Tuesday, August 18, 2015


In our recent trip to FORT SANTIAGO with the BP GROUP to celebrate the INDEPENDENCE DAY 2015, the kiddies had so much fun exploring around while us oldies reminisced till our big heads hurt.


While going around, we discovered that FORT SANTIAGO recently renovated the museum of Dr. Jose Rizal.

Entrance is free and they allow taking pictures as long as you turn off the flash.

The hats go off too out of respect. I'm glad that the museum guard was able to really subject everyone to this rule.

There are two floors to the air-conditioned museum that you may want to check out.  

Upon entering turn left and enter this small crypt where you see a model of Dr. Rizal writing his last masterpiece "Mi Ultimo O Dios".

There is also a timeline of Philippine history including the martyrdom of our heroes.

This really got Master Mati interested and he stayed behind to read up on his history. 

Later on FORT SANTIAGO staff member Jerome Rellente approached Mareng Gail and asked if our group wanted a free guided tour around the shrine. 

Even if there was a fee, we immediately said yes. It would be so beneficial for the kids to learn more about our National hero

He went with us to the next section where amazing artifacts with regards to Dr. Rizal are stored.

It includes a touching painting of Dr. Jose Rizal saying good bye to his Mother.

Dr. Rizal letters!

The trial of Dr. Jose Rizal!

Jerome described how Dr. Rizal was in his prison chambers. When his mother and siblings visited he told them that when they receive a cochinilla (alcohol stove) from his prison belongings, they should open it.

Jerome described how the night before his execution, Dr. Rizal asked for a pen and paper from the prison guards to write his final poem.


THAT poem is MI ULTIMO O DIOS and he hid it inside this small alcohol stove. It was important that he do this during the night because his every movement was watched by the guards.

After his execution, the Spaniards turned over all of his things back to his family and it was then they discovered this most revered poem (now) inside that cochinilla on display. 


Jerome pointed out to the children how this glass cylinder contained one of the bones of Dr. Rizal.

He also described what went on during the last moments of Dr. Rizal before his execution.

On December 30, 1896, here's a timeline of DR. JOSE RIZAL's final moments...

12:00 – 4:00 a.m. 
Rizal sleeps restfully because his confidence in the goodness of God and the justness of his cause gives him astounding serenity and unusual calmness.

Dec. 30, 1986. 4:00 – 5:00 a.m. 
Rizal picks up Imitation of Christ, reads, meditates and then writes in Kempis’ book a dectation to his wife Josephine and by this very act in itself he gives to her their only certificate of marriage.

5:00 – 6:15a.m. 
Rizal washes up, takes breakfast, attends to his personal needs. Writes a letter to his parents. Reads Bible and meditates. Josephine is prohibited by the Spanish officers from seeing Rizal, according to Josephine’s testimony to R. Wildman in 1899.

6:15 – 7:00a.m. 
Rizal walks to the place of execution between Fr. March and Fr. Vilaclara with whom he converses. Keeps looking around as if seeking or expecting to see someone. His last word, said in a loud voice: "It is finished"

7:00 – 7:03a.m. 
Sounds of guns. Rizal vacillates, turns halfway around, falls down backwards and lies on the ground facing the sun. Silence. Shouts of vivas for Spain.


Mati asked how many shots did Dr. Rizal receive and Jerome answered that as there were 8 shoulders, he received 8 bullets in his body. 

BUT, really he got 9!

Dr. Rizal was supposed to be given a traitor's death by being shot at the back by the soldiers. But, did you know that our very wise National Hero made a special request to the Artillery Commander Señor Manuel Gomez Escalante where his soldiers should aim.  With that, he positioned his right shoulder and twisted his elbow to point at the heart. When he was shot, the impact of the bullet gave a body reaction that made Dr. Rizal fall face up. 

To ensure his death, Artillery Commander Escalante shot Dr. Rizal at the head at close range. This was his shot of grace.

So really, Dr. Rizal did not die a traitor but BY GRACE. 

So all in all, that was 9 bullets.


Dr. Rizal's execution was on the front page.

Jerome also showed his the old clothes of Dr. Rizal.

Somebody didn't want to have his picture taken


Do you know that Dr. Rizal was only about 4'9 in feet? Yu-uh!!! 

It's hard to believe that a man of his knowledge and stature is about Andrei's size.

But then, he IS "David" while the Spaniards are "Goliath."

Afterwards, we all went to the second floor.

There, Jerome made a brief introduction on the Philippine Presidents. 

When they went to the next room, us mommies took a breather. 

BB Aning and I near Dr. Rizal's fencing clothes!

In the second floor, they had a theater showing a video about Dr. Rizal.

See? No gadgets or PSP in sight but check out how attentive they are! They were all really interested in learning more about our national hero!

After the short film, the kiddies also checked out some of the paintings of Dr. Rizal!

I often see this in documentaries.

Dr. Rizal looks different here.


I somehow hear the music "Somewhere In Time." He he he he he!

While I was going around, pareng Jonahs called me to show something. He felt so happy to discover that we share something in common with our National Hero. Could you guess what it is???


Now, the Rizal shrine has interactive games for the little historians.

There was also this table where you try to guess the Philippine animal inside!

There are many areas for photo op in THE RIZAL MUSEUM!

A favorite would be THIS set complete with robes and hats!

We all took pictures in this museum section, but Jeorgina's expression is the best of all.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

At the end of our museum tour, Jerome was still willing to accompany all of us and finish our FORT SANTIAGO tour!

Check out what happens to us afterwards!!!! 


I really recommend taking your kiddies to places such as FORT SANTIAGO and THE RIZAL MUSEUM so that they could learn something. Yes it's nice to go to malls and special play areas, but really, it wouldn't hurt to have a little culture in our system once in a while. So do go for the extra mile and take a trip to check out our country's museums and historical sites.  I bet it would build more unforgettable memories with your children that will last a lifetime.

I should know because that's the reason why i love taking the little lords to places like these.


Sta. Clara St., Fort Santiago, Intramuros

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