Dapitan's idyllic setting inspired Rizal's creativity. He wrote poems: Mi Retiro, Canto Del Viajero, A Don Ricardo Carnicero, and A Josefina. For his students, he composed the song Himno a Talisay that celebrates Dapitan's surroundings, the joys of childhood, and excellence in education.
Rizal sketched genre scenes of Dapitan's inhabitants and illustrated his scientific studies in Descripcion de algunos peces con dibujos. In clay and wood, he produced sculptures recognized for their lively and potent gestures: Mother's Revenge, The Boar, Oyang Dapitana, and Buglay. According to his former Ateneo professor, Fr. Francisco de Paula Sanchez, Rizal ingeniously developed bakhaw paste from boiled fruits of the bakawan tree which he also used to create figurines and produce roof tiles.