On a recent repors I read from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, I learned that another heritage site in Laoag is endangered of being demolished to give way for the construction of a shopping center project, according to the report was already a done deal.
This endangered historical landmark is a Gabaldon building which is part of the Laoag Central Elementary School. Some of Gabaldon buildings that can be found all over the country were built before World War II and these buildings were primarily used as a garrison by the Japanese soldiers and were converted into field hospitals by the American soldiers during the liberation.
The teachers and PTA members of LCES oppose the school’s conversion and relocation and here’s what they said on their manifesto, “The Laoag Central Elementary School (LCES), for its more than eighty (80) years of existence, has become a historical landmark of the City of Laoag as a “Bastion of Education.”
“Education should never be sacrificed for commercialization, no matter the perceived increase in income that the Roman Catholic Church and the City of Laoag will realize from the conversion.”
Unfortunately the Laoag government officials are banking on the fact that the contested buildings are not heritage sites since they are not included on the National Historical Institute (NHI) lists of heritage sites. I personally agree with Ivan Henares when he said on his blog that Heritage need not be declared by the NHI for it to be considered heritage.
The two Gabaldon buildings in Laoag Central Elementary School was built in 1929 and survived the World War II, shouldn’t that be enough?
I admire Thailand and other countries in Asia where the government officials embrace changes but can still preserve buildings that has historical significance. Our Government should start restoring and not destroying historical and heritage sites. Lets help preserve our heritage sites because it’s not something that we can reproduce, Keep in mind that a country without cultural heritage is much like a country without a soul.
Will you these beautiful buildings to be destroyed in exchange for a new Shopping center?
Related Articles :
Death of Laoag Heritage School
Save Laoag Central Elementary Shool
Laoag Exec defends school transfer
Thanks to Ivan Henares for the Photos