by Nicole Lopez
Last September 8, 2012, our History I class together with the other classes of the same subject, went to different cities and towns of Batangas to discover different sites related to Philippine History. First stop was the Malvar Shrine in Sto. Tomas. This was the shrine made for General Miguel Malvar, one of the elite generals during the American period. A monument of him stood in front of the Sto. Tomas municipal hall and a museum about him stood one block away from the monument. The museum is filled with different paintings, busts, documents, newspaper articles, artifacts like guns and coins, books, clothes, etc.
Malvar’s portrait at the museum
Some memorabilia in the museum
Next is the Mabini Shrine in Tanauan. Here lies the remnant of our great hero, Apolinario Mabini. His museum displays some of his paintings, the Katipunan flags and also memorabilia like his glasses, parts of his clothes, his chair, his handkerchief, and even his first coffin. The museum also features his awards as an outstanding Batangueno.
Apolinario Mabini’s tomb
Some memorabilia in Mabini Shrine
The Cathedral of Lipa was the next site we visited. The church featured many small and life-sized images of different saints. According to its history, it was reconstructed after the eruption of Mount Taal in 1754.
Inside and outside of the Lipa Cathedral
Next we visited different places around Taal, Batangas. First is the Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine followed by the Santa Lucia Well, where a miraculous fountain lies. We also visited a factory of “panutsa”, a dessert made of sweetened peanuts.
Our Lady Of Caysasay Altar
Santa Lucia Well
The place that overwhelmed me the most is the Taal Basilica. Outside, it looks enormous and old, yet it is a breath-taking scenery. The view of inside was more breath-taking as I expected it to be. Maybe it’s because I have never experienced to enter such a huge church. Its ceiling is really high and is painted with various patterns. Its altar is white with silver decorations. Its patron saint is Saint Martin of Tours. According to our tour guide, he helped Jesus who disguised himself as a beggar by lending him his cape. The church is also famous for its “pulpito” where the priest stood when he is giving his homily for the people, in such a wide basilica, to hear him.
Next place is Leon Apacible’s house. He was a lawyer and was appointed by General Emilio Aguinaldo as the finance officer of Batangas, and then as a delegate to the Malolos Congress. The house featured some of Spanish-timed materials like tablewares, fans, clothes, hairpins, etc. Some blade makers demonstrated how to make a balisong.
Leon Apacible’s house
Last stop is Marcela Agoncillo’s home. Marcela Agoncillo is the wife of Teodoro Agoncillo and the maker of the Philippine flag. The house brought out how rich the Agoncillo family is. Some of the family member’s things are displayed in the house like their bags, outfits, and religious possessions. Embroidery is also shown inside the house.
Marcela Agoncillo’s House memorabilia
The tour was great. Even though Batangas is my father’s hometown, I never thought that it will also be the birthplace of some of our famous heroes. Being one of the eight provinces who fought back to the Spaniards, Batangas proved that its citizens are brave to claim their independence over the colonizers. I learned many things, whether it is something that goes inside my mind, but also inside my heart.
———— Nicole Lopez is an 18 years old BS Computer Science Major in UP Manila.