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NegOr town, church partner to preserve Spanish-era tower


DUMAGUETE CITY – The local government of Dauin, Negros Oriental and the Diocese of Dumaguete, through its Commission on Church Cultural Heritage and the St. Nicholas de Tolentino Parish, are partnering to preserve a centuries-old Spanish watchtower in that town.

In an interview on Friday, Msgr. Julius Perpetuo S. Heruela, St. Nicholas de Tolentino Parish priest and head of the Diocesan Commission on Church Cultural Heritage, said it would be a big challenge to preserve the stone tower but for now, the initial plan is to protect it from further degradation while searching for proper conservation measures.

The tower, which sits on a piece of property owned by the diocese across the Catholic church in the town “poblacion”, is engulfed in thick vegetation with chunks of stone and debris continuously falling off the structure, although it appears to still be mostly intact.

The edifice, a round enclosure with about eight “crenellations” jutting above its wall, is believed to be part of a network of watchtowers across the island and even in other parts of the country to alert the people against marauders or “Moros” and pirates approaching the coastlines during the Spanish era, historical accounts say.
 

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National Museum to convert Malacañang sa Sugbo into a museum

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The National Museum plans to transform the Malacañang sa Sugbo into a museum.

Secretary Michael Dino, Presidential Assistant to the Visayas, made this disclosure in a statement sent to reporters on Saturday.

Dino said he received a letter from National Museum Chairperson Evangelina Lourdes Arroyo-Bernas expressing interest in re-establishing their presence in Cebu City through the restoration and conversion of the Malacañang sa Sugbo into a museum.

In her letter, Bernas said that Malacañang sa Sugbo would complete the Central Visayas regional museums of the National Museum. There is now an existing National Museum branch in Tagbilaran City, Bohol and a forthcoming branch museum in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, which is scheduled to be opened in 2021.

“I personally consider the ongoing absence of the NM (National Museum) in the international gateway and educational, cultural and tourism hub of the central Philippines to be incomprehensible and have made rectifying this glaring deficiency one of my top priorities as Chairperson,” added Bernas in her June 20 letter.

The National Museum also assured Secretary Dino and the Office of the President that they would be responsible for funding the maintenance, repair, restoration, conversion, and operation of the building once Malacañang sa Sugbo will be transferred to their management.

“I am informed that the agency’s current MOOE appropriations are sufficient to cater to necessary security and basic maintenance in the current fiscal year, and that management and technical staff are ready to formulate a detailed program for necessary infrastructure and equipment capital outlays in time for the 2020 budget,” said Bernas.

With Bernas’ assurance that they have the funding for the restoration and operation of Malacañang sa Sugbo, Dino said he did not hesitate to ask for approval from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III. He added that he got a verbal approval for the proposal from the two Cabinet officials.

Secretary Dino then wrote a letter to Executive Secretary Medialdea last July 8 asking for the consideration and approval of Bernas’ request. “It must be noted that there exists no National Museum in Cebu, which is at odds with Cebu being the queen city of the south, and the main hub for education, business, and economy outside of Metro Manila,” said Secretary Dino in his letter to the executive secretary. He also plans to write similar letter to Secretary Dominguez.

This development is timely for the quincentennial commemoration of Magellan’s arrival in the Philippines, which will be celebrated in 2021.

Dino noted that the Malacañang sa Sugbo structure itself is a testament to the design and architectural skill of the Filipinos. Visayan historical artifacts could be housed in the planned museum.

“I believe that restoring the Malacañang sa Sugbo to its former glory and making it a national museum would not only protect our cultural heritage but also enrich the Cebuano culture, and stand to be a showcase to the whole world,” Secretary Dino reiterated.

Read more: National Museum to convert Malacañang sa Sugbo into a museum
Great building.
 

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Today, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines led by Chairman Rene R. Escalante together with Archt. Reynaldo S. Lita turned over the newly restored Cariño Ancestral House to the City Government of Candon, represented by Mayor Ericson G. Singson, M.D. and witnessed by former Deputy House Speaker Eric D. Singson.

The Cariño Ancestral House, now known as the Candon City Museum, was constructed in the early 1700s and is considered one of the important Spanish Colonial structure in the city. The house is owned by Don Miguel Cariño, who was the grandfather of our revolutionary leader Gabriela Silang.

It underwent conservation works from 2018 to 2020 under the supervision of NHCP. The project includes the restoration and stabilization of the masonry walls, rehabilitation of all wooden components, restoration of the wall and ceiling paintings, and upgrading of its electrical system.

#MakeItHistoric
#CariñoAncestralHouse

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More heritage bridges under threat





Puente de Bolain in Barangay Baguio



Puente Piit Laki in Barangay Anos



Puentecito de Toong in Barangay Putol


Tayabas, the former capital of Tayabas (now Quezon) province, is the only area in the country where a large concentration of extant Spanish colonial bridges is found.

In all, there are 21 puentes and puentecitos (big and small bridges) in the city, half of which are declared National Cultural Treasures (NCT) by the National Museum.

However, these bridges are subject to road widening projects by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) which affect the visual and structural integrity of these bridges by constructing new concrete right beside the old ones such as Puente de Gibanga in Barangay Gibanga in 2017, Puente de Ese in Barangay Camaysa in 2019, Puente de Princesa in Barangay Ibas in 2019 and Puente de Baawin in Barangay Baguio this year.

This is despite the enactment of the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 and the DPWH circulars on the protection of heritage sites and structures from road widening projects.

These are Department Order No. 138 by then Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson in December 2014, Memorandum Circular No. 2 in April 2018 by Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, and Department Order No. 12 series of 2019 in February that year also by Villar.

Unfortunately, even more heritage bridges are under threat today due to a road widening project along the Tayabas-Sariaya Road.



 

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It's about time. The Catholic church should actually inventory all these heritage structures in the country and partner with Natl Historical Commission to find ways and mean to preserve and maintain these. After all they own the bloody structures. One historical church in Luzon, they added to the wall some sort of a shrine that does not match or fit in with the old church. I see that in a number of places even Miagao church where the front view of the church is blocked by some structure in the roundabout.
 
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Manila despite under Mayor Isko's watch is experiencing one of the worst violations on Heritage preservation. Developers are taking advantage of the pandemic to get their project approved despite against Heritage Law.

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Can't they lobby the city gov't or even the national gov't to create an exclusion zone around a designated heritage site? I just learned from watching YT that in Paris or France they have a 500 m exclusion zone, so developers cannot do much around the area. I notice in the PH these modern developments are basically only a few metres from the actual heritage site, esp in the case of churches. Lobbying the gov't(s) to enact exclusion zones would be the best avenue to take. If left to the bureaucrats, it will depend on how much money the developers are willing to shell out.
 

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House approves bill banning structures ‘photobombing’ view of national shrines, landmarks

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved on final reading a bill prohibiting any real estate development that could ruin or obstruct the view of national shrines, monuments, and landmarks.

During Monday’s session, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 8829, or the Cultural Property Sightline Act, which aims to amend the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 10066), with 210 affirmative votes and no negative votes.

The measure also mandates local governments to pass an ordinance for the protection of any cultural property in their jurisdictions.
 
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