Journey to Malvar Historical Landmark and Museum in BatangasSeptember 27, 2012
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.
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.
Since I arrived early, I took some photos first of the shrine collection. Here’s what you will see in the shrine building.
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.
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.
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos were taken by me.