Malolos is known as the place where our first Congress held. There are also many places in Malolos that constitute a lot for our freedom against the Spaniards. One of these places is the Barasoain Church. The Barasoain Church is a historical place and popular tourist destination in Bulacan. Because of its popularity and oldness, many people planned to celebrate wedding, baptism, first communion and other religious activities in this church. Even our former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada chose to take oath for his presidency in Malolos. But why in Malolos? Why not in other place that is more beautiful, prestigious and admirable for a president? What’s in the Malolos that the other places don’t have?
Usually, the newly elected president is taking his oath on a wide place where many Filipinos can see (it is usually in EDSA Shrine) but our former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada took his oath in Malolos where there was less people and not that captivating place. We went to Barasoain to gather some information on why former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada chose to take his oath in this particular place. We discovered that the Malolos Cathedral became the Office of the President and President’s Palace during the First Philippine Republic in January 23, 1899. This fact can be the reason of Erap for choosing Malolos to be the place to take his oath because it is like the Malacañang today where our president lives. Maybe he made that place as a representation of Malacañang of today. Maybe he wants to make a difference to the other presidents before him. Maybe he wanted to show that it is not only Malacañang the place for the presidents but Malolos as well. And maybe he wanted us to appreciate the past where our country and freedom begin.
We don’t know what’s the real reason why Erap has chosen Malolos in taking his oath. There are many possible reasons for this event but only our former President knew the explanation why in Malolos… and what’s in Malolos…on why he chose that place for the proclamation of his presidency.
“Do you know where the name “Barasoain” came from?” This was the question asked by the curator of the Barasoain Museum thatmade us think about. Actually, this made us realize that we’re doing a research about the historical events that happened at Barasoain Church, but we had forgotten to ask ourselves about the simple origin of its name. We then discovered that the name “Barasoain” was rooted from the Filipino word, “baras ng suwail”, which means “dungeon of the defiant” in English. It’s because this was the place where you can find Filipinos who were in opposition to the laws of the conquerors of our country. Another fact about the origin of its name was that it was taken from the name of a well-known church at Navarra, Spain. Some priests and missionaries had gone there and saw a very beautiful church, so they decided to give the same name to the one that they built in Malolos.
The house beside the Barasoain Church was called as the Malolos Convent. This was the place before where Emilio Aguinaldo lived as a president. His cabinet members also lived at the houses near the place. This convent was now converted into a museum where the significant events in Malolos, particularly in Barasoain, were seen. We have also discovered that during the time of Aguinaldo, this convent is where Flipinos vote for the country’s government officials. We have seen in the museum several voting stations and ballot boxes that proved our discovery.
Emilio Aguinaldo and Joseph Estrada were the only presidents of the Philippines who were inaugurated at the Barasoain Church. Aguinaldo was inaugurated here since Malolos was considered as the capital of the country that time. Estrada’s inauguration at the Barasoain Church has many possible reasons. It may be because of the historical marks that Barasoain has left, or because he wanted to follow the footsteps of Aguinaldo. It may also be because his kin left a legacy at that place. This legacy was that his ancestors (the Ejercitos) let their house be used as an office of the cabinet members.
Barasoain Church is really a historical place. Many significant events happened here, and somehow, we need to know all of them. It’s essential for us, Filipinos, to have knowledge about our country’s historical places.
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