A non-traditional and dynamic mode of learning the life and times of General Emilio Aguinaldo, where one can sit down and watch and “interact” with characters from the past, still runs at the Museo ni Emilio Aguinaldo (MEA) every other Saturday until December 2019.
Private and non-profit organization Fundacion Santiago (FS) partnered with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and Cavite El Viejo Heritage Tourism Association (CVHTA) to usher in its “blast from the past” tour experience, using first-person interpretation of the life and works of the President of the First Philippine Republic with its “Sa Aming Tahanan: A First Person Interpretation Program.”
Staged through the perspective of different people – both historical or fictional composite characters – the project was first coined to highlight Aguinaldo’s sesquicentennial birth celebration on March 22, said FS consultant Kara Garilao.
As the primary funder, concept developer, and implementor of the program, “one of the tour’s objectives is to humanize our heroes, aside from providing a new concept of learning (compared with merely reading through history books), and level up any museum experience by allowing viewers to experience history first-hand, and be ‘transported’ back during the time of “Miong” (as the general was fondly called during his time),” Garilao said.
This is the “first of its kind in all NHCP run museums” and the tour is divided into three parts: the first when Miong was aged 17 (circa 1886), and in years 1920 and 1939, respectively.
Guests will meet the general’s mother Doña Trinidad Aguinaldo played by Lean Aldea, who provides insights into Aguinaldo’s bio, tracing his birthplace in Kawit, Cavite on March 22, 1869.
The story then brings the audience to 1920 or 24 years after he proclaimed the country’s independence at his Kawit mansion’s balcony, where revolutionary veteran Roberto Magsilang (played by Raymond Llave) or Valerio Busise (played by Raimund Villorente) recounts the ‘pakikibaka’ (revolutionary struggles) up to the time Magsilang retired to a simple life as a family man and farmer.
“To present that life continued after the revolution,” Garilao said.
The last stop is in 1939, when Aguinaldo was already in his senior years, where guests will meet Solidad Galang (played by Marita Dizon) or Caridad Biscocho (played by Lhen Rivera), the witty house maid with a strong Batangas-accent revealing the hometown of Aguinaldo’s second wife, Doña Maria Agoncillo.
“The plus factor of this tour is that it allows the audience to ask questions, from trivia items to unclear parts of history, which is the fun part,” Garilao added.
Interested tour participants are advised to book ahead due to the limited 20 slots per tour schedule from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. every other Saturday, until December this year.
MEA is located at Kaingen in Kawit and is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. (Gladys Pino)
News source: Philippine News Agency