Aguinaldo Shrine, Kawit Cavite


I have viewed this house in awe many times, especially when I make my customary evening drive during the Christmas season, checking out the Christmas lights competition among the many barangays within the whole province of Cavite. I remember seeing hundreds of Capiz shells glittering in the night, spread on a huge tree within the grounds of the shrine. Beautiful.

The house is like no other old house I have visited. Not for its grandeur, but for its intriguing design. It is obvious that a military tactician lived there. So many escape routes, so many concealed doors. The general can go in and out of his bedroom unnoticed by guests he would not want to entertain, or even hide behind a space inside a faux clothes cabinet. A tower on the seventh level allows his men to see any advancing enemies. A trap door under a dining table leads to a tunnel that goes all the way to the church compound. There is also an escape route to the river and on to the sea. Marvelous.

The guide, Mr. Bolivar, peppered my tour with interesting details, and trivia, allowing me to “live those years”.

Here now are photos taken within this majestic mansion. They say a picture paints a thousand words, so here’s a million for you.

This is a photo of how the house looked before

the mansion's grand staircase

Now. The grand staircase.

old beds and furnitur

The rooms are properly labeled, and the guide, Mr Bolivar, provides color to the stories.

Mr Bolivar says Gen Aguinaldo was most likely the first victim of medical malpractice

a daughter’s bedroom

The balcony where “sins” were committed

the balcony

original furniture

imported lavatory, a rarity in those days

bed and friar’s chair

Manila on the horizon

the stairs leading to the tower

the famous “Independence Day” balconyand when was independence proclaimed?

the living room, from the foyer leading to the library

the huge reception hall

the general’s bedroom

faux cabinet doors

a grand bathroom in those days

his bed

false cabinet door

his safe



a house for many guests

state functions

the Philippine flag on a post

the family dining room, with an escape route from under the table to the church

the oven

back door

Veterans Hall

the hall

a small swimming pool

the “washing machine”

the general’s car

his tomb at the back of the mansion

How to get there:

The Aguinaldo Shrine is in Kawit, Cavite. From Manila, take the CAVITEX from Coastal Road. The Shrine is a few meters before reaching the church in Kawit.

By public transportation, take a jeepney or bus bound for Cavite, Rosario, or Noveleta, making sure it passes thru the town of Kawit (and not via SM Bacoor).

Our guide: Mr. Bolivar

Many thanks to you!