Carpenter Bridge of Iloilo: A Wonderful Restoration
The Carpenter Bridge connecting the Molo and Mandurriao districts of Iloilo is not just another tourist destination built by the city. Rather, it is a prime example of the cooperation of private and public sectors in conserving the rich history of Iloilo City.
The Carpenter Bridge was was probably built during the boom of the sugar industry in Iloilo or during as part of the series of infrastructure projects of the American colonization. The bridge was named after Governor Frank W. Carpenter, the first civilian governor of the Moro province. He was best remembered for his efforts in introducing an effective budget system for the insular government in 1907, paving the way for the much needed cooperation in developing public works, schools, and public health in the Philippine Islands.
The restoration was initiated by the Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council with the cooperation of private partners such as SM City Iloilo, Zonta Club of Iloilo, and Boysen Philippines. Today, the bridge serves as a park while giving Ilonggos a better view of the Iloilo River. People visiting the park may choose to enjoy coffee on a shop below the new bridge constructed adjacent the park or do taebo dance or exercise routines at the Efrain Trenas Boulevard.
Many people would like to refer Iloilo as the Venice of the Philippines, but for me, we Ilonggos can only attain such title unless we are able to connect the great Iloilo River into our daily lives. The motivation behind the restoration of the Carpenter Bridge serves as a first step in doing so.
For a discussion of the Carpenter Bridge’s history, you may visit Frank W. Carpenter’s Nonlinearhistorynut Blog.