Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Visiting the Aguinaldo Shrine

I have been to Kawit for a number of times since a family friend lives in Bgy. Sta. Isabel, but while we have to pass the Aguinaldo Shrine before getting to Bgy. Sta. Isabel, I have actually never set foot at the said shrine. Not until I got a post-Christmas trip invite there.
Originally a shorter place, the Shrine, the home of Former President Emilio Aguinaldo, was extended to give room to his growing family.

We were escorted inside by Sir Bennett, one of the tour guides there. What we liked about him was that he knew everything about Aguinaldo and the revolution. He also has a knack for geography and can name the places you can see from the fifth floor, or the Manila-Makati Tower.
The view below the Manila-Makati Tower.
He also led us to some interesting features of the house, like Aguinaldo's medicine cabinet with all the bottles preserved...
...the Philippine map placed at the ceiling...
...and one of the first press rooms ever built for the Philippine media. For a sportswriter who had a lot of experiences inside the press rooms of three indoor sports arenas and the press room of the Palarong Pambansa, I was appalled by what an old school press room looks like.
This was what a press room looked like before aircons were even invented.
Also, Sir Bennett revealed to us that the Aguinaldos put up a mini-sports center underneath their home. It included a swimming pool and, guess what, a bowling alley. He told us that there are plans of renovating the bowling alley.
Believe it or not, this was once Kawit's first-ever bowling alley.
We wonder why Sir Bennett is very knowledgeable of everything Aguinaldo. A descendant of the former chief executive, incumbent Kawit Vice Mayor Paul Abaya, gave us an answer later in the night. He told us that Sir Bennett's family has been close with the Aguinaldos. He even witnessed the burial of the former president at the backyard of his residence in 1964.

Abaya then invited us to the year-end concert featuring the band of one of my churchmates, Mayonnaise.

The special night, which curiously took place on Rizal Day, ended by a fireworks display that lighted up Kawit.

Unfortunately, my friend did not respond to my tweet, so I presumed that he and his family went to Pangasinan, which has been their usual post-Christmas activity. Anyway, I still had fun in my return to Kawit.

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