Vamos A Malolos. In English, it means “Le’ts go to Malolos” and so I did on the 15th of December, a rainy Monday, along with the rest of the invited media representatives. While on the bus, I was given an introduction of Malolos through the brochure that was distributed to everyone, and through a movie about the women of Malolos playing on DVD as we traverse NLEX. In between, our tour guide would inject information reinforcing what I was just reading, and/or watching. Not to say that I dislike history, it’s just that those bits and pieces I learned in school was somehow lost in my memory. But suddenly, I began to appreciate the stories and history unfolding in my mind. My interest in Malolos grew as we approach our destination.
Malolos has a huge part of the Philippine history. During the Spanish colonization, residents participated in the revolution. The women of Malolos were even admonished by Dr. Jose Rizal for fighting for their right to be educated. During those times, women are not allowed to go to school, even just to learn the Spanish language. The Women of Malolos insisted and even prevailed.
After the declaration of the Philippine Independence in June 12, 1898 that established the Revolutionary Government led by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the Malolos Congress convened to establish a constitution which became known as the Malolos Constitution, establishing the First Philippine Republic. Then a province, the city also became the capital of the revolutionary government because it is more economically stable, accessible to transportation via train and has three huge churches aside from several mansions owned by Filipino revolutionists.
Upon arrival at our destination, we quickly walked the district of Kamestizuhan (from the word Mestizo) where the old mansions are found. We visited the house of Don Antonio Bautista which was once visited by our national hero. The mansion became the “Secretario de Fomento” office, responsible for education, sanitation and social welfare. In one of the walls of the house, you’ll see photos framed, surrounding the paragraph taken from the letter of Rizal.
We also entered the house of Dr. Luis Santos, an eye specialist who cured Maria Rizal and Fabian dela Rosa, among others. Built during the art deco period, the mansion has a ceiling painted by the national artist, Fernando Amorsolo. We also saw some mansions that were either taken over by other establishments or left alone to rot.
We met Malolos Mayor Christian Natividad during the media launch at Bahay na Tisa. He passionately talked about the city, its history and Vamos A Malolos, the city’s tourism slogan which aims to establish Malolos as a historic-cultural destination in Luzon. The campaign has a series of activities which started September 2014 and culminates on January 2015.
Vamos A Malolos kicked off with Parangal sa Kongreso ng Malolos which commemorates the founding of the Malolos Congress. Various cultural and tourism activities which focused on history, heritage and tradition are happening in the city from September to November. Guests will enjoy the walking tour of the city and experience Lakbay-Republika historical tour.
The month of December marks the Christmas season and the city celebrates via Pistang Pasko sa Malolos. There were various events that involved different barangays in Malolos for Parada ng Parol, Christmas Decor Contest, Pistang Bayan ng Malols and Viva Malolos! Citihood Anniversary. During our tour, we saw the parade of giant lanterns from different barangays.
The parade passed through the Barasoain Church grounds where we first witnessed a performance depicting the history of Malolos and the First Republic. Needless to say that the people from the city are equally passionate about their history.
Fiesta Republica is the highlight of Vamos A Malolos. It is a celebration of the Philippine history in the City of Malolos aimed at educating the Filipino people about the First Philippine Republic, also known as the Malolos Republic which was established on January 23, 1899. Happening yearly from January 17 to 23, the festival is a week-long activity that features socio-historic-cultural events that culminates in the celebration of Araw ng Republikang Filipino 1899.
Local and national events will be happening on Fiesta Republika. There’s the Cine Republica 2015 (Malolos Short Film Festival), the 2nd Malolos Bike Festival, a performing arts competition under Bayanihang Barangay, a culture and trade exhibition, a national beauty pageant (Bb Republica Filipina), a brass band competition, and many more.
Whether you’re interested in history and culture, or someone who enjoy festivities, Vamos A Malolos is definitely worth a visit. My first visit will definitely not be the last. Let’s go to Malolos, and if you’re a Filipino, you’ll be glad to trace the roots of the Philippine Republic! For more information on what you can do in Malolos, visit http://www.bulacan.gov.ph/malolos/touristspots.php