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Travel & Food

How to Be a “Tourist” in Your Own City for Philippine Independence Day

Be a tourist for the day and discover the hidden historical sites in your city. Many key events in the battle for Philippine independence took place in locations you pass by every day. Use these online search tools to find landmarks and plan a quick, meaningful road trip to commemorate those who contributed to the destiny of our nation.

1. Start Your Trip Research with This Digital Map

Unlike Google Maps, Heritage Sites Map helps you discover nearby historical landmarks. Click on the map marker to learn about the sites and see them up close. You can also browse heritage sites according to designation details, such as national monuments, cultural treasures, or national shrines.

2. Give Old Churches, Houses, and Buildings a Second Look

Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine and Museum in Kawit, Cavite.

Every year on June 12, a flag-raising ceremony is held at the birthplace of Emilio Aguinaldo and Philippine Independence.

Before it became a monument to Philippine independence, the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine and Museum in Kawit, Cavite, was Aguinaldo's ancestral house and birthplace. In Barasoain Church, the Malolos Congress convened, and Aguinaldo took his oath of office as the first president of the First Philippine Republic.


Old churches, houses, and buildings in your neighborhood may hold similar historical significance. Check the Historical Markers Map for the locations of the plaques installed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. The map has an app version called Panandâ, but it’s only available on Google Play.

3. Look Up Your Local Government's Website

Your city's official website is an excellent place to discover places for a history and culture trip. The city of San Juan can even help facilitate a tour, but you have to submit a letter of request. (A quick safety reminder: government sites have "" in their URL address.)


Most municipalities and cities run social media accounts, but not all are tourist-centric. Instead, look for tourism offices, like those of Pasig City and Kawit, Cavite, that maintain active social media accounts and share history tidbits. Then opt for Globe’s Go+99 and get 8 GB of data for all sites plus 8 GB of data for your fave social media apps with GoSHARE.

4. Take Walking Tours of Your City

Rizal Shrine at Fort Santiago in Intramuros.

Check your favorite travel booking platform for local experiences you shouldn't miss.

Walking tours are opportunities to learn stories about places you might pass by every day. They’re also a great way to support passionate local guides who offer historical tidbits you can't find anywhere.


You can register for Manila-based walking tours at Old Manila Walks (Intramuros, Binondo, Malacañang Palace, and its San Miguel neighborhood) and Renacimiento Manila (Quiapo, Ermita, Malate, and Pasig River, to name a few).


Stuck at home? De La Salle University professor and historian Xiao Chua has a virtual walking tour of Luneta worth watching with family and friends.

5. Follow a History Buff

One of the best ways to honor the country’s Independence Day is to engage with people who are knowledgeable about the topic. No one is more esteemed than Ateneo De Manila University professor, author, and historian Ambeth Ocampo, the ultimate expert on Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal.


On his Facebook page, Ocampo discusses historical facts and landmarks with humor and cheekiness, making learning more enjoyable. The page is also a treasure trove of travel ideas. Discover museums, libraries, and heritage sites for your next cultural trip.

6. Support Your Local Museum

Museo ni Apolinario Mabini in Tanauan, Batangas.

The shrine at the Museo ni Apolinario Mabini in Tanauan, Batangas was designed by Arch. Juan F. Nakpil, National Artist for Architecture.

Image credit: Museo ni Apolinario Mabini via Facebook

Manila, Cavite, and Bulacan played significant roles in the fight for Philippine Independence, but many towns also served as battlegrounds. Your local museum can provide information about your city's involvement and the heroes that history books may have missed.


Your local museum is likely a non-profit organization that relies on visitor support. Check it out during the days leading up to June 12, when it will likely host lectures or learning sessions.

7. Explore Your City’s Delicacies

Rediscover the rich culinary heritage of your city. Venture beyond your usual haunts and explore local markets, food stalls, and hole-in-the-wall eateries. Sample regional specialties, traditional dishes, and unique treats that tell a story of your city’s history and culture.


From Luzon’s savory sisig to Visayas’ lechon and Mindanao’s unique kinilaw, every region boasts a distinct flavor profile. Take the time to appreciate the ingredients, the cooking techniques, and the stories behind each dish, and truly savor their flavors.

8. Document and Share Your Experiences

Young Asian man taking a photo of a building against the setting sun.

Create an online scrapbook with photos from your day playing tourist in the city.

Capture your favorite moments and historic places through photos, journaling, or by creating an online scrapbook. Sharing your experiences with friends, family, and neighbors can inspire others to explore their hometowns and foster a greater sense of Filipino pride. 


Stay connected with a postpaid plan as you tour your city. If you prefer to avoid monthly bills, check out prepaid promos, where you can reload for unlimited Internet based on your budget. You can also avail of Go+ GoRIDE to make commuting hassle-free. 

Your daily routine can make it easy to miss the rich history of the places you pass by. So, this Philippine Independence Day, step into the tourist mindset and seize the opportunity to celebrate the places right outside your doorstep.

Vibe check! How does this make you feel?