Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Cavite: Around historic Cavite

Cavite has always held an important place in our history books, having been a hotbed of the Philippine Revolution. And a really good way to understand this history is by visiting the sites mentioned in our textbooks.

Together with several followers of Ivan About Town, I visited the different historical sites in Cavite. The first on our list was the Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine and the Site of the Declaration of Philippine Independence in Kawit.

This historical site is managed by the National Historical Institute. Entrance is free. But do take note that it's closed on Mondays like most government museums. At the Aguinaldo Shrine, you get to see memorabilia and personal items of the former president, artifacts related to the Philippine Revolution such as several of the first Philippine flags, as well as the palatial residence of President Emilio F. Aguinaldo from which balcony, Philippine independence was declared.

Behind the house is the final resting place of Aguinaldo. From his house, we drove over to the Kawit Church which has a really intricate main altar retablo.

Our next stop was supposed to be Fort San Felipe in Cavite City. Unfortunately, it's inside a Philippine Navy-controlled area. And according to the guard at the gate, you'll need to get approval from the higher-ups to enter. I was quite irritated since that is part of our history and people deserve the right to see it sans the bureaucracy. The Cavite Provincial Government should take Fort San Felipe off its list of tourism attractions if it cannot negotiate access for tourists from the Philippine Navy. Can't they simply ask visitors to present government-issued IDs to enter?

Anyway, we stopped by the Trece Martires Monument near the fort area before proceeding to lunch at Malen's Restaurant in Noveleta.

After lunch, we drove all the way to Maragondon to visit the Bonifiacio Trial House, Maragondon Church and the Bonifacio Execution Site with the newly-erected Bonifacio Shrine done by sculptor Toym Imao which I really liked. More details on this in another post about Maragondon.

We made our way to Naic Church, Tanza Church (where Aguinaldo took his oath as president of the Philippine Revolutionary Government in 1897) and Gen. Trias Church.

We were supposed to visit the Site of the Battle of Alapan in Imus where the Philippine flag first saw action. But even people in Brgy. Alapan didn't know where it was and sadly, we couldn't find it. It's quite disconcerting that this site was part of the Philippine Centennial Trail and years after the celebration, even the local community was oblivious to its existence. Before Imus continues to parade itself as the Flag Capital of the Philippines, it should first educate the local community why it should be called such and install proper brown tourism road directional signs pointing towards the site.

Our last stop for the day was the very popular Digman Halo-Halo in Bacoor. A lot of people were raving about it and it's been featured in a lot of national dailies and magazines. But to me, it was like any other halo-halo. I guess for someone used to the rich and flavorful versions of halo-halo in Pampanga, this did not wow me that much. It's funny that there was some confusion when we got there because there were two stores claiming to the the original Digman Halo-Halo.

More posts on Cavite coming up. I'll also be posting photos soon in the Ivan About Town Facebook page. So do check them out.
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