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Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite

Located along Tirona Highway in Kawit, Cavite, is the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, known as the site for the Declaration of Philippine Independence. It was built in 1845, making it a 170-year-old mansion at the time of this blog’s publishing. Aside from it’s rich background, this mansion holds secret passages and escape routes, hidden compartments in cabinets and shelves, which add proof of its role in revolutionary history.

Located at the ground floor is a museum with and a miniature bowling alley which was the first in the Philippines.

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Old canyon at the museum ground floor.

On the second floor are the bedrooms, the grand hall, the dining room and kitchen. Most of the furniture are varnished in Philippine hardwood that are the hard-to-find and expensive kind these days.

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Bedroom on the second floor

This bedroom has a secret passage leading to one of the halls. One of the cabinets has a peephole where one can monitor the comings and goings of people while in hiding.

This bedroom has a secret passage leading to one of the halls. One of the cabinets has a peephole where a person in hiding can monitor the comings and goings of people.

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General Aguinaldo’s receiving room which also served as his office.

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A map of the Philippines on the ceiling

Gen. Aguinaldo called the patio as the “Balcony of Sinners” where the Revolutionaries planned their strategies.

Gen. Aguinaldo called the azotea as the "Balcony of Sinners" where the Revolutionaries planned their strategies.

This patio also served as the family’s lounge on lazy afternoons.

The dining table with a secret — it’s size and heavy weight act as a camouflage while it serves as an entrance to a tunnel leading to a church.

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Side trip:

After touring the shrine, we decided to have refreshments on the way back via Bacoor route…

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Refreshing halo-halo

Refreshing halo-halo

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There is no entrance fee but donations are highly appreciated. I was quite impressed with the place; the house and grounds were well-maintained.

When to visit: Open Tuesday to Sunday, 8am-4pm, March to June are the perfect months with not much visitors from school field trips.

Map: