In line with the role of Foreign Service Officers (FSO) as representatives of the Philippines and the Filipino people, the cadets visited cultural and historical landmarks in Cavite and Batangas to enhance their awareness and understanding of Philippine history, and to heighten their sense of national pride.
In Cavite, the FSO cadets visited the shrines of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, and Gen. Baldomero Aguinaldo. It was in the Aguinaldo ancestral home where Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine Independence from Spain on 12 June 1898, while the home of Gen. Baldomero Aguinaldo served as the seat of the Magdalo Council of the Katipunan. Both shrines provided a glimpse into the lives of the leaders of the Revolucion Filipina and a better appreciation of the sacrifices made by Katipuneros in fighting for Philippine independence.
The cadets also had a tour of the Geronimo Berenguer De Los Reyes, Jr. (GBR) Museum, which has many visual representations of monumental events in Philippine history; the Museo Orlina, which showcases the works of renowned glass sculptor Ramon Orlina; and the Puzzle Mansion, Guinness Book of World Record holder for the largest collection of puzzles by a single person namely, Ms. Gina Gil-Lacuna. All three places gave the cadets a unique way of experiencing Filipino culture through various art forms.
In Batangas, the FSO cadets visited the ancestral homes of Marcela Agoncillo, maker of the first official Philippine flag, and Don Leon Apacible, one of the oldest houses in Taal’s heritage town. Finally, the cadets also toured Casa Villavicencio and Casa De Segunda Katigbak, both houses serving as grand examples of the “bahay na bato” of prominent families during the Spanish colonial era. All sites gave the cadets the opportunity to appreciate old ways of Filipino living. The experience served as a reference for gauging the progress of our society in terms of architecture and even social equality.