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Nearby Sites & Landmarks
The larger-than-life size statue of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and the museum beside it is an interesting Baguio landmark which could be found at the upper end of Gen. Luna Road in a vicinity referred to by local residents as Jungletown. It is just across the street from the Bonuan Restaurant and has a small park around the statue which is a favorite playground for young children who live nearby.
The museum was erected to house personal memorabilia of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo which include the different uniforms and barong tagalogs he once wore, his photographs and those of his family, a work desk, and the wheelchair which he used when he was confined at the Veterans Memorial Hospital. Also on display is a three-dimensional miniature scene depicting his inauguration as president and a replica of the Philippine flag which was originally designed by the general with revolutionary words embroidered on it.
Gen. Aguinaldo, the first elected president of the Provisional Philippine Republic, is best remembered for the proclamation of Philippine independence from Spain on June 12, 1898 in Kawit, Cavite. It was on this day that a huge crowd gathered around Aguinaldo's mansion in Kawit. On the balcony of his home Aguinaldo had the decree of independence read by Ambrosio R. Bautista, an older and respected leader of the revolution.
The decree declared that the Filipinos were tired of bearing the yoke of Spanish rule and that they "have the right to be free and independent." When the band began to play the newly composed national anthem, Aguinaldo slowly raised the Philippine flag handsewn by Filipino women in Hong Kong. This signified the birth of a new and independent Filipino nation.
As a leader, Gen. Aguinaldo fought against Spain and later against the United States for the independence of the Philippines. His term also featured the setting up of the Malolos Republic which had its own Congress, Constitution, and officials of the national and local government which proved that Filipinos have the capacity to govern their country. Aguinaldo was only 29 years old when he was elected president. He died in Quezon City on February 6, 1964 just a month and a half before his 95th birthday. He was buried behind his mansion in Kawit, Cavite which had become the center of independence day celebrations in the Philippines and a historic showplace.
( Click on any of the "thumbnail images" below to view the photograph in a larger size format. )
The setting up of the Aguinaldo statue and museum in Baguio instead of in Kawit, Cavite is attributed to the late daughter of Gen. Aguinaldo, Cristina Suntay, who was once a resident of Baguio. This interesting landmark provides local students and history buffs of Baguio access to information about the first elected president of our provisional republic and a better understanding of the role he played in our country's struggle for independence.
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