HERITAGE alert has been raised in three towns in Southern Luzon recently.
Puncturing of ancient Franciscan church in Morong, Rizal
In Rizal province, residents and heritage advocates are crying foul over the installation of light-emitting diodes (LED) lights on the outer and inner walls of the Morong Church, in the process, boring holes and chipping off adobe stones on the church built by the Franciscan friars.
According to residents, the church, built in 1615, now looks like a perya (circus) at night which they say a desecration of the centuries-old structure, obscuring its baroque identity.
It took six months before the lights were started to be installed because of the number of holes that were bored into the walls, said a resident.
The church is a declared historical building with a marker placed by the then Philippines Historical Committee, now the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, in 1939.
It is likewise a presumed important cultural property (ICP) under the National Heritage Act.
Destruction of ancient adobe canals in Tayabas, Quezon
Ryan Palad, a local historian and author of “Bayan ng Tayabas: Kasaysayan at Kalinangan 1575-1985,” said that the bambang or adobe canals of the town that were built by the Spaniards in the 1700s had been destroyed in the process of expanding them to check flooding. He added that town residents should observe proper garbage disposal so that the canals would not be clogged.
He said what should have been done was to divert the water to newer and wider canals.
Palad stressed that the Spanish canals were part of the the town’s history and architecture. The expansion of the canals started two years ago under the term of former mayor Faustino Silang.
Mayor Ernida Reynoso expressed her regret over the incident and promised to reuse the demolished adobe stones in a “meaningful project” showcasing Tayabas’ rich history and culture.
Is this another case of destroy first, rebuild later?
American-period bridge endangered in Cabuyao, LagunaAn American era bridge in Barangay Sala in Cabuyao, Laguna is under threat of demolition because of road widening by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Constructed in 1936, the bridge is one of few remaining prewar bridges in the province, said heritage advocate Kevin Klaine Bermejo.
Bermejo had earlier also opposed the demolition of a portion of the town’s church to give way to an extension project by the parish priest.
“By the help of God and the renewed awareness of the townspeople, that project did not push through,” he said.