Located next to Aguinaldo Highway lies a 199 year old bridge that has a huge historical significance not just in Zapote and Las Piñas alone but for the entire country. Zapote Bridge was built in 1817 under the leadership of Don Agustin Dela Cruz through the initiative of Padre Diego Cera of the Augustinian Order. Interestingly, this bridge has witnessed not just one but two major historical events in the Philippines.Topographically, Zapote Bridge connects towns of Bacoor and Imus to the south and Las Piñas and Manila to the north. Half of the bridge was destroyed during the battles but the other half remains intact. Thanks to the local government of Las Piñas who funded the bridge’s restoration. Today, the bridge serves as a pedestrian promenade, connecting Barangay Zapote, Las Piñas to Barangay Zapote in Bacoor, Cavite.
Appearance wise, the historical Zapote Bridge has nothing much to offer. Some of you might even say that it is just a freaking small bridge but as soon as you learn the history behind this infrastructure, you’ll know that this site is absolutely worth visiting. Like I said, the bridge has witnessed two major historical events. First is the Philippine Revolution against Spain in 1897 and the other one is the Philippine–American War in 1899 which is considered as the second largest Philippine American battle after the Battle of Manila five months before in February 1899.
Zapote Bridge became the battlefield for two decisive battles. The Filipino Revolutionary forces led by General Edilberto Evangelista fought against the Spanish troops which took place in February 17, 1987. Evangelista, however, was killed in the battle. Two years later, another war occurred on the same site and this time it is between 1,200 Americans and between 4,000~5,000 Filipinos.(A historical marker attached to the bridge). Despite of being outnumbered by Filipinos, Americans still won the war but sides suffered heavily where in the American suffered 75 casualties with 15 killed, and the Filipinos suffered 150 deaths and 375 wounded.To pay tribute with this historical battle, monument parks were established on both ends of the bridge. What makes it more interesting is that these sculptures were made by the late Eduardo Castrillo who recently passed away due to cancer. Ed Castrillo is the genius behind some of the iconic sculptures in the country include the People Power Monument in EDSA.Located next to the Zapote Battlefield Monument is another sculpture paying tribute to General Edilberto Evangelista who made huge contributions during the Philippine Revolution.Located on the other end of the bridge is another monument depicting three women holding different items like torch and leaves which is probably a symbolical representation. Much like the Zapote Battlefield monument, this one is also a masterpiece by Ed Castrillo.These women are like Charlie’s Angels of the Zapote Bridge battle.. haha just kidding.