Mabini Shrine

During our recent trip to Sulyap Bed and Breakfast, we decided to pass by the Mabini Shrine in Tanauan, Batangas. I had no idea what we would be seeing there, and to be quite honest, I badly needed a refresher on Apolinario Mabini whom the museum was dedicated to. And so because that trip was to meant to be time to appreciate our Filipino heritage, I was eager to earn more about our national hero, who is known as the “Utak ng Himagsikan” (which translates to “Brain of the Philippine Revolution” of 1896).

We were fortunate to have a guide dedicated to us when we arrived at the museum. She shared that prior to the pandemic, the museum parking lot would usually be filled with bus loads of students coming over for field trips. It’s only these days when the guides are able to give a more personalized tour for visitors. The museum has seven galleries, each showing a stage in Mabini’s life, from his childhood, to the time he became a reformist, to a revolutionalist and lastly his contributions to the country. Of the galleries, there were three that depicted the Philippines’ war against the United states; and the wars in the islands of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The halls of the museum were also filled with paintings and glass murals about Apolinario Mabini.

A replica of Mabini’s house, a nipa hut.

During the tour, we got to know more about Apolinario Mabini’s background. His family was not rich, and at the time, only the rich could go to school. It was Mabini’s intellectual prowess and hard work that allowed him to go to school and finish his studies. It was said that he had a photographic memory, and he read a book once and wrote it by back word per word.

When the First Philippine Republic was established in 1899, Mabini became the first Prime Minister of the Philippines. In 1901 during the American colonization, he was deported to Guam as he did not swear loyalty and was perceived as a threat. Finally in 1903 he was able to set sail back to the Philippines after he swore allegiance to the American colonizers. Sadly, he died of cholera shortly after his return.

Though Mabini died young, his legacy continues. These were some quotes from Mabini that struck me the most, as they still very much hold true especially these days:

Deceitful politics, however clever and astute, can easily be transformed into an instrument of influential people – let us call them dynasty, parties, union, etc. – to exploit the majority for the benefit of a few.”

Apolinario Mabini, “Truth in its Place,” Rosales, Pangasinan, 15 October 1899

Sincere, honest, and loyal politics is, in truth, very hard to find these days because interest and ambition unfortunately prevail and blind the government.”

Apolinario Mabini, “Truth in its Place,” Rosales, Pangasinan, 15 October 1899

By MrsWayfarer

Living Free and Making a Difference


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