"Find the Cat." That was we're larking about when we still have the old 10 Peso bill made from paper. And please don't tell me you never did it or ever heard about it? That moment, we were eager to locate it and see if the animal was really there. Man, I honestly did that. But the truth is, there was no cat in the picture but a part of the church's façade mouldings. It just happened that it looks like a cat.
For the second time, I got the chance to take a peek again on the historical landmark after fifteen years. I was in the 3rd grade when the last time that I saw it with my bare eyes. It was part of the itineraries of our educational trip. We all know that in history record this edifice served significant roles not just in the Province of Bulacan but in the entire country.
The church was our first destination when we have our Malolos' Singkaban Festival. Over the years, the church remain beautiful. Unlike any other old structure that went through rehabilitation, the rustic looks of the façade was preserved though modern times has reached it.
Built on the site in 1884, the church structure as we see it today was close to what it looks in the Spanish colonial period. The church complex composed of 2 structures, the adjoining church convent and the main room with belfry in the left side. On the far right was an access to a university.
The Bell Tower was astounding and consistently brings the memoirs of the past. Looking at it was like having a glimpse of past.
We weren't able to go inside to explore the interiors because there was an on-going wedding ceremony that time. Instead, I just took a peek on what was going inside and made a single click to my camera. The interiors was illuminated by deep yellow incandescent lamps. The interior fabric was dominated by white colours with gold and brown accents. The floor has concrete glazed tiles on black and white chess board arrangement. Concrete tiles was widely used on early times. Currently, this tiles were rarely use in floor finishing might have due to abundance of modern and latest materials.
The church that we usually seen just on a bill has many remarkable contribution to our history. The following listing are just among its backgrounds and significances.
- The church was also known as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish.
- It became the cradle of democracy where First Philippines Republic (Jan. 23, 1899) and First Philippine Congress (Sept. 15,1898) was convened.
- This was also the place where Malolos Constitution was drafted. (Sept. 29, 1898 - Jan. 21, 1899)
- The church was declared as a National Shrine by Presidential Decree No. 260 under the government of late Ferdinand Marcos.
- Emilio Aguinaldo and the Joseph Estrada were the 2 presidents that has been inaugurated in the place.
- The bell tower was built on 1889.
- The word Barasoain comes from the word "baras ng suwail" or in English it means "dungeon of the defiants".
As soon we discovered that the parade will be held in the Capitol vicinity, we quickly left Barasaoin and rode to Caratig heading to the Capitol. After the street dance, we went in the City Hall and toured around the remaining old structures and the Malolos Museums -- at Casa Real.