It’s hard not to talk about the Shrine City of Dapitan without talking about its neighboring city of Dipolog. As the capital of Zamboanga del Norte, Dipolog is the main Gateway in Northwestern Mindanao. But even as an entry point, it doesn’t mean that it’s only a transit region. There are interesting areas worth exploring. Most of the places to stay in the peninsula are found in this city with options from the cheap (P400+/night) or the moderately luxurious (P2500+/night). In this urbanized corner of the peninsula where the streets are ruled by roaring tricycles, I continued following Rizal’s trail until down south to the municipality of Katipunan.
“This is one of the cities I could probably live in” were my first thoughts exploring the streets of Dapitan City. A city found in Zamboanga del Norte, declared a city not because of its population nor its economic stature but because of its rich heritage. The country’s National Hero, Jose Rizal, lived in this region after his exile in 1892. The mark he left with the place and the people was like an eternal echo surviving through the times. I was in Zamboanga del Norte initially for work teaching a group about photography, but I had time to retrace Rizal’s footsteps and discovered some wonderful places in the process.