The original color of the house is white but it was repainted to a pale shade of green. The repainting became an issue since June 2009 but it was ordered by the National Historical Institute and according to NHI president during that time who is Ambeth Ocampo, “the reason for painting Rizal’s house green highlights and informs visitors of the meaning of his surname. …the Rizals who were also known by their other surname Mercado (market) chose ‘Risal’ from the ‘Catalogo alfabetico de apellidos.’ The word comes from the Spanish ‘ricial’ which describes a green field ready for harvest. It was hoped that after asking, ‘Why is Rizal’s house green?’ the visitor will get a relevant answer: the green hues are meant to honor the memory of the Rizal family and their way of life” (Laguna Travel Guide). Ms. Valesa, the curator of the house also told me that “Color does not matter, rather it is the legacy of Rizal that matters.”
Photo source: http://maxtein.com/calamba-laguna-rizal-shrine.html
The house includes paintings which show facts about Jose Rizal and the house itself and according to the curator of the house who is Ms. Valesa , anything that is written there is checked by the National Historical Institute. They cannot allow any painting or writing to be released inside the house unless it’s from the National Historical Institute.
Based on my own experience, these are some parts of the house that caught my attention:
The Caida. It was said that the room was also used as a library. This is the place wherein Jose was inspired to study and to learn about many things. When Jose traveled abroad, his siblings will wait for his letters full of amusing stories and his siblings would hurry to the library to search in the books for the places Jose mentioned. This room also serves as the entertainment room for their visitors (NHI).
The Kitchen. Dona Lolay was a good cook and she imparts her skills to her daughters who help her in cooking for the family and selling in the small store downstairs. At present, the kitchen includes replicas of the cooking equipment such as stoves, pots, jars and etc. Fastidious people claim that food cooked in native spots on stove fueled by mangrove firewood and coconut shells is extra delicious (NHI).
According to Laguna Travel Guide, the only surviving feature of the Spanis-Colonial house is a deep well that has become a “wishing well” for tourists and visitors. Unknown to many, the parents of Jose Rizal (Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonzo) are buried near the narra tree about 20 meters away from the “wishing well” .
Outside the house, you would see a Bahay Kubo wherein it was said that it was the replica of where Jose and his sisters play (NHI). On the grounds is a statue of the boy Rizal and his pet dog.
Those were some parts of the house that I would like to share. Try to visit the place.