The Sentimental Aguinaldo Mansion


The Philippine flag flying on poles mounted to street light post along major roads is now a common sight. This is to remind the people that in the coming weeks, Filipinos will be celebrating its independence from the 300 plus years of Spanish rule on June 12.


As a kick off for this important occasion, Traveler on Foot recounts his experience during a visit at the Aguinaldo Mansion in Cavite, the place where the monumental event that changed the course of our history as a nation took place some 110 years ago.





The Mansion turned National Shrine


Along the Camino Real, the royal highway connecting the Spanish naval headquarters in Cavite with the Philippine capital at Intramuros, Manila, stands the ancestral home of Emilio Aguinaldo. It was fashioned in 1849 as a usual two storey bahay-na-bato with thatch roofing, and sliding windows of capiz-shell panes. 



This is in this house where Emilio Aguinaldo was born on 22nd of March 1869. It is in this same house 29 years later from the center of the living room window, Philippine Independence was proclaimed at about four o’clock in the afternoon on June 12, 1898. Elderly Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista read out the document before a jubilant crowd, with 29-year-old General Emilio Aguinaldo, revolutionary head of the government at his side.



During the American occupation, Aguinaldo reworked the house continuously. He incorporated symbols of the revolutionary period as architectural ornaments so that the Philippine Revolution would never be forgotten. 


He also added a watchtower and carabao carried “Independence Balcony” that had become well-known features of the mansion. A family wing of bedroom for his children was also added.



The watchtower was said to be the favorite viewing spot of Aguinaldo. From its window, the skyline of Manila can be seen on a clear day. Below the tower a clapboard bedroom called the tower suite was the General’s favorite retreat during his later years. 




On June 12, 1963, Aguinaldo donated the house to the Philippine Government, entrusting that it “to perpetuate the spirit of the Revolution of 1896… to conserve and vivify the nationalism that moved our country to rise in arms.”  In the following year, the mansion was declared as a National Shrine.   




The Revelation of Aguinaldo’s Inventive Mind


The ground floor known in old houses as the zaguan is where the bowling alley and air raid shelter are located. They are now joined by permanent exhibits and relics relating to Aguinaldo’s military and political exploits.


The house is a revelation of its owner’s inventive mind. Around the house are several concealed secret passages, exits and storage areas such as wooden dining table top in the kitchen that conceals a passage way to the air raid shelter built below the ground.



Some pieces of furniture were designed by the Aguinaldo himself. These unique furniture ranges from a simple armchair with leg rest to secret compartments intended for hiding documents or weapons.  


The second floor living quarters is dedicated to the memory of the first Philippine President, Emilio Aguinaldo and his love affair with the country. Seen on the polished wooden parquet floors and hardwood pillars, and ornamented ceiling are recurring patterns of nationalistic symbols.       






The General’s Final Resting Place


General Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy died on February 6, 1964, at the age of 94. He lived long enough to see his country attain the independence with a government based on democratic principles. His tomb lies on the grounds of his historic home facing the river.  




The Aguinado Mansion presents a glimpse into the architectural interest of Aguinaldo, his dedication to the veterans of the revolution, and his commitment as a democratic leader and a Filipino. 


Information source: Felice Prudente-Sta. Maria, Visions of the Possible


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20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow! Cool stuff! I am visiting there tomorrow. I am sure I will appreciate the Aguinaldo Shrine.

    Thanks. My research paid of after reading this.


  2. […] blog Traveler on Foot, written by couple Glen and Anne Marquez, described in detail the features of the two-storey house, […]

  3. malapit lang ako dyan… i’ll visit it again one of these days… =D

  4. Sir, is it possible we exchange website links? I also blog about travel. My website is

  5. hello, would like to know how much is the entrance fee at Aguinaldo shrine? 🙂

    • Entrance is free rowze. Amazing di ba?

      • wow thank sir! 🙂

  6. […] blog Traveler on Foot, written by couple Glen and Anne Marquez, described in detail the features of the two-storey house, […]

  7. […] donatoroque Leave a comment Go to comments There is a very nice blog of the Aguinaldo Mansion in HERE. The Traveler On Foot blog has some photos of the mansion as it stands today. Filipinos know, of […]

  8. i went to visit this place about two sundays ago, and it was surprising how the place seems not to be guarded well. there was only one guard at the main entrance near the gate. inside the house – there was hardly anyone who seemed to guide and advise the students to be orderly, at least.
    there were like ten busloads of students/excursionists who went to troop down the historic mansion that day – and it was just total downright chaos. i was really lookin at the kids and the disregard they have for the place.they were running all over the place, sitting and standing on the old benches. even taking their photos beside the tomb of gen aguinaldo, almost climbing on top of it.
    the rooms, furnitures, and that grave should be cordoned well – if we would want others to appreciate this piece of history in the future.

    • I understand your point alex. I believe there is funding allocated for security and preservation of heritage sites.

  9. Wow, is all I can say. He was truly one great statesman. Mabuhay ang ala-ala ni Aguinldo.

    • Gen. Aguilnaldo left us his home are his legacy Dino.

  10. thanks for this information it helps a lot! 😉

    • There is this book by Ino Manalo about the Aguinaldo Mansion Marivil. I recommend this book for those who want to learn comprehesive information about the mansion and its owners. The book should be available in the musuem’s gift shop at a very minimal price.

  11. I admire such homes like this….. hoping 1 day i can visit his house

  12. awesome, someday maybe build some homes like this

  13. I admire Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo…..i wish i can visit his ancestral home.

    • ex- president..

    • i wih is the mansion visits the all of people someday

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