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Frozen in time: Dapitan City revitalizes historical site ‘Mi Retiro Rock’ in Rizal Shrine

DAPITAN CITY, Oct. 4 (PIA) – From our classic childhood fairytales down to their modern retellings, one theme has stood the test of time: no matter what, no matter where, no matter when, love persists.

However, with the passage of time and the continuous ravage of heat and rain, that sentiment proves a little too good to be true.

The reality is, when it comes to real life, most of our favorites end up being nothing more than a shell of their former glory.

Mi Retiro Rock, a witness to one of the most well-known love stories in Philippine history, now sits neglected in murky waters, collecting wigglers and mosquitoes where it was once a crystal -clear man-made lagoon.

This heart-shaped rock, known as the place where the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, penned his longest poem, "Mi Ultimo Adios," holds great literary and historical importance. It was also one of Rizal’s preferred spots for relaxation.

Given its national and international fame, it's not surprising that tourists arriving and discovering that the view was less than half of what it once was left them disappointed.

Driven by the desire to preserve this esteemed landmark, they reported its present state to the Dapitan City Government. The local government promptly reached out to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines through the Rizal Shrine Curator, offering immediate assistance to address the situation.

Once a picture-perfect view, neglect has left Mi Retiro Rock and Mi Retiro Lagoon as shells of their former being

As part of the city’s revitalization efforts, they replaced the stagnant water in Mi Retiro Lagoon surrounding Mi Retiro Rock. On October 2, the City Agriculture Office introduced fish into the man-made lagoon, aiming to infuse more life into the site and recapture its former glory.

With its spot facing the bay, the heart-shaped rock offers the perfect view of the Dapitan City sealine, ideal for locals and tourists alike to bathe in both the spirit of Rizal and the city’s natural ambience.

As Dapitan City slowly marks itself on the map, these efforts to preserve and highlight its heritage and culture not only keep the spirit and life of Dr. Jose Rizal alive, but it also gives visitors a glimpse and feel of the Dapitanon lifestyle. (KSA/RVC/PJF/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)

About the Author

Pamela Joyce Fumero

Information Officer - I

Region 9

A psychology graduate with latin honors from Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology, Pamela is a registered psychometrician currently employed as a writer and information officer at the Philippine Information Agency's Region IX - Zamboanga del Norte Information Center.

As an information officer, she attends meetings and provides coverage for both government and nongovernment events that benefit the Filipino people.

She also writes feature and news stories which can be found on PIA's official website. 

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