Walking into the historic Museo ni Emilio Aguinaldo (MEA) is a pleasure, even as one gazes at the historical artifacts inside.
Going around the museum is doubly pleasing with two elderly, white-haired volunteer museum caretakers — 72-year-old Lolo Antolin and 75-year-old Lolo Vener — who have been working as guides in the museum for almost four decades and still counting.
Meeting the two senior folks brings amazement to guests, as they exhibit their expertise in telling stories about the mansion such as the life of General Emilio Aguinaldo, the weapons he used, the artifacts, and even the clothes that Aguinaldo worn.
Lolo Vener and Lolo Antolin have an extensive knowledge on such topics, and they are willing to share all the unknown stories countless times.
All these years, the two have been ushering visitors who come to the mansion, showing the secret passages of the house and where the old documents and weapons were stashed.
They also guide guests to the historical residential mansion’s family dining room, bedrooms, and even the 7th floor’s secret watchtower.
They offer visitors an interesting description of the location, its history, and what effect it has had on past and modern society. Lolo Antolin and Lolo Vener also answer visitors’ questions and keep the tour organized and efficient.
Proceeding into the galleries, one would notice the exhibit halls all spruced up and the ground floor room now being fully air-conditioned–unlike before, according to the two elders.
The first gallery showcases “Aguinaldo’s Early Years up to the Katipunan.”
The second gallery shows the “Revolution and the Declaration of Independence.” The third exhibits “The Road to the First Republic.” The fourth gallery depicts the “Filipino-American War.”
Touring visitors within the museum has brought Lolo Vener and Lolo Antolin hundreds of friends from across the country and even foreign visitors, who come and stop by Cavite’s historical museum.The two senior citizens are delighted when museum-goers also take the chance to learn more from their own experiences — something that even adds to the richness of stories behind the place.
MEA, known as the “House of History,” opened on Friday its re-run of the 12 “talking” artifacts with an interactive exhibit dubbed “REPASO: Hablamos in Retrospect” which runs until February 24 at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Patricia N. Villadolid-OJT and Gladys Pino/PNA)