Whenever we think of Christmas vacations, on top of our head or Baguio or Tagaytay. Or if you are feeling extra, you’d probably find yourself abroad in Hongkong or Japan. Well, those are the common go-to destinations every Christmas break. But I am not one to go to the usual places. I like trying out new things. I like exploring the unusual, the unbeaten path. So, why don’t you check out Kawit jn Cavite this season and experience #PaskongKawiteno like I did!
History for the Holidays
I know you’re probably thinking, “Kawit? What is there to do or to see in Cavite?” You know what, you are right. Even I thought of the same thing when I was invited by the Kawit Public Information Office to experience #PaskongKawiteno! Apparently, there is more to this town! Aside from Aguinaldo Shrine, I found out that Kawit has so much more to offer making it a perfect spot for historical tourism! Let me share with you the places that made our #TaraSaKawit tour a memorable one!
Baldomero Aguinaldo Shrine
Yes, he is an Aguinaldo. And no, it is not THE Aguinaldo Shrine! Who is Baldomero Aguinaldo? Well, he is Emilio Aguinalo’s cousin who also has an important role in the history of Kawit! His house is the first historical stop in our tour and it was lovely. The shrine can easily be missed because it is alongside ordinary houses. But the moment you enter the venue, staffs of the place will accommodate you.
In the lobby, there is a space for orientation where guests can watch a short clip introducing Baldomero Aguinaldo. Soon after, guests will be free to roam around the house. I explored the house with my friends at the time and it was as if I travelled back in time. Collection of antique pieces adorned the house. While it may not be as large as the historical houses in Las Casas Filipinas de Azucar, it still boasted that historical feel to it.
Inside the Aguinaldo Shrine
If you read Philippine history, there are opposing views on Emilio Aguinaldo’s heroism. On one end is he is a hero while the other is saying he doesn’t deserve the title. I would like to reserve my stand on it for now but the Aguinaldo Shrine where the iconic waving of the Philippine flag first happened was majestic.
I used to just read the house in history books until that afternoon of our #PaskongKawiteno tour. It was way bigger than the Rizal Shrine which I frequented to as a Laguna kid. It was old yet every bit of it was preserved to give visitors a shot at reliving its history. The basement displayed artefacts from the era while the second floor wowed me with the extravagant pieces of furniture owned by the Aguinaldo family. Spacious rooms filled the second floor, making it a perfect place for a presidential residence. Now I know why the Aguinaldo Shrine is a musy when visiting Kawit.
Be a Panday!
Our #TaraSaKawit tour wasn’t all just about sightseeing, we also had the chance to experience it first-hand. That’s what we had when we entered Pandayan street, where bolo, itak, and knives were wielded the old fashion way! The FOMO kid that I am did not miss the opportunity to wield a sword.
It was hot and exhausting but overall an interesting experience!
The Taste of Kawit
Let’s be real, Bingers. Is a tour even a tour without getting to try the best food a place has to offer? Of course not! And our tour guide did not let us miss the best Kawit has to offer. Our host for lunch and dinner is a new events place in town- Priscilla Crystal Palace! The events place is pretty with its glass roof! We arrived there at around noon so it was a bit hot but according to the staff we talked to at the time, they intend to operate past afternoon at around 4PM til evening when the sun is down. The white interiors matched by the fairy lights created a romantic setup in the venue.
The entire day, we were served a buffet of Filipino food- lechon, chopsuey, fish fillet, beef, kaldereta. My meat-loving heart is so happy that I forgot to get pasta or rice! Now that Priscilla Crystal Palace got our lunch and dinner covered, it was just right that we tried a different place for our snack. So, after our tour at the Aguinaldo Shrine, we were brought to a streetside store selling Puto Bumbong. Yes, this Christmas staple received a twist here in Kawit because aside from coconut meat, muscovado were serve alongside it! I am more of a Bibingka guy, but this Puto Bumbong was tasty!
Alright, to cap the day off, we returned to plaza in front of Aguinaldo Shrine where the lighting of the park’s Christmas decorations happened. It was attended by Kawiteno and Christmas spirit undoubtedly filled the air! Light shows were among the top attractions! There you have it, Bingers. Try someplace new this Christmas. Head on over to Kawit to experience Christmas with a twist of history.