A House of History
June 12, 1898, General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine independence from the window of his house in Kawit, Cavite. Years later, between 1919 and 1921, he built a balcony (along with other renovations) to perpetuate and honor history.
Standing on the balcony, you h almost recreate that precious moment when the Philippine flag was unfurled, the proclamation of independence was read, and Julian Felipe’s Marcha National Filipina was played.
That recollection inspired by the balcony’s symbolic decor- the three “Ks,” the letters of the Katipunan; a painted relief of the Philippine flag with a blue field parted to reveal a carabao, a recurring motif, the epaulets on the General’s uniform; and triangles with three stars and crossed swords, the symbols of the Asociacion de los Veteranos de la Revolution.
The house was first built in 1845 from wood and thatch materials. It was reconstructed in 1849, and then again in the early 1920s. The house where Aguinaldo was born and bred is a personal and national monument to Philippine history. It has three sections’ the main house, the tower and the family wing.
The ground floor of the main house introduces the visitor to Cavite as the cradle of the Revolution. Its most interesting feature is a hologram portraying Aguinaldo on the eve of June 12, 1898. The second floor contains the sala whose most historic spot is the so-called “Independence Balcony” which faces the street. Patriotic symbols adorn the sala. The most notable of these is the ceiling which is divided into three sections, each one presenting a historical tableau carved out of wood.
A Personal and National Monument
The family wing consists of three bedrooms for Aguinaldo’s three daughters. Its terrace is said to have been christened by the General as the Galeria de los Pecadores (Hall of the Sinners) on account of the “subversive plots” hatched there.
The tower has six levels. It contains a music room, a library and a bedroom, which the General used in his later years.
In the sprawling garden is Aguinaldo’s tomb. The General died on February 6, 1964 at the age of 94.