Iloilo City honors Cultural Heritage Awardees
Last August 25, the Iloilo City Government and the Iloilo Cultural Heritage Foundation, Inc., awarded personalities whose efforts greatly contributed to the conservation of cultural heritage in the metro. More urgent than ever before is the widespread awareness on the importance of protecting our historical jewels through conservation and restoration. With united push for conservation, Iloilo City’s is well destined to become the premier heritage city of the Philippines.
The Iloilo Cultural Heritage Foundation, Inc., founded last November 2011, spearheaded several restoration projects which started last December. The first three projects – the restoration of the facades of 1925 Serafin Villanueva, Serafin Villanueva (RCBC Building) and the Eusebio Villanueva, were already completed. The success of these efforts will not be complete without the aggressive support from the owners and sponsors of the projects. With their help and approval, the transformation of these beautiful heritage building commenced smoothly.
Aside from the initiatives of the Foundation, certain individuals, families and institutions have lovingly preserved their heirlooms through creative adaptive reuse and opening these heritage structures for the public to appreciate.
Mr. Manuel Villa Jr., ICHFI President, and Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog presented the glass and stone trophies to the awardees. The trophies were created by sculptor Bobby Castillo.
Without further ado, these are the 2012 Iloilo Cultural Heritage Awardees:
Angelicum School Iloilo
Angelicum School Iloilo (ASIL) demonstrated their respect of the artistic, cultural and social value of the beautiful Lizares Mansion by repurposing it into an important part of their school building, thereby preserving it for generations to come.
Ma. Luisa Minviluz S. Camiña
Mrs. Ma. Luisa Minviluz S. Camiña restored her family’s Balay nga Bato and transformed it with love, careful research and integrity into a living museum and an important component of Iloilo’s tourism offerings. It has become a vibrant destination for traditional Ilonggo food, and lifestyle history for visitors to the City. It also fulfills for Iloilo City one of the Department of Tourism’s criteria for a heritage site, a heritage house open to visitors. (Mrs. Camiña was not available during the ceremony.)
Mario C. V. Jalandoni
Mr. Mario C. V. Jalandoni, owner of the heirloom Eusebio Villanueva building (formerly International Hotel) is very supportive of the Iloilo Cultural Heritage Foundation’s efforts to restore Calle Real. Mr Jalandoni offered his building for restoration and participated in funding for this purpose.
To infuse new life into his beautiful building and its surroundings, Atty. Jalandoni intends to offer its 2nd and 3rd floors for either a boutique hotel or a BPO center. The building once restored will contribute substantially to achieving our shared dream of a vibrant Calle Real.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)
RCBC Vice Chairman former Prime Minister Cesar E. A. Virata and its local staff headed by Branch Manager Vicki Jarantilla enthusiastically responded to the vision of Iloilo Cultural Heritage Foundation to revitalize Calle Real. RCBC has restored their building’s facade at their own cost. The Bank has demonstrated to Iloilo City an exemplary instance of good corporate citizenship.
By the way, this is not the first heritage related award presented to RCBC. They also received an award for funding the repair and beautification of the Rizal statue and platform in Plaza Libertad.
Maria Elnora P. Santos
Mrs. Maria Elnora Santos demonstrated her support for the restoration of Calle Real first, by taking the risk of offering her building as a demonstration project for the restoration. Secondly by offering generous and free space in her building for the Foundation office to serve as a focal point and meeting place for heritage related activities.