My memory of Aguinaldo Shrine is quite faint since the last time I visited this place was back when I was 12. Since I lived in the North, this seemed like a faraway place tucked in Kawit, Cavite reachable only after a long and gruelling ride. Little did I know that it is so near Las Pinas where I currently reside and accessible with Cavitex.
Just a trip down memory lane, the Aguinaldo Shrine is a very important part of our history. It is not only the home of the First President of the Philippine Republic but this is where the independence of our country was declared over a century ago.
Some of my favourite observation and learnings from our mini-field trip to the Shrine include:
1. President Emilio Aguinaldo was a very strategic man. This was something you can see on how he designed his home. Every nook and cranny has its purpose. If not for storage, it was made as a secret passage to keep the family safe from attack. After all, this was the time of the revolution and a man (especially one of his stature) can never be too careful.
2. He sure had style. From his signature white ensemble to his choice of shoes, I can say that the President had it in him.
3. He owned and loved books. He had LOTS of them.
4. He was a survivor. He did not only survive the war, he was also a force to reckon with even by infections and complications. Apparently, President Aguinaldo had appendicitis but after his operation, he was still complaining of something hurting from the inside. When they cut him open, they found out that gauze was left inside during the initial operation.
5. He was born at the shrine and his remains were interred at the shrine as well. That is him going full circle.
Aguinaldo Shrine is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. They have very accommodating guides who can share with you more fascinating stories when you pay a visit. What’s more fascinating is that there is NO entrance fee so feel free to bring your family, especially the kids here. I hope you can just drop a donation since we need historical sites like these to be preserved for the generations to come.