The Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, Museum and Ancestral House in Kawit, Cavite



I’m a sucker of old Philippine houses, centuries – old churches and museums that showcase our history. The reason why I started blogging late of 2008 in the first place is to spread my advocacy as a culture and heritage buff. I have seen a lot of these kinds. I have travelled around the country just to see kinds of these: Intramuros, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa, Bicol and the UNESCO site in Vigan, Ilocos. I am such a sucker that if I am to build my dream house, the motif should be old Filipiniana. I want the windows and artworks inside to be made of Capiz shells. I want the doors and furniture to be made of wood. I want the garden to have cobblestone – inspired pathways and should have lamps that designed after those that I see in Rizal’s movies. But I think this dream is still far from the horizon so it is always a delight to see one.



My visit to the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite is one good example. To say that it exceeded my expectations because I have seen a lot of old Filipino architecture inspired houses from Luzon to Mindanao, is an understatement. This ancestral house of Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the First Republic of the Philippines is by far the grandest in terms of architecture, superb size and historical citations. It was in this same house that he was born from a wealthy family in 1869, 25 years after this was built in 1845.




In June 12, 1898 the Philippine Independence from Spain was first proclaimed here. On this same day, the Philippine flag whom Emilio Aguinaldo himself designed was also first waived in the front window. The Philippine national anthem was also first played here as an instrumental music first because the lyrics was only added the following year in 1869.
He donated his mansion to the Philippine government a year before he died (at the age of 94) in June 12, 1963. In 1964, The Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine and Museum was declared as a National Shrine By June 18 of the same year signed by President Diosdado Macapagal by virtue of R.A. No. 4039.

Tomb of Emilio Aguinaldo



This is also the biggest old Filipinana house I have ever seen!  This house is about 14, 000 square feet. Emilio Aguinaldo designed this himself. By looking at the wideness and the intricacy inside, you will not doubt how wealthy Emilio Aguinaldo’s family is.  Aside from its grand designs almost entirely made of wood, there are also secret passages for their safety from intruders and hiding places for weapons/ documents all around the place.


His 1924 Packard limousine

What sets Emilio Aguinaldo's Shrine from the rest of 100-plus years old houses is that the owner's patriotism is transformed into its designs all throughout inside. The main table in the main dining area has the design of the Philippine flag and the roof on top of it bears a large rectangular image of the map of the Philippines. 

The house and museum of Emilio Aguinaldo is open from Tuesday - Sunday 8AM - 4PM. There is NO entrance fee but a donation is fine. 

DIRECTIONS:

From Metro Manila, travel duration is one and a half hours via Cavitex:
1. Take the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Coastal Roadand Cavitex) then exit at Kawit.
2. Turn left at Tirona Highway,. Just follow the main road until you reach the Aguinaldo Shrine.
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