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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Despite the pandemic, NHCP helps shape the future by looking at the past

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) continues to do its mandate despite the current coronavirus pandemic, restoring historical structures and landmarks, and serving as lead organizer in putting up various historical events significant to the nation’s identity.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with key government officials at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on January 17, 2021. ROEMARI LISMONERO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Reporting the accomplishments of the NHCP to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, Cabinet Secretary and acting Presidential Spokesperson Alexei Karlo Nograles said among the commission’s infrastructure projects include the conversion into a museum of the old provincial jail in Sorsogon.

NHCP’s efforts also include the restoration of the Bacon Church and Belfry in Sorsogon City, rehabilitation of the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Cavite, the rehabilitation of the Pamintuan Mansion or Museo ng Kasaysayang Panlipunan ng Pilipinas in Angeles City, and the restoration of 430 historical objects.

These historical materials include the La Justitia Mural, Pigafetta and Magellan Memorial monuments, and the material characterization of the La Intendencia Building.
 
The restoration project for the La Intendencia Building in Intramuros is being spearheaded by the NHCP in collaboration with the National Archives of the Philippines.

Once restored, the Intendencia Building will serve as National Archives’ central office and repository for Spanish-period collections.
 
One of NHCP’s successful projects was the restoration of the Manila’s iconic landmark, the Metropolitan Theater.  The project was completed through NHCP’s collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
 
“Completely restored na po ito, Mr. President. After being closed down for 25 years, the Metropolitan Theater has been fully restored, renovated and reopened in October of last year,” Nograles told the President.

“Ang pinakaunang major stage production was the: ‘Lapu-Lapu: Ang Datu ng Mactan’, produced by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the NHCP, kabilang sa quincentennial celebration of Philippines and the year of the Filipino pre-colonial ancestors.”

The commission’s task of marking historical sites, personages and events are also continuing, the Palace official said.

Last year, among those unveiled were the Bantayog ng GOMBURZA, Guiuan church, Lapu-Lapu statue, Pulilan church, Convention Constitutional 1971, Casa Real in Lingayen, Manuel Quezon, Plaza Miranda, Loon church, Gen. Francisco Makabulos, and many others.
   
The commission also operates 27 historical sites all over the country as museums. But because of the current coronavirus pandemic, these sites have been shut down, and the NHCP resorted to holding online exhibits, webinars and lectures. So far, it has organized or led 120 public programs mostly on Facebook.
Also in 2021, NHCP led the observance of the National Heroes Day, 150th Birth Anniversary of Epifanio de los Santos, 500th Anniversary Celebration of the Victory of Mactan, 200th Birth Anniversary of Jose Felipe Del-Pan, 150th Birth Anniversary of Mamerto Natividad Jr., 50th Death Anniversary of Carlos P. Garcia, and the 75th Anniversary of the Inauguration of the Third Republic and the Philippine-American Diplomatic Relations.
 
At the same time, the commission also kicked off the activities for the commemoration of the 150th Death Anniversary of GOMBURZA, which will be observed by the country this year.
 
This August, it will lead the History Month celebration, and the 54th Anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“Right --- remain steadfast kasi ang NHCP in its mandate amid the challenges brought about by COVID-19 pandemic at siyempre resilient siya because it responds to the changing needs and expectations ng ating mga kababayan,” Nograles said.

“So from marking significant historical sites, to preserving and restoring sites, objects, to maintaining shrines and landmarks, commemorating events, publishing research work and approving seals and logos, patuloy ang pagserbisyo publiko ng NHCP sa gitna ng COVID-19.” PND