|Rizal's First Monument|
Daet holds the distinction of having built the first Rizal Monument. Very much unlike most monuments which have Jose Rizal statue on it, the Daet landmark has a white three-sided spire with a square base, about twenty feet high made of coral stones. It is located in a small park just across the Daet town hall. It was erected by the people of Camarines Norte in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal on December 30, 1898, two years to the day after he way shot to death by colonial Spaniards in Bagumbayan in 1896.
At first glance, I though it was an obelisk but once I get nearer, I realize that there are only three sides standing on a four-sided base. At the base was three of Rizal's most noted works - El Filibusterisma, Morga and Noli Me Tanghere. A commemorative marker from the National Historical Commission was inscribed on the fourth side. On the middle was the name Jose Rizal with "A" above it. At the top portion were stars painted in gold and above it was a metal sun with eight rays.
|Tribute to Daet Martyrs|
Just a few feet away from Rizal's Monuments was another marker which serves as a tribute to the martyrs of Daet who offered their lives for our country and died fighting against the Spaniards in 1892. Some of the names written there were Ildefonso Moreno, Tomas, Telesforo and Marianito Zaldua, Jose Abano, Jacinto Rada and many more.
|Daet Key Chain|
Although there in no known account of Jose Rizal ever visiting Daet, still the marker was built there in comliance with the order of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, then president of the revolutionary government, to observe Dec. 30 as a national holiday in the “Free Philippines" and built marker to commemorate the event. Camarines Norte was first to follow such order.
|Bagasbas Kid Waders|
Jose Rizal might not have visited Daet but if ever he did, he would have loved the pili nuts (featured as key chain above) and must have snack on it while meeting with the katipuneros of Daet. Or he may have written another novel or paint another masterpiece while spending sometime in the beach of Bagasbas.
While the monument is a reminder of the greatness of the Great Malayan, it also is a the top tourist drawer of Camarines Norte. And when you say Daet, what comes to mind would be this monument, then the Bagasbas Beach, Pili nuts and of course the smoked fish otherwise known as "Tinapa". Would Rizal love tinapa? I definitely bet he would because this is one Filipino dish worth salivating on.
And speaking of food, while Bicol is known for spicy food rich in coconut milk, there are also other meals that may interest you. For one, Daet's very own Toasted Siapao is a must-try that whenever I gon to Daet, I always head to the local bakery in the market to buy some and eat on my way to wherever. There are also fusion food such as calamares and buffalo wings that is always perfect with the very Pinoy San Mig Lights.
At the end of the day, one can always enjoy the sights, the culture and the food of a particular place but we should always remember that we have forefathers and heroes who fought for us. They are the very reason why we enjoy what we have today so whenever we see a marker - a heroes marker at that, we should pay respect and thank them for our independence. Have a reflective Independence Day everyone.