“I heard you fancy a guy and you’re traveling to Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao just to follow him,” a friend of mine teased me in January.
“Yes, I am,” I said, winking at her.
So I did follow this guy’s steps. You see, this guy named Jose has something about him that inspires me.
He. Inspires. Me. To. Love—
To love nature.
To love reading.
To love expressing myself in writing.
To love what he stood for.
To love my country.
This guy named Jose is Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero.
From January to May of this year, I went on a tour that took me to new places, gave me a glimpse of many historical facts and sites, strengthened my love for the country for whom he willingly gave his life, and gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation of all that he died and fought for.
I did the tour in participation of Lakbay Jose Rizal@150, a joint project of the Department of Tourism, National Parks Development Committee, Heritage Conservation Society, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the Intramuros Administration, and Cebu Pacific. The project encourages everyone to visit the places that have played an important role in Rizal’s life.
The above photo shows the front of the “passport” which every participant must secure from the office of the Department of Tourism before doing the tour. When unfolded, the passport looks like this:
When the participant reaches a site listed on the passport, he or she must have the passport stamped. The stamping of the passport officially kicked off last year, on Rizal’s 150th birthday. The first 100 people to visit all the 26 sites and have their passports stamped before June 19 of this year were to receive special tokens as well as a certification that he or she is a “Kalakbay ni Gat Jose Rizal.”
Yep, I am now officially a proud “Kalakbay ni Gat Jose Rizal.” Yay!
Thanks to my travel buddy who have kept me company. We timed our trips on holidays and we patiently waited for promo fares. Oh, and halfway through finishing the tour, Guyito joined me 😉
ALAM KO ANG INIISIP MO NGAYON: Iniisip mong sana ay nakapag-participate ka, na sana pwede ka pa ring humabol. Tama ako, di ba? 🙂 Puwes, pwede pa rin naman! The rubber stamps are still available even after June 19, 2012. Iyon nga lang, you won’t receive a token and a certificate after finishing the tour. As I have written earlier in this post, these are just for the first 100 people who have finished the tour from June 19, 2011 to June 19, 2012. But, you can keep naman your passport with stamps on it, isang wagas na ebidensiya na kinarir mo talaga ang pagbisita sa mga lugar na naging bahagi ng buhay ng ating pambansang bayani 😉 And what’s more rewarding than learning so many things from your trips?
Ano pang hinihintay mo? Pumunta na sa Department of Tourism o tumawag sa telephone bilang (02) 523-1930, 526-7545, 524-2254. Huwag mahiyang magtanong kung may available pang Rizal passport.
After this post, I will be writing a series of posts which will give details on each of the 26 sites. So please stick around. Sama-sama tayong mamasyal and let’s all get to know better this guy named Jose 😉