Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine
More than just being the site where the Declaration of the Philippines Independence was first read, this is where the Philippine Republic was built. Its structure has its secret passages, hidden compartment and camouflaged shelves showed how the revolutionary fervor pervaded even the comfort and sanctity of Filipino homes at the turn of the century.
The Aguinaldo mansion in Kawit, Cavite, site of the historic Proclamation of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898 was declared a national shrine in June 1964 shortly after the death of General Emilio Aguinaldo.
The house was first built in 1845 from wood and thatch materials. Emilio Aguinaldo was born there on March 22, 1869. It was reconstructed in 1849, and then again in the early 1920s. A year before General Emilio Aguinaldo died, the General donated the house and part of its ground to the Philippine government, a fitting last act and grand finale, it seems, for the man who played so crucial a role in the history of his country.
The grand hall where General Emilio Aguinaldo declare the Philippines Independence. Here, revolutionaries long gone must have held secret caucuses and made fateful state decisions. At the end of this rectangular room, is the historic window -- a balcony had been added and used often by the General and state officials during Independence day celebrations.
A relief map of the Philippines adorns the ceiling of the dining area. The ceiling is a gallery or soaring symbols: "Inang Pilipinas," the eight-rayed sun depicting the revolt of the eight provinces; and the furled flags and dove. The latter is a symbol of the hero's aspiration for Philippine recognition as a member of the League of Nations. And the floor is a mosaic of wooden trapezoids, a waxed-and-polished jigsaw puzzle of flags. Even the pillars on the way to the dining room exhibit these mosaic flags.
Behind the mansion is the tomb of General Emilio Aguinaldo, who died of coronary thrombosis on February 6, 1964.
- "Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine" www.msc.edu.ph The Filipino SpiritMarch 1998 Accessed on 07/10/07