Every Filipino is obliged to know his life and works.  No Filipino has been much privileged for access to education than this man.  He was an ophthalmologist, sculptor, painter, educator, farmer, historian, playwright and journalist. Besides poetry and creative writing, he dabbled, with varying degrees of expertise in architecture, cartography, economics, ethnology, anthropology, sociology, dramatics, martial arts, fencing and pistol shooting.  He was also a Freemason, joining Acacia Lodge No. 9 during his time in Spain and becoming a Master Mason in 1884.  He is no other than the Philippines declared national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

The Rizal shrine within the Fort Santiago, Intramuros gives us an opportunity to have a peek on the kind of life our national hero had.

As I step into the fortified complex where Jose Rizal spent the literal last days of his life, an eerie feeling emanated like having to enter a mandatory haunted house for a tour.  This might have been due to the weather, the facade and lights installed in the museum.  The relatively old brick walls that surround the museum added a historical feel and imaginative desire to know what life was back then.

Within the complex is the building where Jose Rizal spent his last night and where his family later found concealed in an oil lamp, the famous poem, Mi Ultimo Adios (My last farewell). 

Aside from the prison cell, being one of the main attractions of the Jose Rizal Shrine, the shrine is a home to various memorabilia as well belonging to the multifaceted Jose Rizal.

Truly, Jose Rizal's life is one of the most documented lives in the history of the Filipino people, immortalized through a mandatory school curriculum and even housed in a shrine, which makes it a living proof that there was once a man who lived a life that others only dreamed of.

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