Today, May 28, is National Flag Day and the beginning of the Independence Day celebrations that will culminate on June 12th. The first flag was sewn in Hong Kong by Marcela de Agoncillo, her daughter, and Rizal’s niece, and was officially unfurled at the Philippine proclamation of independence at Aguinaldo’s home in Kawit, Cavite.
So what happened to the original flag? It is supposedly on display at the Aguinaldo Museum in Baguio City, only a stone’s throw away from the nearby SM City mall. You can see a picture of the flag on Flickr.
The caption beside the flag states:
“Sewn in Hongkong by Doña Marcela Marino Agoncillo, this flag was brought to the Philippines by General Emilio Aguinaldo on May 19, 1898. It was first unfurled by Aguinaldo in his headquarters in Cavite (now Cavite City) on May 28 before victorious Filipino revolutionists and more than 270 Spanish soldiers of the Marine Corps who surrendered to them in the Battle of Alapan, Imus, Cavite. A large group of officers and men of the U.S. Asiatic Squadron under Admiral George Dewey witnessed the unfurling ceremony. This same flag was officially unfurled for the first time during the Proclamation of Philippine Independence at the Aguinaldo Mansion (now Aguinaldo Shrine) in Kawit, Cavite, at 4:20 PM., June 12, 1898.”
An article by Florentino H. Hornedo talks about the history of this particular flag, which has been under the care of Aguinaldo’s heirs in Baguio since Aguinaldo’s death in 1964. However, the authenticity of the flag is actually not confirmed and still debated (e.g., see this National Historical Institute article), but there’s strong evidence to point that it is.
Anyway, Aguinaldo’s daughter, Cristina Suntay, once lived in Baguio City and that’s the reason why a museum housing some other Aguinaldo’s memorabilia was erected in the city of pines. (Apparently, Aguinaldo had too much stuff to be placed in the Aguinaldo Shrine. Hehehe.) You can read more about the museum itself and view some picture over at this web page.