Few months ago, I had the opportunity to spend time with the multi-awarded Filipino historian Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo in Dipolog City. He is gifted with the ability share important details in history – without him knowing, he was able to persuade me to visit historical places and treasure history. Contrary to my initial experience with some of my history teachers, Dr. Ocampo made history so interesting.
As soon as I arrived in Manila, I persuaded my family to visit Fort Santiago.
As I entered the gate of Fort Santiago, I noticed the intricate details of its citadel, the beautiful park, and the kalesa that adds melancholy to the ambiance.
Fort Santiago served as formidable prison where torture is not unusual.
Jose Rizal was imprisoned here two months before his execution.
The Noli Metangere
The lamp where Rizal hid his last poem “Mi Ultimo Adios”
Personal things of Rizal. I noticed the dumb bell and the description states “Rizal knows that he has a weak body so he did things to improve his health and strength”.
There is a big portrait of Osei-san inside the museum. O Sei San, a Japanese samurai’s daughter taught Rizal the Japanese art of painting known as su-mie. She also helped Rizal improve his knowledge of Japanese language. If Rizal was a man without a patriotic mission, he would have married this lovely and intelligent woman and lived a stable and happy life with her in Japan because Spanish legation there offered him a lucrative job.
The assembly place before the execution of Rizal.
The footprints show the path taken by Jose Rizal from his dungeon in Fort Santiago to his final execution place at Bagumbayan in Rizal Park.
There are times that we need to look back and revisit our history in order for us to have a clearer view of the future.