10 Things You Should Not Miss When Visiting The Aguinaldo Shrine

June 12 is one of the most significant date in Philippine history simply because it is the time when our Independence day was proclaimed. Independence was proclaimed on June 12, 1898 and there is no better way to celebrate this special day other than visiting the mansion where our Independence day was declared. The iconic mansion of Emilio Aguinaldo or better known as the Aguinaldo Shrine plays a huge part in Philippine history.  It was established in 1845 which was entirely made from wood and thatch. The entire 4,000 square feet property is now a museum that houses various memorabilia related to Emilio Aguinaldo and the declaration of Independence day. So for those who are planning to visit the mansion this coming Independence Day, here are ten things you should not miss!

  1. The Aguinaldo Park

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The park in front of the house created for the Philippine Centennial celebration of 1998. It features a bronze equestrian statue (on horseback) of Aguinaldo set on a marble pedestal. This statue  is surrounded by the Declaration of The Philippine Independence Mural (series of black marble walls containing the entire Declaration written in Spanish along with Signatories from the 98 delegates.)

2. The Iconic Front Window
p4211292t_17887915545_oDuring the independence celebration, the Philippine flag designed by Emilio Aguinaldo was formally unfurled to the people of the nation from the front window of the house. It is also the time when our national anthem was heard! This part of the mansion was once included on the Five peso bill notes.

3. Emilio Aguinaldo’s Tombp4211425t_17700501200_oBehind the mansion lies garden with a marble tomb where the first president is interred.Aguinaldo died on February 6, 1964, at the age of 94 at the Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City. The same year, the government declared the mansion as a National Shrine on June 18 through Republic Act of 4039 signed by President Diosdado Macapagal.

4. Aguinaldo’s Personal Effects and Memorabilia
p4211333t_18047086925_oThe ground floor of the mansion houses a museum of Aguinaldo’s memorabilia and other historical artifacts. Some of the notable items or personal belongings of the late president includes the  Vara De Mano  or Ceremonial mace, swords, caps, badges, uniforms, Rayadillo Pants and Shirt (the picture above) and a whole lot more.

5. The Secret Tunnel aaaaaaab_17423387504_oThey said that Aguinaldo Shrine is a house filled with secrets simply because of the many hidden places like this tunnel.  There are secret compartments everywhere where items can be hid and there are tunnels that will take you to other nearby places in Kawit. This concrete tunnel will actually lead you to Saint Mary Magdalene Church. The tunnel, however, is no longer accessible on both ends as it is already filled with water.
6. Weaponry Used During The Revolutionp4211338t_17426523863_oAside from the personal memorabilia of Aguinaldo, the museum also features well preserved weapons that were used in some Philippine revolutions. It features wide variety of weapons including pistols, rifles, swords, spears and a whole lot more.

7. Filipiñana Dresses and Tibay Shoes
p4211358t_18170212901_oLocated on the second floor is the grand hall, a large meeting room where from its historic front window, the Declaration of Independence was read.  It also features different rooms of Aguinaldo’s daughters. Each room showcases well preserved antique furniture but one thing that you can easily notice are the Filipiñana dresses worn and owned by Aguinaldo’s wife and daughters. On the hallway, you’ll find  the “Tibay Shoes” worn by Aguinaldo. Tibay Shoes is a brand of shoe founded by Toribio Teodoro.

8.  The Balcony of Sinnersp4211369t_18165825512_oThe left wing of the mansion will lead you to this balcony. Interestingly, they called it as the Balcony of Sinners. The General playfully named this place as such because it was where the revolutionaries plotted the military strategies.

9. Decorated Ceilings
p4211392t_17549024963_oOne thing you will easily noticed upon entering the second floor aside from the wooden antique furniture are the decorated ceilings. This one shows the eight rayed sun which is called the Inang Pilipinas (Mother Philippines). There’s another decorated ceiling with intricate details near the iconic front window and a wood carved image of the Philippine archipelago in the formal dining room.

10. The Atticp4211418t_17547393074_oAlthough not always accessible for public viewing , some visitors can get a chance to take a glimpse of the mansion’s attic which also serves as the watch tower. A very narrow ladder takes one to the top of the tower which is allegedly the favorite spot of Aguinaldo.

12 thoughts on “10 Things You Should Not Miss When Visiting The Aguinaldo Shrine”

  1. ROBERT LEE says:

    Iyan, that window – THAT IS ICONIC. Good post here. I do appreciate historical sites and believe we all could learn more about our history and the people who died before so that we may have the kind of life we have today.

  2. Kerr Quevedo says:

    This is one of the reasons I wanna visit Luzon because of its historic landmarks. Although we have plenty here in Cebu, it’s also exciting to try something new.

    xx
    withkerr.wordpress.com

  3. Zwitsy says:

    Wow! The window! glad that those people who are now taking care of Aguinaldo’s mansion really preserve the beauty and its value for new generations to see and even for those who are really wanting to visit the place. I just can’t imagine myself being there and I will definitely plan out my trip there one day.

  4. This is so interesting to me! I just learned a lot more of the history of the Philippines. I think it’s great that you are as proud of your independence as we are of ours in the states. And I like that equestrian statue. Very noble and dramatic!

  5. I’ve been severely outnumbered by Memorial Day posts and I think it’s about time to freshen up my day with my own history here. It’s really been a while since I came to Aguinaldo Shrine and the pictures here are even emitting a sense of natural Philippine class. It’s a shame that we will never be able fully experience the tunnel as it is. My kid sense is tingling when I see that stairs leading to the attic, though.

  6. Darlene says:

    The last time I was here was when I was still in high school. That house definitely have seen so much of our history so it should be a part of school’s field trips. Would love to revisit one day!

  7. Aqib Nazir says:

    It’s important for everyone to know how their ancestors used to live. History teaches us lots of things. Great post mate.

  8. Sabine says:

    Lovely how history can be so fascinating. It’s important to remember things before the time we are living. So we learn from it and have a look into the old lives.

  9. Natalia says:

    Wow so fascinating! Secret compartiments and tunnels? Wow love it. Great list.

  10. Georgia says:

    I love places with such a rich history as this, your photos really took me there and it’s important that people keep remembering the past and take an interest. It’s shaped who we are as civilisation today and it’s just so interesting!! Also the Aguinaldo Shrine is such a beautiful building!!

  11. Jessica says:

    Perfect shot for the first photo with the plane. And oh, that Iconic Window still makes my nationalistic soul iginites. Hehe.

  12. Jerny says:

    Oh! we had a very good tour last time in this area. If you want to check it out, here’s the link 🙂

    http://thejerny.com/visita-historia-kawit-cavite-heritage-tour/

    But, I am still intrigued about this tunnel they have. They said it was connected to the church and to the home of the Aguinaldos.

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