Whenever I visit a town or a city, the first thing that I always want to know is if there's a museum. I tend to visit museums first before fully exploring a town because it serves as a great teaser about the history of the town. It will educate you and will fill your heart with passion, gives you the desire to discover more and makes you a responsible traveler by learning the importance or value of our heritage, whether it is natural, cultural, etc.
I was reading his entry in the Wikipedia and it turned out to be a moving write-up. I am referring to Gen. Artemio Ricarte, considered by the AFP as the Father of Philippine Army who was born in the city of Batac in the province of Ilocos Norte.
Exploring the city of Batac in one day, I was able to find two museums in the city, the Marcos Museum and Ricarte Museum.
The moment I stepped onto the streets of the city, I wasn't aware that a shrine called Gen. Ricarte National Shrine exists. They say this is the birthouse of Artemio Ricarte. I won't be adding his biography here anymore because I believe you want to search it in Wikipedia. If you are curious who is this man and on how he fought the Philippines for it's freedom, better check it out to at least understand better this blog post, here is the link -- Artemio Ricarte Biography.
Ricarte National Shrine is located within the commercial districts of Batac City. It is composed of two elegant looking houses identical in appearance. It has a museum, library and a park where a statue of the latter stands.
Through a house bill with the help of Ferdinand Marcos, Fidel V. Ramos and the incumbent Mayor and Congressman of Ilocos Norte 2nd District that time, a law was passed creating this area as the General Ricarte National Shrine.
I went to Batac randomly. I have no itinerary that time. As I walk along Washington Street, I saw an arch with the label "Ricarte National Shrine." Of course, I don't ignore things like this, instead, I become curious.
Of course I asked him with due respect and all that. The guard started to tell the story and he was mainly telling about the life of Gen. Artemio Ricarte. He was warm. This time, I was the lone visitor. I don't know if tourists ever include this in their itinerary. The museum was empty but never lonely.
I asked the guard if I can go upstairs. He didn't hesitate to say "Yes!" Since I am new in this place and it was my first time to learn about a man named Artemio Ricarte, I requested the guard if he can give me a brochure or any material that will educate me what this shrine is all about.
|Hallway to the Museum|
So what the heck I asked for it if in the long run, I won't be caring to read it?
Uhhh, I know I am just lazy to read it but I believe that somewhere in the future, I will read that book! The big problem now is I don't know where I have placed it. Call it misplaced but I know it is somewehre out there. The museum is at the second floor and you'll need to pass by the clean and well-lighted hallway.
It has shiny red floor in tiles and at the walls are framed old pictures (some are portraits while some are non-wacky group pics) of Artemio Ricarte during World War II and to some points in his life.
So what to expect inside the Ricarte Museum? Expect weapons-of-war used during, of course, war -- World War II to be exact.
Aside from those rifles, there are also plates from Japan. If you read the biography of Artemio Ricarte, you will learn what is the role of Japan in his life.
In front of the museum building is a park called Ricarte Park named after the latter. Located near the middle of the park is another explosive weapon used during World War II displayed before the public. That vintage weapon looks like a joke to me thinking how the weapons in my generation has turned so sophisticated... and complicated, and one push of the button will cause the life of one city. These weapons will just serve as good subject for research and definitely not for use now, LOL!
But of course I value the history behind that thing. Maybe I am just preoccupied by the things I am living with now like the present technology in this digital age which makes vintage weapon-of-war like this obsolete.
Indeed, this museum visit was of worth and never have I regret. I was learning, I was enjoying and at the same time feeding my curiosity. /end