Legarda leads unveiling of exhibit commemorating the 125th anniversary of the Malolos Congress in the Senate

September 18, 2023

Today, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda leads the unveiling of an exhibit commemorating the 125th anniversary of Malolos Congress at the Senate building in Pasay City.

The exhibit titled “Bakit Malolos?” was organized by Legarda’s office in coordination with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). It is held from September 18 to 21, 2023.

“We hope to remind the Filipino people, including our fellow lawmakers, the importance of our past as our history helps us calculate our next steps in preparing for the future,” Legarda said.

“The Malolos Congress helped signal to the world that Asians were capable of self-governing; it was a preview of what then-colonized countries could do if given autonomy and independence,” she added.

Originally an online exhibit during the pandemic, the exhibit features the names of the delegates to the Malolos Congress and the facsimile of the First Constitution.

Ariston Rendon Gella, Antique’s first pharmacist and the great-grandfather of Legarda, was one of its delegates.

The exhibit also features several busts depicting historical figures such as the Republic’s first president, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, and cabinet member Apolinario Mabini.

Furthermore, the exhibit shows scale models of the Barasoain Church and the Malolos Congress.

NHCP Chairman Emmanuel Calairo and Museum Curator Ruel Paguiligan also grace the exhibit.

The four-term senator served as the guest of honor during festivities held in Malolos City last September 15, calling Filipinos to consistently uplift the true essence of nationalism buoyed on upholding a strong and independent Philippines.

“Ang Kongreso ng Malolos ang nagbigay-daan para sa kinabukasang puno ng pag-asa at kasarinlan. Ito ang naging simula ng pagkakabuo ng mahahalagang batas na ating sinusunod sa kasalukuyan. Ito ang naging hudyat upang ating mapagtibay ang ating mga karapatan,” Legarda said during her keynote speech.

“Malayo na ang narating ng ating mahal na Pilipinas magmula nang unang maitatag ang Kongreso ng Malolos at maisakatuparan ang kalayaang inaasam, ngunit nananatili pa rin ang patuloy na pakikipaglaban natin para sa mas makataraungan at progresibong lipunan,” she continued.

The Malolos Congress has played an important role in Philippine history as it ratified the Declaration of Independence and drafted the country’s first Constitution months after the country declared independence from Spain on June 12, 1898, in Kawit, Cavite.

It also paved the way for the Philippines to be the first republican democracy in Asia. (end)