COLONIZED for more than four centuries by Spain, the Philippines is teeming with well-preserved heritage structures, including churches, ancestral houses, and public/commercial buildings.
As Filipinos, we cannot overemphasize the importance of protecting and preserving these irreplaceable cultural sites and objects in various parts of this Southeast Asian country.
Thus, we doff our hat to the United States for training Filipinos on how to restore, protect and conserve the country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage through projects and programs.
Through its embassy in Manila, the US, in coordination with the University of the Philippines (UP), opened last Tuesday a four-day training course on cultural heritage
Held in Iloilo City, the training program ends tomorrow, April 20, with 27 participants from local government units, heritage councils, academic institutions, civic groups and dioceses.
“This important training course demonstrates the US government’s commitment to safeguard the Philippines’ invaluable cultural heritage for future generations,” said Carolyn Glassman, embassy counselor for public affairs.
Glassman assured Manila that the US “continues to strongly support efforts to restore, protect and conserve the Philippines’ rich and diverse cultural heritage through a variety of projects and programs.”
The course includes a full day of field work, when participants will develop short conservation plans for heritage structures in Iloilo City, which is sometimes referred to as the “City of Mansions”.
The heritage structures in Iloilo City represent some of the finest Spanish and American colonial architecture in the country.
In the view of many, including ordinary citizens, what is paramount at this point is for all sectors of society to support efforts to protect and preserve our rich cultural heritage.