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14 December 2013

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Upclose and personal to Doña Aurora Aragón-Quezón through visiting her house.

Maybe you guys are aware already that BALER, a distant littoral municipality in Tayabas which currently called Province of Aurora, was home to both Manuel and Aurora Quezon. If you are more into history, this article is perfect for you.  I will be writing more about Doña Aurora Aragón-Quezón and remembering her by doing an ocular visit to her house. I personally visit her house as part of Baler Tour.

How to get there? 

From Manila, Baler is roughly 5-6 hours. Your best option is to take public transportation as portions of the trip include zigzagging through mountainous terrain and rough road. Or, take an all-terrain vehicle.  Once you’ll get at the Town Proper, the house is easy to locate because The House is just in front of Baler church.

What about the House?

The original owner of Doña Aurora’s house was Zenaida Molina, who married Pedro Aragon. No records exist for the birth date of Maria, their oldest daughter, but documents exist showing that their second daughter, Emilia, was born in the house in April 1877, verifying the existence of the house at least to that date.

In the same page, Aurora, their youngest daughter, was born in the same house on Feb. 19, 1888.The Aragon family stay with their four children.

Nowadays, the house was already renovated for public viewing. The whole thing is not anymore the original made when Senator Angara decided to subsidies towards the renovation of the said house.

Who is Doña Aurora Aragón-Quezón?

Aurora Quezon was the wife of the former Philippine President Manuel Luis Quezon, first President of the Republic of the Philippines. She had a very simple life and enthusiastic to charities. She became the first lady of the republic of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944(during the presidency of Manuel Quezon). She was also famous and well-loved figure among Filipinos simply because of her involvement in many philanthropic activities.

Moreover, Aurora Quezon was born to Pedro Aragon and Zeneida Molina on February 19, 1888 in Baler, a distant seaside town in Tayabas which is now Aurora Province. When the President died, she turned down the pension awarded to her by the government, so that the money is used for war widows and orphans. Even the Communist-led Hukbalahaps, who spread terror through the mountains of Central Luzon, could find no word to say against Aurora. And on the morning of April 28, 1949, she together with her daughter baby was assassinated when she left her home to open a new hospital. It was such a tragic death when salvo emerged on the road targeting her vehicle. Mrs. Quezon, her daughter and Bernardo, Mayor of Quezon were murdered straightaway. And after the assassination the province was named after her memory.

Review
The house is still standing on an average sized corner lot. A noticeable wooden house wrapped with nipa roofs. The house looks like an old traditional Filipino style homes. At the back it has an open area connecting to a small garden.

Before you will go upstairs you will notice the open “silong”, it was cemented to provide a large meeting area for the Baler community today; the garden re-landscaped to accommodate an overflow of people should functions be held there.

What I also like about the house are the windows. The house contains a window frames which you can open outwards held in place by a wooden sticks which is the usual Filipino style window. Old photographs and other memorabilia which associated with the life of Mrs Quezon and the family members .There’s also a mini library and a reading center , a small living room and a small kitchen.

Undeniably, a visit to Aurora Quezon’s house is a noteworthy to appreciate the life in Quezon and its community and Balers Cultural lifestyle wherein they still conserved it.

This Post is Part of My Baler, Aurora Adventure.

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