The Value of Heritage
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The Value of Heritage

The Committee on Sacred Architecture of the Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church of Cebu city continues to identify church heritage in the province, whether Spanish or American colonial periods. The purpose is to establish Archdiocesan registry to protect churches from inauspicious intervention. The Cultural Heritage Conservation of Iloilo city has been actively identifying heritage structures and mansions pursing its conservation.

THE VALUE OF HERITAGE

Since I live in Metro Manila vicinity, I always pass by the Manila Metropolitan Theater right in the heart of Manila area, at Lawton. This area comprises the Post Office Building, in front was the Liwasang Bonifacio, the Manila city hall and the new Universidad de Manila, a little further is the Pambansang Museo – National Museum.

The Manila Metropolitan Theater always catches my attention because of its architectural design.

The Manila Metropolitan Theater

The Manila Metropolitan Theatre is an art deco building designed by the Filipino architect Juan M. de Guzman Arellano, and built in 1935. During the liberation of Manila by the United States and Filipino forces in 1945, the theatre we totally destroyed. After reconstruction by the Americans it gradually fell into disuse in the 1960’s. In the following decade it was meticulously restored but again fell into decay. Recently a bus station has been constructed at the back of the theatre. The city of Manila is planning a renovation of this once magnificent building.

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Manila Metropolitan Theater

Binondo, also within Manila is an area with remnants of Spanish culture. We can tell it obviously by the street names like Barcelona, Madrid and others. What is amusing are the old Spanish houses, just like in many parts of the country like Vigan in Ilocos Sur, Pili in Camarines Sur as well as places in Visayas and Mindanao.

The old Spanish houses in Binondo was converted mostly to warehouses by Chinese businessmen, some are still repaired for residential.

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Spanish Houses San Nicolas Binondo Elcano Old House

There are different institutions in the Philippines that are concerned with the local heritage, including historical sites and shrines. The National Historical Commission for Cultural and Arts, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the National Museum of the Philippines and the World Heritage List of the Unesco - National Commission of the Philippines.

Heritage sites covered by these agencies are:

? Historic sites and shrines bearing a black marker are under the jurisdiction and protection of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

? A number of churches that have been awarded Natural Treasure status are under the care of the National Museum

? Five Philippines sites are listed on the Unesco World Heritage:

1. The Baroque Churches in the Philippines ( San Agustin, Intramuros; San Agustin, Paoay, Ilocos Norte; Santa Maria de la Asuncion in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur; Santo Tomas de Villanueva in Miag-ao, Iloilo)

2. Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordillera in Ifugao province.

3. Tubbataha Marine National Park in Palawan

4. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

5. Historic City of Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Image Credit

Vigan Spanish Colonial Houses

Local listing are as follows; Vigan, Silay (Negros Occidental), Carcar (Cebu), Sariaya (Quezon), Taal and San Juan (Batangas), San Fernando (Pampanga) and others have inventories of structure recognized as national or local heritage.

The Committee on Sacred Architecture of the Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church of Cebu city continues to identify church heritage in the province, whether Spanish or American colonial periods. The purpose is to establish Archdiocesan registry to protect churches from inauspicious intervention.

The Cultural Heritage Conservation of Iloilo city has been actively identifying heritage structures and mansions pursing its conservation.

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One of the most photographed sections of Cebu province is the short stretch of Perrelos, Carcar where one basks, albeit briefly, under the shade of what we all call Acacia trees while on a leisurely drive.

The National Heritage Act of 2009 (RA 10086) provides a theoretical account for the preservation of the nation’s cultural sites, heritage structures and shrines that have been determined as both cultural and historical value.

The author of the law, Senator Angara remarked that in European countries like France, Italy and Spain culture is a big business. Promotion of art cultures and architecture that has been preserved over centuries attracts million of tourists. Heritage drives development and the European countries invest hard in maintaining their heritage.

Modernization does not include devastation of our treasured heritage. The centuries old heritages trees of Carcar of Cebu and Naga city give way for highway expansion was a controversial issue. These trees are attractively arranged by nature.

Image Credit

Coco House (Taal)

Note: Heritage if properly conserved, not exploited or commercialized delivers development. It is an untapped source of income.

Neglect of Heritage is a disregard to culture and a discarded award of nature.

Reference:

Which old structures qualify as heritage? PDI – Pride of Place by Augusto Villalon, April 4, 2011

http://wikimapia.org/709679/Metropolitan-Theater

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php

http://heritageconservation.wordpress.com/category/national-heritage-houses/

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Comments (10)

Lovely! I love Philippines.

Ranked #10 in Popular Culture

Thank you very much for your valuable comment Aileen.

Ranked #3 in Popular Culture

A nice read Ron. You live in one BIG city sir !

Ranked #10 in Popular Culture

Yes Dee. Thanks for the read, comment and vote, appreciated.

Ranked #1 in Popular Culture

Excellent analysis. It's so important to preserve buildings like these.

Ranked #10 in Popular Culture

Thanks Michael. our government is running too slow on several important issues to tackle.

How beautiful Manila Ron...so reminiscent of the Havana of the early Spanish colonial period as was Manila...may it never suffer the same fate as Havana did, never let her fall Ron .... beautiful travelogue.

Thank you for sharing your rich heritage with me in a most profound way with words and pictures. I enjoyed this so very much.

Ranked #10 in Popular Culture

Thank you both Beverly and Roberta for the nice comments, appreciated.

Ranked #10 in Popular Culture

My appreciation for all the read, votes and comments everyone, thanks a lot.

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