Date: March 5, 2012
Location: Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte
Rizal@150 Passport Stamp: No. 27 - Rizal Farm
Our Lakbay Jose Rizal @ 150 heritage trail brought us to Katipunan in Zamboanga Del Norte last March 5, 2012. It was our second stop after arriving in Dipolog City that day, and getting our first stamp for the Dipolog Cathedral. Our goal is to get the stamp for the No. 27 site featured in Rizal @ 150 Pasaporte - the Rizal Farm.
|Municipal Tourism Office, LGU Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte|
The stamp site for the Rizal Farm is at the Katipunan Municipal Tourism Office which is about 20 minutes away from Dipolog City. Aboard a jeepney that cost us Php 18 each, we arrived there at around 4:30pm. We were not hopeful we could get the stamp since it was late basing it on standard office hours in Manila (and thought we would have to come back the next day). But surprised, surprised, the Tourism Office is open (although no one was inside haha). There was a phone number on the glass wall that instruct visitors to call if we are doing the Jose Rizal pilgrimage!
|Our Rizal Farm Best Tour Guide -Ma'am Inday|
We were accompanied to Rizal Farm by Ma'am Inday, a social worker who helps Ma'am Ade when there are Rizal pilgrims wanting to see the farm.Aboard the private jeepney-truck owned and driven by sir Nonoy (Ma'am Inday's hubby!), we trailed our way to Rizal Farm located in Barangay Dr. Jose Rizal, Katipunan, Zamboanga Del Norte.
|Me with my two brothers Mike and Joel at Rizal Farm|
The farm was acquired by Rizal from Calixto Carreon, a blind patient who offered it for free out of gratitude for his successful treatment. Rizal refused and paid him Php 200 for the land. He cultivated it every weekend with his pupils". A historical marker in Tagalog, Sakahan ni Rizal and Rizal Monument can be seen inside.
|Behind us is the mango tree planted by Jose Rizal on the farm|
Our adventures inside the Rizal Farm was very exciting and educational with the helpful insights from Ma'am Inday and the information I found at an old historical marker behind Rizal monument in the farm. "With the help of his twelve disciples (pupils), the farm was cultivated during Saturdays and Sundays. The group traveled by banca to the site formerly called Daanglungsod, Katipunan. The farm was planted with corn, rice, abaca and coconut trees". There are also fruit bearing trees such as the mango tree behind us on the above picture.
|Picture of Fernando Eguia in Rizal's house in Dapitan City|
"Before his execution, Dr. Jose Rizal designated his sister Trinidad, as the administrator of this farm who in turn designated Fernando Eguia, one of his disciples (pupils), as caretaker of the same".
|With Lolo Crisostomo, 96 years old and Lola Equia, 90 years old|
"In 1949, Dona Tiining offered to sell the farm to Crisostomo Eguia, Sr., a son of Fernando Eguia. The sale was finalized in Manila in the presence of all the living sisters of Dr. Jose Rizal who acted as witnesses. The condition of the sale was to preserve the name of Dr. Jose Rizal in the farm". And Yes! You are right! We have the rare opportunity to actually meet Crisostomo Eguia, Sr., the current owner of Rizal Farm!
Lolo Crisostomo is now 96 years old but still very active, while his wife lola Inocencia Taclap Eguia, is still beautiful at 90! They are awesome folks in the real sense of the word! They made us feel really welcome! And, the experience allowed us to get to know our national hero as a farmer and actually taste the young coconut (or buko in Tagalog or botong in Visayan) that Dr. Jose Rizal planted on the farm!