Last year we had our field trip with different historical site in Malolos, Bulacan. We went to Barasoain Church, Casa Real Shrine and Gregorio del Pilar’s Tomb. I will make a separate post about the whole trip happened. For now, I will emphasize more about the braveness of 21 women of Malolos and my experience inside Casa Real Shrine.
Casa Real Shrine was built in 1580 at Malolos, Bulacan near in Barasoian Church. In its 400 year history, the two-story mansion was also used as the Ayuntamiento, Casa Tribunal del Pueblo and Casa Presidencia Municipal. The changes did not stop there, it also undergoes remodeling and other constructions. After many changes happened, it was demolished in 1965 to give way to the commercialization of Malolos.
Few walls and columns were left and citizens of Malolos thought it was the end their beloved landmark. Many of them rose in protest and the demolition was stopped. 15 years later a replica of the original building was built on the same site and it was declared as a National Shrine.
The shrine is now mainly dedicated to the 21 Women of Malolos, famous figures in the revolution. Rizal wrote a letter to these ladies to honor their courage of setting up a school against objections from the towns’ friars. The letter was printed in La Solidaridad, the propaganda movement’s newspaper published in Spain.
Dr. Nic Tiongson, a historian summarizes the essence of this famous letter of Rizal.
- As a maiden, says Rizal, the woman should be valued by a young man not for her looks or sweet disposition, but for the strength of her character and sense of humor.
- As a wife, the women should not be a slave to her husband, but rather a partner, shouldering half his travails, consoling and encouraging him.
- As a mother, she should raise her children to love their fellow humans and their country and to value honor above all, including death.
- As a human being, she should develop her mind, learn to love herself and make decisions on her own.
- As a Christian the woman should equate holiness, not with external ritual like murmuring prayers and wearing scapulars, but with following one’s conscience no matter what.
- As a citizen, the woman should understand that she is equal to all humans, assume her social responsibility and unite with all who fight for their rights.
Upon entrance to the grand old mansion, you will see the Imperial Press (printing machine) and the wooden staircase leading up to the spacious sala, where pieces of furniture are well worth to gaze and respect.
Also featured in Casa Real Shrine are exquisite Filipino costumes such as terno, kamisa and nightgowns worn by prominent women of Malolos have been preserved as well.
Hope you enjoyed reading about the contribution of 21 women of Malolos as well as looking upon the different features inside the Casa Real Shrine.
The Casa Real Shrine is located along the Paseo del Congreso in Malolos, Bulacan. Open for public viewing from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m. For inquiry contact the curator, Mrs. Corazon T. Sitjar, at telephone number +63 44 7912716.
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