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Let’s Pretend We Don’t Know These Things Yet…

1. that this is the Rizal Monument.

2. that to the west of the Rizal Monument, still inside the Rizal Park, is the exact location where Jose Rizal was executed.

3. that another important marker, the fountain where Rizal used to drink from when he was writing the last chapters of Noli Me Tangere in Germany, is also located inside Rizal Park.

This trip to Rizal Park is part of my Lakbay Rizal@150. The Rizal Park, Rizal Monument, Rizal Fountain, and the site of Rizal’s execution are four of the sites included in the Lakbay Rizal @150 of the Department of Tourism.

Posted 4 years, 8 months ago at 7:13 pm.


Lakbay Jose Rizal@150 Site #1: San Fernando Train Station

I must admit, I have not heard of the San Fernando train station before the Lakbay Rizal. I never knew such a very historical train station existed. As far as I can recall, I’ve never read about it from my Hekasi, Araling Panlipunan, and Philippine history books back in school.

The San Fernando train station was one of the stations along the Manila-Dagupan line which was being run by the Manila Railroad Company . It was inaugurated in 1872. Like many structures built during the Spanish time, the train station is made of bricks and stones.

Situated in a residential area in Barangay Sto. Niño, San Fernando, Pampanga, the train station is historic for two reasons:

First, Jose Rizal disembarked at the station on June 27, 1892. He was then on his way to the town of Bacolor (also in Pampanga) for a mission. That mission was to recruit members to the La Liga Filipina, an organization he established that same year. La Liga Filipina pushed for a united country, protection and assistance for its members, fight against violence and injustice, and some reforms from the government of Spain. It did not intend to rise up in arms against the Spaniards.

Second, it was the end-point of the Death March in 1942 which started in Bagac, Bataan.

As I stood near the marker installed by the National Historical Commission, my mind was filled with images of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers in awful condition, after walking for days from Bataan to San Fernando. Here, at the train station, they were packed into the train’s coaches like sardines. I remembered watching a television documentary about the march. One survivor, an American soldier, said each coach was so tight they couldn’t sit down. If one of them passes out of exhaustion, he couldn’t fall down. It was that tight inside the coaches which were actually boxcars from World War I era.

I took a last glance at the train station before leaving, with much gratitude in my heart for the countless men and women who put their lives on the line when our freedom was threatened. I hope to be able to show my gratitude by honoring their bravery and sacrifice in my own simple ways.

The stamp area for the San Fernando train station is at the provincial capitol of Pampanga which is just nearby.

To read about why I did the Lakbay Jose Rizal@150 tour, please click here.

Posted 5 years ago at 12:23 pm.