Iloilo City has identified six cultural and historical landmarks for a conservation plan that is supported by the United States Embassy and is expected to be a model for other local government units.
The six sites will be part of the conservation management plans (CMP), the main guiding document in the management and conservation of Iloilo’s heritage assets.
Experts in heritage conservation such as Regalado Trota José, Eric Zerrudo, Michael Manalo and Cheek Fadriquela delivered lectures on a five-day CMP training course in Iloilo.
The lectures and workshops guided locals on historical and architectural research, material documentation and study, condition assessments and policy-setting.
Participants were composed of cultural workers, engineers, architects, clergy, local government representatives and those from the academe and nongovernmental organizations.
The six sites were Rosendo Mejica historical landmark in Molo district; Camiña Balay nga Bato and Villanueva House (House of Sinamay) in Arevalo district, Casa Real in the city proper; Lizares Mansion (now the UST Angelicum of Iloilo) in Jaro district; and Sornito Cake House in Santa Barbara town.
Participants were mainly guided by José, Zerrudo, and other experts from the Center for the Conservation and Preservation of Cultural Properties in the Tropics of the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School.
Event was funded by the US Embassy’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, a first for the Philippines.
The event, held at the historic and heritage-rich city of Iloilo, “demonstrates the US government’s commitment to safeguard the Philippines’ invaluable cultural heritage for future generations,” said the embassy’s public affairs counselor, Carolyn Glassman.
Glassman said the event aimed to equip participants with proper CMP approaches, starting with a thorough research on the history of a particular structure or site.
So far, she added, the embassy has supported the conservation of the Guiuan church in Eastern Samar and the San Sebastian Church in Manila, as well as the documentation of the Tabon Cave Complex archaeological site in Palawan, and the documentation of the Ifugao oral traditions and the ancient syllabic script of the Mangyan of Mindoro Oriental among others.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, who graced the last day of the event, said the embassy was proud to have supported the landmark activity, which he described as “valuable and incredibly important.”
“It is really important that we all do our part to make sure to protect and preserve the amazing history and culture of the Philippines,” Kim added.—CONTRIBUTED