Ruining the majestic ruins of Fort Pilar PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 00:00


It started first in the Facebook last weekend, and is now spreading fast thru the media. There is an outcry and overwhelming protest on the current preservation job Manila-based National Museum is doing to our majestic Fort Pilar. Instead of restoring it to be awe, “it is ruining the majestic beauty of the ruins of Fort Pilar.” There is now an urgent call for our local government to stand and stop them from doing further “damage” to our city's important historical and cultural site.

People are shocked and horrified seeing the pictures posted in the Facebook. Those who went there personally are really dismayed. The hired contractor is cementing, “palentada” as they term it, all the inside walls of Fort Pilar and is painting them all white.  At first glance, now the walls look likes the white walls of the San Ramon Penal Colony. Someone even commented it looks like walls of a mental asylum.

The contractor even built a new edifice in the only standing rustic wall that is used often as a background for program and for picture taking. Now, it is gone! Worse, they even hanged several colorful vintas on this wall. Is vinta a historical part of Fort Pilar?

City Councilor and Chair on Tourism VP Elago openly expressed disgust and frustration of what they did to our majestic Fort Pilar.  This is oldest landmark in Zamboanga City constructed in 1653 by the Jesuits.  He lamented that National Museum destroyed the ruins instead of "improving" it. The South and East bricked-walls have been plastered with cement to make the surface smooth just like any new building today. Gone are the Spanish-looking walls' that made the inner fort look as authentic as it looks outside.

We can’t blame our City Government because Fort Pilar is under the management of the National Government. What is insulting, Councilor VP expressed, they never consulted Zamboangueños about the kind of renovation they will do. Budget of restoration? 14 million plus!

Got the news that Jeremy Barns, Executive Director of National Museum is coming to Zamboanga City to explain their side on the works they have been doing in Fort Pilar.  He has also stopped the on-going “restoration.” His coming is confirmed by Mr. Henares, president of the Heritage Conservation Society of the Philippines, according to Councilor VP.

Genesis 2:15 “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”

By: Dante Corteza


Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 15:18