This park in the heart of Dapitan City is believed to have been beautified by Dr. Jose Rizal who took inspiration from the gardens he saw in his trips to Europe.
Located right in the heart of the poblacion or city center, the plaza is approximately 9,000 square meters in size. At its center is a monument of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, a fitting tribute to our national hero who was in fact the “main architect” of the park.
It is said that when he first arrived in the city, the plaza was bare and dark by nightfall. Its transformation became one of his community projects. To perk the place up, Rizal, with the help of Gov. Ricardo Carcinero, a politico-military in Dapitan, then planted red santan, red gumamela, and acacia trees around the park.
To brighten it up, Rizal also engineered a lighting system consisting of tree trunks powered by coconut oil. An octagonal-shaped kiosk used to be found at the heart of the plaza but it was moved to the side to give way to Rizal’s monument when he became the national hero. The structure is still being utilized today for city-wide activities.
Along the perimeter of the plaza are centuries-old acacia trees believed to be grafted from the one planted by Dr. Rizal near the relief map of Mindanao.