• Around Town: the Rizal Shrine Museum in Fort Santiago

    Discover the newly renovated and modernized interactive museum dedicated to our national hero.
    by Stephanie F. Esguerra .
  • At the heart of every nation is a fierce passion for preserving its freedom and the virtues it holds dear. And in the case of our mother land, Dr. Jose Rizal’s life, beliefs and works resonated with such wisdom, love and integrity that it only deserves our eternal recognition and deep appreciation.

    Such a place that is devoted to our national hero is the Rizal Shrine Museum in Fort Santiago, Intramuros. Though it has long been standing—its construction started in 1953, in fact—it still draws in droves of admirers from all corners of the world, especially curious children who long for a more fervent understanding of their national history and identity. In 2012, the museum had over 300,000 guests.

    Rizal Shrine Museum

    As part of its continuing dedication to re-introducing Rizal to younger generations, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP)—in charge of preserving such landmarks of importance—renovated the Rizal Shrine Museum in 2013. And with the kids on vacation, it presents a great opportunity for parents to consider a more educational approach when it comes to summer recreational activities.

    “Before, the museum was very dimly lit and bare,” says Janice Tambo, the Rizal Shrine Museum’s curator. “It was a mish-mash of different exhibits. But now, when you take a tour, you can see that there’s a definite theme already. We added narratives because we wanted the feel to be more child-friendly.”

    Splashes of color were added to panels and interactive features were incorporated in the museum to make it more visually appealing for young guests eager to learn more about the famous martyr. “We have puzzles and a photo booth, featuring a background as if you were with some of Philippine history’s most notable ilustrados,” adds Tambo. “It’s like you were actually there, a witness to the unfolding of history’s events. [We want you to] go back to the past, to relive our hero’s life.”

     

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