Monday, June 20, 2011

Kalayaan 2011 | A Visit to Kawit

A great way to celebrate the Philippine Independence is to pay a visit at Kawit, a first class urban municipality in the province of Cavite. Previously known as Cavite del Viejo, this was the site of the first proclamation of Independence.

Last June 12, as we celebrate our 113th Independence Day, I did a trip to this old Cavite town.

My journey to Kawit

As I always say, there's nothing greater than a free ride. Manila's LRT and MRT offer free ride every Independence day, so from my place in Sta. Mesa, I reached Baclaran with 0 expense. On regular days, LRT2 from Pureza to Recto then LRT1 from D.Jose to Baclaran would cost P12 and P15. I saved P27, yey.

From Baclaran, I took a bus (Saint Anthony) bound to Cavite City. I told the bus conductor to drop me at Aguinaldo Shrine, unfortunately the road in Kawit was closed to public because of PNoy's visit. He said that he'll drop me somewhere near where I could just ride a trike to the shrine. I paid P25 for the bus ticket and another P9 for the trike.

I reached Aguinaldo Shrine by 9:00 am.

The Town of Kawit

The shrine, however, was closed to public when I came. The Aguinaldos were having a private event inside. I asked the guards when will it open to public again, but he knows nothing. He said it will be closed until the Aguinaldos have gone. I know I can do nothing but wait. So just to kill the time, I decided to tour the town of Kawit.

What I thought first was food, I was very hungry for not eating breakfast. Then I remembered my friends telling me that there's a famous "tapsihan" in town, the "Hidden Tapsihan".

In search for this "hidden" tapsihan, I passed by their old church. I have a thing for old churches so I quickly grabbed my cam and captured almost every angle.

the Church of Kawit
inside the church
the altar
It is written on its marker that the first president of the Republic of the Philippines, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, was baptized there. 

I continued my search for the "Hidden Tapsihan", asked the people for directions. They told me to walk straight the Mascardo street until I reach a red signboard, so I did. Literally hidden, you will have to enter first an "eskinita" before you reach it. I ordered tapsilog (P65.00), the taste is good enough for a hungry traveler.

Hidden Tapsihan's signboard on Mascardo Street
After the meal (11:20 am), I walked back to Aguinaldo Shrine finding out that it was still not open.

Across the shrine is the Aguinaldo Park. A bronze monument of General Emilio Aguinaldo riding a horse stands in the middle, around him are walls with engraved copies of the Declaration, signatures of people involved and some other letters. I waited for an hour and a half under a tent. They finally opened the shrine 15 minutes before 1 pm. 

Gen Aguinaldo's monument at the park

The Aguinaldo Shrine

There's no entrance fee, everyone is welcome to travel back in history.

the markers at the entrance to the shrine
The shrine is the ancestral house of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, also the site of the first Philippine proclamation of Independence. Before I entered the house, I first visited the president's tomb at the backyard. Also outside the house is the president's car placed in a glass garage.

Gen. Aguinaldo's Tomb
the historic balcony, where Gen. Aguinaldo unfurled the Philippine Flag

Displayed on the ground floor are a lot of pictures, dioramas, and memorabilia. His house is also famous for its secret tunnels and passages. It is said that there is one leading to the altar of the Church of Kawit.

a tunnel located at the ground floor
Gen Aguinaldo's bust
I went up to the second floor where the cool and large furnished rooms are located. His portraits are also displayed along the hall.

his portrait
Gen. Aguinaldo's bedroom, it i said that this room has a lot of secret passages leading to different parts of the house and different parts of Kawit
some details of the ceiling
On my way to the exit, I saw their pool, an indoor one. I finished my tour after 40 minutes.



  1. Parang nag time travel back in history ako nito ha.:-). Nice shots.:-).

  2. You have a very keen eye for details! I should visit this place one of these days!

    btw, I am adding yours to my bloglist!


  3. I like your take on this tourist trap! Now I have a reference blog for my grandchildren's schoolwork. ha ha ha. But nice blog, Ivan. And good photography too. I will try that Hidden Tapsihan next time.

  4. Haven't been here yet. The house must look creepy in the evening. It's probably the best time to visit that place too. Haha.

  5. sayang na hindi ko pinasok yung bahay ni aguinaldo kasi i lived in gen trias cavite for a while and dinadaanan ng jeep yan.maybe sa wed after the independence day celebration mapuntahan na nga yan...hahaha.your photos are so inviting kasi.


  6. Ivan, do you know what public transport na sasakyan papunta Kawit from Manila or LRT/Buendia area? Thanks~!

  7. hello, paula, kung binasa mo ang blog entry, malalaman mo kung papaano



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