupations: as an educator, doctor, farmer, artist, architect and engineer, entrepreneur, archaeologist, and naturalist.
 
With the Dapitanons’ welfare in mind, Rizal cultivated a 34-hectare farm in Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte, some 38 kilometers south of Talisay, Dapitan where the museum in his honor stands today. Rizal also put up a school and dormitory for boys in Talisay as well as a clinic where he treated ailments and performed eye surgery. With engineering and architectural skills, he built a dam and waterworks in Talisay and set up the town plaza of Dapitan with street lighting.
 
Rizal’s scientific mind spurred him to conduct archaeological excavations uncovering pre-colonial artifacts; as a naturalist, he collected biological and botanical specimens, a few of which were named after him; and as a linguist, he studied Visayan and Malayan languages. Rizal continued his literary pursuits while in exile, writing poetry such as Mi Retiro, which described his place of exile as a tranquil haven from political persecution, and the song, Himno a Talisay, for his pupils, which paid tribute to individual excellence and holistic education. Rizal also created sculptures from clay such as Oyang Dapitana and Mother’s Revenge.
 
 It was also in Talisay where Rizal met and fell in love with Josephine Bracken, whose adoptive father Rizal had treated as a patient in Dapitan. Rizal wrote a poem to Josephine, A Josefina, and asked his family to accept her as one of their own. Jose and Josephine lived as husband and wife in the casa residencia, where family members stayed during their visits.
 
Rizal’s productive years in Dapitan transformed the lives, attitudes, and consciousness of the Dapitanons. His exemplary life was dictated by simple pleasures—cultivating the land, enriching the minds of the young, encouraging thrift and industry, developing artistry and ingenuity, and showing compassion through communal health and welfare. On his departure, the people of Dapitan turned out en masse to see him off while a marching band solemnly played Chopin’s Marche funèbre.
 
 The Museo ni Jose Rizal, Dapitan reflects Rizal’s life in exile through his personal memorabilia and correspondence with his family and friends, whom he missed dearly. Some of his most poignant letters were written in Dapitan. His nipa hut residence, clinic, school, dormitory, dam and waterworks are living testaments to Rizal’s expansive range of talents and his commitment to serve the country he loved.
 
 The Museo ni Jose Rizal Dapitan has four galleries:

  • Gallery 1. Exile to Dapitan
  • Gallery 2. Rizal’s Scientific and Artistic Pursuits
  • Gallery 3. Memories of Dapitan
  • Gallery 4. Road to Martyrdom

The Museum also has an e-learning room for online lessons of the National Historical Commission on Philippine history.

 

To arrange a visit to the Museo ni Jose Rizal, Dapitan, please call:      
Museum Curator: Gabriel Cad
Cellular phone number: +6391765 64168
Email Add: museonijoserizaldapitan@gmail.com
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.