The Exile City, Dapitan.
Zamboanga del Norte’s pride city. While other Philippine cities are rivaling in the number of new structures towering other old buildings, this city regards the simplicity and respect for nature.
If you ever venture on this side, west of Mindanao island, the promise of bringing a simple experience will forever sketch in one’s memory. Like this one, the bridge that goes to where Jose Rizal was exiled.
The Dapitan that we know is a place of exile of Jose Rizal, the Philippine national hero. But if you ever wander to this place, as guest Escooper Jem Donato did during an excursion with friends and classmates, you can say its beauty is unparalleled to the Exile Island we have watched on Survivor. Because hey, how can you be in this place like this, with resort-like abodes, wrapped in greeneries and trees and be in exile?
And speaking of Rizal, his first step on the beach of Sta. Cruz was commemorated on this sculpture. Now standing at Dapitan’s Sunset Boulevard, the Rizal exile sculpture brings to mind that the hero was here. His exile, however, was marked in the period of history that he helped in beautifying the place.
The St. James Church, the Catholic structure built within the historic Dapitan Heritage Park, is among the places typical in Philippine towns and cities: the age-old church. It’s wonderful because it’s ancient, historic and it brings a sense of pride to the townsfolks. And though the experiences with the Spanish were more than bloody over a hundred yeara ago, this site stands to poke the contemporary Filipinos that Catholic here is still strong.
History told us that Rizal went to this church to hear masses.
And this is where Rizal was exiled.
Well, it is now a park visited by tourists. Its energy here speaks volume of tranquility, promoting a sense of calmness and inspiration to a writer who wants to be secluded and be inspired to be prolific.
But if you go here to take selfies, then why not?
Beyond the historic sites are the other landmarks such as Gloria’s Fantasy Land.
And this roller coaster within the Fantasyland.
From the memoir of Jem:
I was truly ecstatic during our amusement park escapade at Gloria’s Fantasyland. The most unforgettable ride that we tried was the roller coaster. We had adrenalin coming in us. The ride was truly thrilling and exciting since it left shivers through our spine as the roller coaster went through the 360 degree loop.
All in all, Dapitan gave us experiences full of happiness, excitement, and enlightenment bundled into one. It was truly an experience that we will surely choose to never forget. Till then, Dapitan.
Jem Donato is a guest Escooper who has experienced the best things Dapitan City has to offer. The historic city, famous for its beautiful sunset thus the Sunset Boulevard, is a third-class city in the province of Zamboanga del Norte. She shares her experiences in a memorable way with the help of the Chief Escooper.
All pictures are credited to Jem Donato.