By Shielo Mendoza, Yahoo! Southeast Asia
Dapitan City in northern Mindanao was declared a Heritage Zone by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) in commemoration of the sesquicentennial or 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal on June 19.
"Because of its ancient beginning and Rizal's four-year exile in Dapitan, the district has become historically and culturally significant," NHCP said in its resolution.
Also known as the "Shrine City of the Philippines," this historic location in Zamboanga del Norte is where the national hero spent his years of exile from 1892 to 1896. During these years, Rizal acquired a 16-hectare sanctuary now the Rizal Shrine which is considered a major historical landmark in Dapitan.
"Every generation seeks and finds new meaning in the life and example of Rizal. His vision of nationhood continues to serve as an inspiration and challenge to all Filipinos who work to fight corruption and make inroads against poverty in our society," the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson said in its press statement.