Revive the glorious past of Zamboanga City PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 12:17
The Fort Pilar renovation is still unresolved. Old and historical buildings in downtown Zamboanga it seems are being converted to business establishments without regards to their historical values. This is what Pep Talk fears. Money over values. Worse, passive attitude, nobody cares.

There are still many old building in our downtown areas that can be preserved and restored. I hope building owners and government concerned agencies will be inspired with what BPI Bank Valderossa Branch did. They preserved and converted the place into a museum being one of the oldest banks in the Philippines
Today, Pep Talk will be sharing how Iloilo City is reviving its glorious past. And I hope our local government and concerned private Zamboagueños citizens can work as a team to stop the economization (if there's such a word) of our city’s old buildings.
In an article written by Tara Yap for Manila Bulletin, “Calle Real embodies Iloilo’s glorious past,” she related how Iloilo City is reviving its roots and past. With the help of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), Calle Real, the oldest district street in this city, was declared as a heritage zone.

The present Iloilo government has agreed to close it to vehicular traffic on Sundays between 3pm to 9pm and make it a walking city. There will be arts and cultural performances too to attract locals and tourists to appreciate Iloilo’s history and heritage.
To quote the article, “Calle Real, formally named J.M. Basa Street, is one of the enduring symbols of Iloilo when the latter was a thriving business and cultural center outside of Manila during the late Spanish colonial and American periods." Ahistorical marker wast unveiled outside the restored Villanueva Building  in this street to inform its significance to local and foreign tourists.

The restoration was fully supported by Iloilo Cultural Heritage Foundation, Inc. (ICHFI) under the presidency of Manuel Villa Jr. He attributes the restoration to the public-private partnership (PPP)  to revive cultural awareness and to enliven Iloilo City day and night.

ICHFI has been involved in the restoration of heritage buildings constructed late in the 19th century to early 20th century along Calle Real. It was known then for emporiums selling fine products from Europe.

I hope there will be a private local cultural and historical foundation in our city too that can partner with our local government and help restore our city’s glorious past. It wouldn’t be a problem really because Mayor Beng Climaco has appointed an executive assistance for arts and culture in the name of Dr. Jojo Aizon. He gave up his successful career as a VP in one of the top universities in Manila to take up the challenge of Mayor Beng.

(Photo credits to Facebook account of Iloilo and other internet sites.)
By Dante Corteza
Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” You do not move ahead by constantly looking in a rear view mirror. The past is a rudder to guide you, not an anchor to drag you. We must learn from the past but not live in the past. (Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe).
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 12:48