DAGUPAN CITY -- The conduct of mapping to search for important historical and cultural properties in the city is halfway completed, said a city councilor on Monday.
Councilor Jeslito Seen, in a radio interview, said proper pacing is being considered, as the cultural mapping campaign should not be rushed, or slacking in its improvement.
“We should not be too hasty or even too slow in our cultural mapping method. We might miss something,” he said.
Documentation of records in the city’s rich history should not be taken lightly thus, proper care should be implemented, he added.
The councilor said the mapping is targeted to be completed by February or March next year.
“With the target deadline nearing completion, a resolution is being prepared in the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) because there are still things that we should cover,” Seen said.
On March this year, some 18 structures and spots in the city were declared as cultural and heritage sites through an ordinance tagging these historical relics as important cultural properties and heritages that was approved by the SP.
Authored by Seen, Ordinance number 0-652 series of 2018 adopts Republic Act 1006, otherwise known as the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, which provides for the protection, preservation and promotion of the nation’s cultural heritage.
He added some of the listed heritage sites were already acknowledged by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
The MacArthur Landing Mark and the Sanctuario de San Juan have existing markers.
The Home Economics Building at West Central Central Elementary School, which was then an office of General Douglas MacArthur, as well as the Lighthouse in Bonuan, Water Tower and Remnants of Franklin Bridge, already have markers from NHCP but are not yet installed.
The other proposed heritage sites and structures are: Philippine National Railways Station, Jackstone, Stage in City Plaza, Vicar Hotel, Alimango Restaurant in Arellano, Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John, The City Plaza, Rizal Monument at City Plaza, Philippine Independent Church, First United Methodist Church, Inarangan Lake, and Old Train in front of the museum.
“We need to protect and preserve these sites and structures as they make up our history and culture, so that they will not be lost," he added.
Seen further said one of the most popular aspects in the cultural mapping is the daily lives of famous celebrities and heroes during their stay in Dagupan.
He made an example out of General Gregorio del Pilar, whose final days were the subject of the film ‘Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral’.
“For example, through our cultural mapping, we were able to identify and verify that he (General del Pilar) settled here for a while, and that his last girlfriend was a resident of Dagupan,” he said.
“It is important to identify our rich history in order to know the character of Dagupeños, including their traits, especially their resilience – with our city being battered lately due to continuous calamities,” Seen added.
Meanwhile, there were positive feedbacks from the 31 barangays in the city about the project.
“This is one of Mayor Belen Fernandez’s legacies, and we are happy that the barangay people were very vocal and supportive of the project. I hope that we can successfully finish this so that each Dagupeño has another thing to be proud of,” he added. (PNA)