Journey to Malvar Historical Landmark and Museum in Batangas

September 27, 2012

The sculpture was done by National Artist in Sculpture Napolen Abueva. I first met Mr. Abueva at the UP Film Center where I used to work. He was a close friend of then Center Director and co-founder Virgina R. Moreno. I was shooting my historical documentary on pre-war Corregidor [Tiga-Isla] when I last met Mr. Abueva. He went there to collect a few white stones for a monument in Balangiga, Samar that he was working on at the time. I have footage of him with his rose gun!

Today is Gen. Miguel Malvar’s 147th Birth Anniversary! Going to Malvar Shrine last Monday September 24 upon the invitation of its curator Zarah Escueta to attend the first day of his birth anniversary celebrations, was quite worthwhile.  I took a bus from Buendia Terminal in Pasay to go to Sto. Tomas, Batangas for the first time. To get there one should take buses with sign that reads Lipa or Tanauan, Batangas. The fare costs P90 only. It took some 70 mins before I reached the place, not too distant, right? After Calamba in Laguna, Sto. Tomas would be the first Batangas town to welcome us. Prepare to get off in front of Jollibee in Sto. Tomas town proper, then walk down Malvar St. located right beside the restaurant perpendicular to the highway. It takes less than five minutes to get to the shrine.

Malvar Monument. At the back of the monument is Sto. Tomas, Batangas City Hall. The Historical Shrine is located on the left side of this photo

Before going to Batangas, I couldn’t imagine how the monument actually fares with reference to its actual surroundings as most of the photos that I saw on the internet are close shots of Malvar monument. So, I took an establishing or wide shot of the location for everyone to see how it actually appears as seen from the entrance gate.

Closer shot of the Monument

The Historical Shrine Where the Opening Program of the 147th Birth Anniversary of Gen. Miguel Malvar was Held

Since I arrived early, I took some photos first of the shrine collection. Here’s what you will see in the shrine building.

Noelle, Zarah’s daughter looks at the rayadillo, the uniform of Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo’s revolucionarios [Click to see the photo of Malvar wearing the rayadillo, The General in Uniform]

The Inner Room; the memorial library is on the left side of this photo

This is the right side of the Inner Room

The  program in celebration of the 147th Birth Anniversary of Miguel Malvar kicked off with a lecture by Michael Charleston Chua, also known as Xiao. It was preceded by a short talk by the municipal mayor. Xiao talked on the topic “Leadership of a Hero.”  But while waiting for the local officials, he projected some videos on who can be considered heroes and how knowledgeable or ignorant students are about some of them, including Jose Rizal as shown on TV5 program clips. He also showed some of his own segment “It’s Xiao Time.” Ooops! I came across a blogsite called “It’s Xiao Time.” [Xiao-she-ow]. Ask me anything. [sxiaotime.tumblr.com] Does this belong to Michael himself? I wonder.

Michael Chua prepares the slides for his talk. I recognized some of the photos from “Ilang Talata…” my brother’s book

I first met him when he was still a student of History in UP Diliman. Met him again years later, during the Rizal International Conference last June 2011. Michael was most engaging, lively and quite energetic as a speaker. In between the talk, he impersonated personalities like former presidents Estrada and Gloria Macapagal, adding fun, and giving laughter to the audience. His showmanship helped a lot in keeping the students attentive; his talk most appreciated. I wished there were more students present as it was a fruitful talk. It actually took over 30 mins before he finally talked about Gen. Malvar put in the context of the whole theme about being “a hero”; that in fact, anyone — from the brightest and most influential to the littlest and ordinary citizens — teachers, janitors, clerks, students —- heroes can be found. ANYONE can be a hero in other words. He need not be a Superman to qualify. He ended up with notes by Gen. Malvar to the people:

Group pictures were taken after the program. “Kodakan” ika nga.

Picture-picture with Xiao, Shrine Curator Zarah Escueta and her friends. Photos by Noelle.

Malvar Family Tree from the book “Carry On!”

Souvenir photo with Zarah’s daughter. Photo taken by Zarah’s friend.

Unless otherwise indicated, all photos were taken by me.



  1. a new wonderful beginning……………….revolutionized the museum/shrine experience

  2. Sorry di ako nakasama… But will visit the Malvar shrine/museum soon

  3. Matutuwa si Zarah!

  4. […] Tomas, Batangas… basta walang bagyo, inuulit ko!! Mahirap na mastranded kasi. [Click to see journey-to-malvar-historical-landmark-and-museum-in-batangas] Like this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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