Tuesday, January 5, 2016

El Bohemio Visits the Aguinaldo Shrine

    Happy New Year, dear readers! The long vacation is over and we're back to our regular working-class lives *sigh* haha! Well let's just be thankful that New Year's Day fell on a Friday and that gave us 2 days off to either relax at home or go out for an adventure.

    Last Saturday, I went road/food trippin' with some friends. We can also consider it a history/culture trip because our primary destination is the Aguinaldo Mansion in Kawit, Cavite.

     I don't even remember if I've been here before during the educational field trips I had during grade school or high school. Maybe never. All I remember is seeing the beautiful old house, with a towering spire, in the few times our family travels to Cavite to visit a relative. My parents would point at the spire and tell me and my sister that that's where Emilio Aguinaldo lived.  "Who is He?" we would ask. I was just 6 or 7, my sister a year older. Two kids with no clue about the who's who in Philippine history.

   Now that I'm 40, seeing the mansion up-close and walking into it is a travel back in time. Beyond high school history classes or childhood memories trips to Cavite. I felt I was brought back to the 19th Century.

   The Aguinaldo Mansion was built in 1849. Forty nine years later on June 12, in this balcony, General Emilio Aguinaldo, the First President of the Republic of the Philippines, waved the Philippine flag for the first time and declared Independence.

      Today the mansion is open to the public and the ground floor was made into a small museum. There you will find in display some of the General's personal belongings, some interactive info-graphics about Heneral Miong (his nickname), the Katipuneros and the war against Spain and America.

     The upper floor also welcome visitors. The living room is enormous. A rather dark interior as the effect of the  natural wood used for the wall and ceiling panels and floors - typical of affluent homes of that era.

      This is the bedroom of one of General Miong's daughters. I just love that four-post bed!

  The Mansion has many halls in which many Katipuneros had meetings about kicking out the Spanish.

     At the back of the mansion is a large open space. There you will find the final resting place of the First President of the Philippine Republic, Emilio Aguinaldo.

    Born in 1869, joined the Katipunan at 26, declared our country's independence at the age of 29, died in 1964 aged 94. It's quite amazing what Filipinos of the late 1800s can do at a young age. It makes me wonder, what if I lived in that era would I also join the revolution?

      Of course our visit here wouldn't be complete without a group pic. Many thanks to Mr. Bolivar for showing us around the mansion.

     After our little historical trip we had a hefty lunch in Kawit then we started our long drive to Tagaytay via Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway.

     Our route brought us to the Kaybiang Tunnel in Maragondon,  Cavite. We stopped to take a few pics. Actually a lot of travelers stop for a selfie in front of this tunnel. (Some seem to forget how dangerous it could be.)  What makes it a big deal? It's the country's longest underground tunnel (300 m) that goes through the North ridge of Mt. Pico de Loro.

     We reached Tagaytay in the evening and it was raining. We enjoyed a nice dinner at Bag of Beans while talking and laughing about funny moments during the trip.

     Not a bad way to spend the 2nd day of 2016 huh? ^_^

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