It was quite far off the known haunts of Jose Rizal, Philippine national hero but I hopped on a bus bound for Daet in Camarines Norte to visit one monument, the first ever erected in the world and dedicated to the national hero. It’s a heritage monument built in 1898, two years after his death, and people of the province take so much pride in this historic achievement that it is part of the provincial seal.
For those who follow Rizal, especially those who did the Rizal @150 heritage trail, the Daet Monument is quite important. According to Atty. Vivencio F. Abaño, the site of the historic monument was where the April 1898 revolt of the people against Spanish rule started in the province.
The three sided monument is made from coral stones that came from the demolished carcel where many native revolutionaries were imprisoned, tortured and killed. And the inscriptions, found at each side, bearing both Rizal’s work: the El Filibusterismo, Noli Me Tangere and his translation and annotation, with a patriotic fervor, of Antonio de Morga’s Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas.
The monument, as indicated in the historical marker, was unveiled on 30 December 1898 which was built with voluntary contributions from the people of Camarines Norte led by Lt. Col. Ildefonso Alegre and Lt. Col. Antonio Sanz of the revolutionary army.
To reach the First Rizal Monument, just take a tricycle and tell the driver to bring you to the site which is located at the intersection of Magallanes cor. Justo Lukban St. which is just across the former Daet Municipal Hall, now the Daet Heritage Center.