When I was in school, I never really had any interests in History. The only thing that makes me so excited about all the subjects we had was, of course, P.E and English. History made me yawn. In fact, I don’t really care whether Rizal died for our country or the fact that Apolinario Mabini was crippled. Yeah you can throw me out of the Philippines now but hey, cut me some slack. I was enjoying my life as a teen back then. All I cared about was cut classes, go to my friend’s house, read books, and go to the mall. Now, at my age of 35, I realized that It’s nice to know history, knowing what happened to our heroes, learning our heritage and understanding politics during the war era. Why? simply because I have two daughters that could possibly ask me lots of questions about them.
Let me share with you a few of the things we saw in Malolos Bulacan that gave us new knowledge and a different view of the history of our country. These houses we went to each tells a story.. There’s also the Political Museum that hold secrets and some information about how they run leadership and politics back then that was not published in books.
So, I’ll start off with the first house we visited. The house of Dr. Luis Santos undoubtedly been built to perfection. It speaks so much about wealth and power.
This statue, which was built in the garden located in front of the house, was the work of Anastascio Caedo,, a renowned sculptor from University of the Philippines’ Oblation.
These old books dated back to the war era.
I was greeted by this and you had no idea how I’m so eager to read all the books displayed on the shelves. Most are books about the study of Medicine but there are a few about politics, old encyclopedias, and history books.
I got interested looking at old photos from a Science book
As we trudged into the house, we first checked the dining area and the kitchen. Saw more bookshelves here.
Rolly Marcelino, our tour guide, tells a bit of history about Dr. Luis, his roots and a few stories of which connects with the other politicians known in Malolos. You see how animated he was telling these stories and he obviously knows it by heart.
I love paintings and anything artsy, like antiques and vintage stuff that it almost became my point of obsession, although I cannot afford even one simple painting being sold in Art Museums or Art shops for that matter. I just love looking at them with awe.
The painting tells about a baryo with people helping each other. I am positive that this is an Amorsolo painting.
This one I need to give some serious thought to. It looks like a maid pouring water into an earthen jar and by observing her eyes, it seems like she’s trying her best to do her task despite the difficulties of life.
After seeing this, my jaw literally dropped and cant help but stare. It was so amazing. Imagine how on earth did they make such painting on a ceiling? This one was made definitely by Fernando Cueto Amorsolo–one of the most important artists in the history of painting in the Philippines.
I took photos of some antique furniture which made me want to go back in Evangelista, Makati and look for antique mementos again.
I felt goosebumps upon entering this bathroom.
Saw this cute kid and she just looks so perfect sitting on top of the stairs. I’m imagining some scene in a Philippine horror movie wherein a group of teenagers goes on a vacation during the summer and turns out this kid was actually one of the ghosts in the house.(me and my wild imagination).
This is how it looks like outside.
Why do I keep imagining scary things whenever I’m inside an old house? Like this one. I was picturing a group doing a seance.
I love the smell of old houses. The damp, wooden smell of old walls, the smell of rattan and the faint odor of crumbling pages from a book made me want to curl on a rocking chair, read and drink coffee, while the cool breeze wafts in from the window. It’s my typical chillin whenever I’m in my grandmother’s house. So relaxing and it made you want to sleep all day.
Now moving on to the next house, which is owned by Alberta Santos, one of the Malolos Women where history tells about fighting for their rights to study the Spanish language. This house also looks very interesting. Some rooms gave me the creeps too, especially the one where all the gowns are being kept. I assume it’s Alberta’s room probably.
I remember my Abuelita
Her closet full of lacy gowns, embroidered dresses, and a few skirts as well.
Look at all these shawls and blankets. So intricately embroidered.
Travel luggage back then from Hotel Mabuhay, which is now known as The Manila Hotel. Very vintage.
We checked this other room where there’s a statue of Jesus Christ lying in bed. I honestly think this is totally weird and creepy.
The women of Malolos
The new edition of The Women of Malolos”. Kiddin.
After the tour of this second house, we were greeted by Mr. Enriquez who gave us a brief history of the Women of Malolos.
A few books being sold there.
The third house we went to is called Bahay na Bato, owned by Epifanio Delos Santos.
An ancient San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen
The rocking chair that keeps on rocking without anyone sitting on it.
We just took a short tour and then afterward went to eat at the famous restaurant called “Bistro Maloleno”
All the food served were surprisingly unique to the palate. I tried the Rebusadong Hipon, Tinolang may kalabasa and my most favorite , the Hamon na Pinaso, glazed with syrup, pineapple and cherry. I cannot fathom how delicious it was!
Another thing popular in Malolos is this one of a kind dessert called “Pinaso”. It consists of ground biscuits (preferably Skyflakes) milk, flour, and granulated sugar. After all the ingredients are mixed, this will be toasted using the “siyanseng bakal” .
I swear, I could eat like 6 of these in one sitting!
We had a few chitchats before going to Barasoain Church and the Political Museum beside the church.
Our “Photographers” playing card games Vanguard.
The scrumptious meal had us feeling so heavy and bloated. It’s just perfect that we had 2 more stops and then finally, a visit to the Mayor’s office.
This church is quite simple yet fascinating. The term “Barasoain” was derived from the term “baras ng suwail,” which means “dungeon of the defiant” because the church was a meeting place for anti-Spanish and anti-colonial illustrados.
Well sculpted carvings. I cannot help but pose in front which looks so perfect as a backdrop.
The political museum is situated near the church as well. We saw a lot of paintings, old writings and letters from the Malolos Politicians and then I saw some of the names that could possibly be our relatives or relatives of someone I know perhaps. I didn’t have the opportunity to snap photos of these paintings, letters, and memorabilia.
How I wish I can have this kind of handwriting
This painting is quite disturbing. It reminds me of the book I had seen in one of my relative’s house in Pampanga about demons, sorcerers and medieval kings and queens from the olden times.
After the museum tour, our final stop is at Mayor Natividad’s ‘house. We were warmly greeted by him and we were served Filipino meryenda.
The main topic of discussion we had is about his petition for making January 23 as a nationwide special working holiday for Filipinos to commemorate the declaration of the First Philippine Republic on January 23,1899 at the Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan..
In the Philippines, it takes relentless commitment to form a populace’ sensibility for nationalism. Relentless is what one could describe Malolos Mayor Christian Natividad.
He has staged the Vamos a Malolos!historical tourism campaign, which he has been aggressive in promoting. It is a year-round campaign, where celebrations such as ParangalsaKongreso and PistangPaskosaMalolos are a part of.
No such efforts to raise historical awareness in similar scope has been known to attract as much passionate participation even from people beyond Malolos, and even beyond Bulacan. It is remarkable how Christian figured early on that when communities with a strong sense of history build on their unique identity and assets to foster community pride. Social interaction will increase as residents market their community to potential businesses. The results can improve economic stability and greatly impact the lives and memories of its people.
I have learned so much from this trip and I would even recommend this as a part of a field trip to the teachers and parents at my kids’ school. Not all the information I’ve learned are included in our history books, even the books that our kids are using. Our history has always been in the middle of black and white. Too distorted, too confusing and a lot of loopholes and hidden facts.