The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) visited Tarlac State University today (March 30) to inspect possible sites at the Main Campus for the pedestal and marker of the first Philippine president, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, in commemoration of the country's 125th year of independence.
The said visit, led by NHCP commissioner and retired TSU professor Dr. Lino L. Dizon, is meant to seek the university's approval for the possible sites of the pedestal and marker installation.
One of the possible locations selected by NHCP and TSU is the former Casa Real de Tarlac, presently the "Aguinaldo Hall," at the Engineering grounds. This building was used by Aguinaldo as his office or Presidential Palace when Tarlac became the country's revolutionary capital in 1899.
From June 12, 1898 to March 23, 1901, when Aguinaldo escaped from Kawit, Cavite to Palanan, Isabela, Tarlac was one of the significant shelters of the first Philippine Republic. It is considered the last capital of the Aguinaldo Republic.
Another targeted location for the marker is in front of the Administration Building, which will be accessible and more visible to students, employees, and guests, especially during and after the flag raising ceremony.
According to Commissioner Dizon, the NHCP intends to lodge the marker immediately after the ongoing pedestal establishment in Kawit, Cavite and Malolos, Bulacan.
“We will mark all the places na nag-stay si Aguinaldo. Tarlac State University is special dahil ito ang naging capital ni Aguinaldo noong plight niya,” Comm. Dizon said.
NHCP plans to unveil the historical marker on the pedestal in 2024.
Meanwhile, TSU President Dr. Arnold E. Velasco marveled at the thought that one of the university's buildings is an important piece of history.
“It is an honor for TSU na dito pala nag-stay si Aguinaldo,” TSU President Dr. Arnold Velasco stated during the NHCP’s presentation.
The NHCP representatives were led by Comm. Dizon, while their counterpart, the TSU Center for Tarlaqueño Studies, is headed by Prof. Jose Russell S. Arador.