Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dapitan Zamboanga Del Norte

1st Day
We met up at the new NAIA #3 airport. It was a lovely Friday when we took our plane to Dipolog, located at Zamboanga Del Norte. It was lunch time when we reached the city. The weather there seemed like summer.  We ate at Hyatti Restaurant. The food was OK, and not so filling.  

We took a mini bus to Dapitan. Dipolog and Dapitan are known to be "Sister Cities". The roads are paved, and there are not much cars around the city. It was so laid back, especially when we reached Dapitan.  Dapitan is a coastal city. It is located alongside the shores with black sand beach. It is breezy. I like the place, it so serene, a kind of place where you can live if you want some peace and quite. 
We checked-in at Dapitan City Resort Hotel. It is city-owned. The room is cozy and it opens up to the pool area, which we kind of have all to ourselves. On our first day, we visited Rizal Shrine. It is where Rizal, our national hero was exiled for a few years. There are several huts/casas. It actually has complicated Spanish names, but can't remember them. All I know is there are some clinics for boys, for girls, etc. They even have a replica of the home he built. There is also the pool he made, which seemed eeky.  He also provided aqueduct.

 We get to lounge a while at the amphitheater fronting the sea. The one thing I remembered was the Me Retiro Rock, the massive rock where Rizal and his wife Josephine Bracken find time for romance. Ms. Bracken is an Irish girl, adopted by a general. They lived in Hongkong, and she took him to Rizal to cure his failing eyesight, because Rizal was a well-known ophthalmologist. Then they fell in love, lived in Dapitan. She had a miscarriage then Rizal buried the baby at his Talisay estate.  There are several ladies wearing white that day, the guide told us that they are Rizalistas. They revere Rizal more than a hero. I think they have their own religion. It was a bit scary finding women with long white gowns a midst trees. It reminds me of fairies or white lady. 

Me Retiro Bato
  Next stop, we went to St. James Cathedral. The exterior is not painted but the interior is interesting. I was really curious with how they painted the church ceiling. The design  were spiral and checkered at the same time. It has a vibrant orange color. I think it's very unique. There are also angels holding round fluorescent lighting fixtures. It is kinda cute though. The Mindanao Island relief is located in front of the church. 

 We were strolling along the plaza, then we saw this very green sprawling grass. We sat and took photos. It was inviting to lie there on the grass, but it made my skin itchy. And what else to see in the plaza, of course a Rizal Statue. The kids there are having so much fun playing in the grass under the big acacia trees.

  One more thing, we saw a very interesting waiting shed that even Mr. Bayani Fernando can't beat. Where on earth can you find a waiting shed with a "garden" on top of its canopy. I'm not even sure if the slab can carry the weight of those big rocks. It's totally cool. It's so much fun just walking around the city. It's clean, not much vehicles on site and no pollution.
 We even passed by an ancestral home. The Adasa home built in the 1900s. It's pure hard wood but there are not furniture inside. 
 We bought some "puto" and bread at the local bake shops. The puto was baked to kill. hehe. I felt like "snow white choking on an apple". When I ate the puto, as if it turned into bits of sand in my throat, that I ended up coughing it up for a long time. It felt like it was spreading into my lungs. We even saw "pan de lechon". A raisin bread shaped into our native delicacy "Lechon". I think it is a better option if you don't want the cholesterol provided by the real lechon. 
  We did enjoy the "3-5 peso" merienda. Not in my dreams that I find a cheap snack. Ma'am Cinch ate Maruya(bread with banana), Grace ate hot cake and I ate butchi. I thought is has langka, but it was just banana filling. 

That night we went to Gloria De Dapitan. A well known leisure park and commercial area. To our surprise, there was a big "Sabungan"(Cock Fight Coliseum)  in the center. It was the main attraction. We ate our fabulous dinner at "Kamayan Ni Manay". The food is very affordable. We ate sisig and sinigang na hipon and something like calamaris but they only used the small tentacles. It's yummy and crispy.

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