One of the attractions of the Aguinaldo shrine is the first President’s elegant personal car during his years as Presidente of Los Veteranos dela Revolucion de Filipinas. A Packard limousine (1924), whose maker was the indisputable leader in the field of luxury automobiles at the time. The great depression of the 1930’s impaired Packard’s business that by mid 1950’s they were history. The Aguinaldo limo is sheltered in a good-looking open glass enclosure. Though the form was amazingly restored by the Jose brothers of the Lazarus Car Restoration Group, a fitting name for a group that brings dead cars back to life, the gorgeous Packard is solely for display purposes. Its splendid rolling days are over.
I don’t know much about cars but a limousine is sure expensive and cool, then and today. Not a lot of people can get their hands on these things. Seeing it brought back to memory a comment that I heard a long time ago about Aguinaldo, “He love life!”, but he probably deserve all these fine things in life after all the hardship that he’s been through, let’s give this man a break!
I’ve always thought of Aguinaldo and his pretty stallion together, riding to the horizon ala Leon Guerro. I forgot that the time came when horse power would come to mean machine power, not horse power on four legs. One of the enduring legacies of the beloved Yankees were the stateside solid wide cars. At the time, there were no other made but American made and we were buying them like pancakes. We were helping their economy pretty good and these cars are testimony how we went gaga over the coche – little did we know that we were being cooked by our own mantica because we granted them with cheap resources to build these machines that they would sell to us.
It was just a matter of time that all mode of transport would be on four wheels. We started to see the decline in water transport, the esteros eventually dried out and the rio’s became shallow and filthy – there were no longer as important as they use to. So if ever you’re wondering what ever happened to those kusko’s in Pasig and the steamboats that traverse the towns of Laguna de Ba-y all the way to inner Manila, they were all replaced, all to sudden by these giant American imports. We forgot about how we use to move around, how our waterways were kept clean because of they are source of irrigation and was then the only public high way.