A Patriotic Pilgrimage: National Shrines to Visit During Independence Day

Olivia Barredo

June 9, 2023

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Shrines are sacred places that honor the heroes and martyrs of the Philippine revolution and independence. They are also symbols of the nation's identity and pride. Visiting these shrines can be a meaningful way to celebrate the independence day and learn more about the history and culture of the Philippines. Here are some of the most notable shrines that you can visit on June 12.



The 13 Martyrs Shrine



The city of Trece Martires, Cavite, is named after the 13 Martyrs who gave their life for Philippine independence. The 13 Martyrs Shrine commemorates the 13 Filipino patriots who were executed by the Spanish colonial government on September 12, 1896, for their involvement in the Katipunan movement during the Philippine Revolution. The shrine consists of a monument with 13 pillars and a museum that displays the portraits and biographies of the martyrs. The shrine is located along Governor's Drive, near the city hall of Trece Martires. It is open to the public from Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The sculptor of the monument was Anastacio Caedo, a Filipino artist who also created other notable works, such as the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan and the Rizal Monument in Daet. The shrine is a symbol of courage and sacrifice for the cause of Philippine independence.



Aguinaldo Shrine



Still in the province of Cavite, one of the most iconic historical shrines in the Philippines is the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. This is where General Emilio Aguinaldo declared the independence of the Philippines from Spain on June 12, 1898. The shrine is also the ancestral home of Emilio Aguinaldo and showcases his memorabilia and artifacts from the Philippine Revolution. Visitors can tour the mansion and witness the balcony where the Philippine flag was first unfurled. The shrine is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, and admission is free.



Rizal Monument



One of the most popular and visited shrines in the Philippines is the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park or Luneta. It is dedicated to the memory of the Philippine national hero Dr. José Rizal who wrote a firing squad executed novels that exposed the oppression of the Spanish colonizers and inspired the Filipino Revolution. Dr. Rizal in Luneta on December 30, 1896.

The monument was designed by Richard Kissling, a Swiss sculptor, and inaugurated on December 30, 1913. It houses the remains of Rizal and features a bronze statue of him standing on a granite pedestal. The monument also has an obelisk with three stars symbolizing Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and a marble plaque with Rizal's last poem "Mi Ultimo Adios" (My Last Farewell). The Rizal Monument is a symbol of Filipino patriotism and pride.



Bonifacio Monument



One of the most iconic shrines in the Philippines is the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City. It commemorates the heroism of Andres Bonifacio and his Katipunan revolutionaries, who fought for Philippine independence from Spain. Guillermo Tolentino, a National Artist of the Philippines, designed and sculpted the monument. It features a 45-foot obelisk with sculptures of Bonifacio and other revolutionaries at its base. The obelisk symbolizes the unity and aspirations of the Filipino people. The Bonifacio Monument is a must-see for anyone who wants to learn more about Philippine history and culture.



Pinaglabanan Shrine



One of the historical places that people can visit for Independence Day is the Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan City. This shrine commemorates the first battle of the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Empire, led by Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto on August 30, 1896. The Katipuneros attacked the El Deposito, a water reservoir that supplied water to Intramuros, and the El Polvorin, a gunpowder depot of the Spanish forces. The centerpiece of the shrine is the Spirit of Pinaglabanan, a brass sculpture by Eduardo Castrillo that features three figures holding a bolo, a symbol of Filipino resistance. The shrine also houses two museums: the Museo ng Katipunan and the Museo El Deposito, which showcase artifacts and exhibits related to the revolution.



As Independence Day approaches, the Philippines beckons visitors to embark on a journey of remembrance and reflection by exploring its revered shrines. These hallowed grounds bear witness to the indomitable spirit of the nation's heroes and serve as poignant reminders of the sacrifices made for freedom. From the iconic 13 Martyrs Shrine in Trece Martires City, Cavite, to the monument of Rizal, who sparked nationalism among Filipinos, each site offers a unique glimpse into the country's rich history. As we stand in awe of the bravery and resilience displayed by those who fought for independence, these shrines become not just destinations, but gateways to a profound connection with our shared heritage. On Independence Day, let us pay tribute to the past, honor the heroes, and find inspiration for the future as we walk in the footsteps of those who paved the way for the freedom we cherish today.