Museo ni Apolinario Mabini, Tanauan, the Philippines

Museo ni Apolinario Mabini, Tanauan is a revitalized edifice of a national narrative for the younger generation.

It is one of the biggest museums under the care of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines which exhibits the life and heroic deeds of Mabini through interactive learning, touchscreen computer terminals, hologram, actual footage of the war, augmented reality, paintings and his personal memorabilia. It was expanded, refurbished, and reopened on the occasion of Mabini’s 150th birth anniversary on 23 July 2014 by His Excellency, President Benigno Aquino III.

The shrine designed by great Arch. Juan F. Nakpil, National Artist for Architecture, is indeed a fitting memorial to a true sage, Apolinario Mabini. The total measure is 1.1 hectare and the floor covers 2, 435 square meters. The Museum boasts of its two-storey building that houses eight big rooms with full-sized windows.

Apolinario Mabini was born on 23 July 1864. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts from the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and completed law at the Universidad de Santo Tomas. His impoverished state forced Mabini to work different jobs to pay for his education. After passing the bar, he was employed in Numeriano Adriano’s law firm as a notary. Mabini was a staunch supporter of the Propaganda Movement. He was named secretary of the Cuerpo de Compromisarios, an organization which continued to provide assistance to the reformists in Spain. In January 1896, he contracted polio causing the paralysis of his legs. Arrested for his connections to reformists in Spain, Mabini was detained at the San Juan de Dios Hospital until 5 July 1897, unable to join the revolution. In April 1898, he wrote a manifesto against the arrival of the Americans and pressed the revolutionaries to preserve Philippine independence. Mabini became Emilio Aguinaldo’s adviser upon the latter’s return from exile; writing most of the former’s decrees to the Filipino people.

With the onset of the war of the Filipinos against the Americans, Mabini was captured by the enemy on 11 December 1899 in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija. After his release on 3 October 1900, he continued to write against the Americans in local newspapers; the publication of his hostile article “El Simil Alejandro” in El Liberal caused his re-arrest and exiled to Guam. Afraid of dying on foreign soil, he reluctantly took the oath of allegiance to the United States and was sent back to the Philippines on 26 February 1903. In his return, he resided in his Nagtahan home. Mabini died of cholera on 13 May 1903 at the age of 38.

Museo ni Apolinario Mabini, Tanauan, showcases the life and heroic deeds of Gat Apolinario Mabini and the Philippine American War. The museum has seven galleries: Student Life of Apolinario Mabini (Gallery I); Mabini, the Reformist (Gallery II); Mabini, The Revolutionary (Gallery III); The War Against the United States (Gallery IV); War in Luzon (Gallery V); War in Visayas and Mindanao (Gallery VI); and Mabini’s Legacy (Gallery VII) as well as one Audio Visual Room, and one Stereoscopy Room.

Permanent Collections: Among the permanent collections presented at Museo ni Apolinario Mabini, Tanauan, are the following:

  • Personal memorabilia of Apolinario Mabini
  • Furnitures used by the Mabini Family
  • Commemorative items
  • Paper bills and coins where Mabini was featured
  • Canvas paintings
  • Busts of Apolinario Mabini
  • Original weapons used in the war
  • Winning paintings during the Painting Contest held on the Centennial Birth Anniversary of Gat Apolinario Mabini
  • Archival documents
  • Personal books owned by Mabini

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