Aguinaldo garden Aguinaldo house 1 Aguinaldo house 2 Aguinaldo house 3It was important for me to see the ancenstral home of the first president of the Philippines. It was here that the nation’s independence was declared.

The trip from Manila to Kawit, Cavite was quite long, but worth it. I wanted very much to see the ancestral home of Emilio Aguinaldo, our first president. I am definitely not a fan of Aguinaldo. But after all, his home was where our country’s independence from Spain was declared on June 12, 1898.

His home has become a museum, and was declared a National Shrine since 1964, the same year that Emilio Aguinaldo died.

The house was built in 1845. Twenty-five years later, Emilio Aguinaldo was born.

The house is 1600 square meters big. It has secret passages, several rooms where political meetings were once held. It has a green garden, where, behind the house, lies Aguinaldo’s marble tomb.

Fotos: Jeanina Santiago, 2005