What I discovered recently is how its so much better traveling around old towns in a bicycle. It won’t always be possible as tehre are limitations in the number of places you can reach but nothing beats the health benefits (which I desperately needs!) and the mobility it affords.
Since I was expecting some rain (I usually check weather satellite reports) I counted on clouds keeping the weather mild. I figured with that it would not be that hard to pedal my way from Muntinglupa to Calamba.
I passed by Binan, Sta. Rosa and Cabuyao with relative ease. There were no significant increase in elevation. I bought some liquids and apples along Sta. Rosa. As noon time drew closer the heat became more and more intense.
The heat was almost summer-like. I caught a break when it rained but it didn’t last long. Paid a high price as the sun scorched my skin and flesh on my way back home.
In Calamba, the city government is installing overpasses for pedestrians. It appears similar to the one you find in Alabang. Several roads were closed and re-routed. I had to push my bike and walk alongside people in narrow pathways for pedestrians. Traffic was terrible.
I find it funny when you ask people for direction. They’ll always tell you “malayo pa” (still far) but I would usually find out that its not. Filipinos are a friendly bunch. I’ve never been denied assistance in my years of traveling.
From Calamba crossing, Rizal’s house is just a few blocks away. There are several bahay na bato around. The city government must tap into the potential of promoting them as sites to visit in Calamba.
I lost count how many times I visited Rizal shrine. A lot of people are bothered with what NHI did a couple years back. Coloring the house light green (I’ve seen this in most part of Asia, paint is a good preserving agent). I see nothing wrong with it. I just hope that they’re using the right paints. Otherwise, it would do more harm than good.
Ever since the 150th birth anniversary celebration the visitors has increased in number. And there’s good business to be had in selling Rizal souvenirs and books. I like the “Rizal Haligi ng Bayan” logo so I bought some stuff bring back home (two fridge magnet and a grocery bag).
I hope they’ll go beyond the lessons they learned from the house museum. Rizal’s a fascinating man. His life story is full of contrast, contradictions, of passion, of beliefs and fate, sacrifice – for me, he’s the most amazing genius that ever walked the Filipino earth.
Like all Filipino heroes, Rizal, his life and his works, has been subjected to political and academic manipulation. Groups in the past and even today continue to cash in on his reputation and honor. Over time Rizal’s true message has been diluted by hidden agendas and conspiracies.
We need to look back and ask one question, Did we really follow his lead?
NHI don’t get a lot of funding but with the way they continue restoring and protecting heritage houses they deserve to be commended. I particularly remember the trial house in Maragondon where they extended their resources most fully. Of course, there’s a lot work to do, as there always is. I hope they’re up to the challenge because we are losing a lot of these historical houses at a very rapid rate.
Some photos I took:
23 July 2011