In 1898 a group of Filipino elites built a place where people having the same status as them created a place for their social gatherings and named it Club (kloob) Filipino. Way back in Club Filipino it started with having to promote the Philippines’ culture as this was the same year we were able to gain our independence and were freed from slavery under the Spanish colony also it is the year of Jose Rizal’s, our national hero, death. Since it was the year of the Philippines being an independent country, the Filipinos have become one with the pride of being a Filipino. In the present times, Club Filipino is known where Filipino political progressives gather for meetings. Speaking of political progressives the most significant event that has happened in Club Filipino is the inauguration of former President Cory Aquino, also the Philippines’ first woman president in history. Here in Club Filipino she took her oath as President which ended the Martial Law declared by Ferdinand Marcos.
A little background about Club Filipino’s greatest history is the inauguration on of Cory Aquino. It all started with the People Power Revolution or also known as the Yellow Revolution after the assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr., the husband of Cory Aquino. It happened from February 22 1986 to February 25 1986 (it lasted for 3 days). This Revolution is a bloodless and non-violent one as the Filipinos have campaigned for civil resistance against violence and electoral fraud. This led President Ferdinand Marcos to step down from his position and Cory Aquino volunteered to run as president against him and won, democracy was then introduced in the Philippines. And on the last day of the revolution on February 25 1986 Cory Aquino was taking her presidential oath in Club Filipino administered by Supreme Court Senior Justice Claudio Teehankee. There is even a mural dedicated to this particular event hanging in Club Filipino’s main entrance and a function room is named after our first woman president: “Cory Aquino Kalayaan Hall”, Kalayaan means freedom in Filipino. The People Power Revolution made a great impact on us fellow Filipinos up to this day as this event will always be remembered.
During my visit in Club Filipino well first of all you need to be a member to be able to use their facilities and to be able to eat there. I can honestly say it has been years since the last time I came and visited Club Filipino. The times I used to visit was when I was very young, I remember swimming and playing badminton there all the time and after doing those activities I used to always eat “bibingka” it’s like cake with salted egg on it. Since I am an architecture student now in De La Salle College of Saint Benilde and I have taken classes about the history of architecture, I have more appreciation towards heritage places and I pay more attention to every structure I see whether old buildings comparing to modern ones now. The interior of Club Filipino is well inspired from the Filipino houses during the Spanish Colonial Era with the most distinct characteristic is having open verandas and having a lot of windows. In my opinion is that I’m quite impressed on how the place is still highly maintained but at the same time it still has this vintage atmosphere.
Club Filipino is the oldest heritage I know in my city and I’m impressed that it’s still standing strong for a number of years already. For me it is one of the greatest heritage preserved as it will always remind us of the origin of our culture and reminisce the past of what some of our ancestors have gone through. So I say there will always be a connection to our lives with the past as it continues to live within us.