Saturday, January 13, 2007

San Juan's KKK Museum

I finally found time to check out the KKK Museum (note to foreign readers: KKK in this context does not refer to the Klan -- in the Philippibnes, the KKK refers to the Katipunan, a rebel army who fought for the Philippines' independence from the Spanish), which is walking distance from my house. I only found out about it last month, when I managed to catch a glimpse of its banner from the road.

I don't know its exact address (I'm too lazy to hunt for the brochure), but all I can say it's along the same side as the San Juan post office, inside the gates of the Pinaglabanan Shrine.

It's a tiny museum, about the size of a small apartment. It was nicely air-conditioned (a big plus!), but a bit hard to get into becuase the front gate of the Pionaglabanan Shrine is closed, so you have to come in through the back.

There wasn't much to see -- some dioramas, a few weapons and medallions, half of which were replicas. But it was only during the museum tour that it really sank in that the town I live in played a big part in the building of this nation.

San Juan was one of the many rebel strongholds. Battles were fought here, many people died, all in the quest for independence. Some of the landmarks were battles were fought, like the church and the tower, are still standing -- that is, if you can pick them out from the overcrowded town.

It's heartwarming to see the township putting up projects like the museum. My only complaint is that it seems to be more of a political vehicle than a cultural one. There's a picture of the mayor on the wall, which is ok I guess, since it was his idea anyway. But if you look at the museum's flyers, you see, not a detailed descritpion of San Juan's rich history, nbut a detailed description of how the mayor built the museum.

I have nothing against the mayor, but I believe that there is a time and place for everything, and that people go to a museum to learn about history, not to get sucked into a political campaign. It would be ince to get handed a flyer about the grand history of the Katipunan, not how the museum would not have existed without rich people who 'care.'

Still, I'm glad that there's a museum at all, and if a little propaganda is what it takes to keep it going, then so be it.

Apparently, we have a library too, which I'll visit as soon as I can.


Anonymous said...

Um do you still have the pamphlet? when we went to the museum, I didn't know there was a pamphlet so I failed to get one and I need the historical background of the museum so badly because it's for our narrative report(our project). I really couldn't find it anywhere on the internet. If you could please e-mail me the contents of the pamphlet (about the history), it would be a great help. Thanks a lot.

Yvette Tan said...

Sorry, I don't have it anymore. You can look up the history of the KKK and the revolution in any history book.