Davao City Hall, which used to be the Municipal Building of the old Davao, was constructed in 1926, destroyed in 1945 during the Liberation Period and reconstructed in 1947. Today, it stands proud and imposing, a symbol of Davaoenos pride.
In San Pedro and Rizal streets, there are still elegant structures, mostly of homes, that remind us of how far we have gone and the pace of our progress as a city. But they are somewhat hidden in the newer buildings that now line the major thoroughfare.
One of Davao City’s literary icon Aida Rivera Ford, in her essay “Dreaming up our very own cultural center” said that cultural organizations in the city, way back in the 70’s, have already planned on putting up a cultural center. Today, it continues to be a dream.
In Ilocos Norte, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) plans to assess the state of heritage structures, buildings that have been truly cared for over the years by the local government and the private sector.
They still have Spanish colonial churches and ruins that need to be restored, and the local government plan on making these churches as an important cultural property, similar to those that grace the coastal towns in the province of Cebu. The watch towers facing the Tanon Strait, most of them on different stages of reconstruction, stand as silent sentinels through the passage of time.
The city may not have these imposing structures, but we have our own unique cultural heritage that needs to be protected. We are very close to nature which has sustained our ancestors for so many years but is now slowly giving way to the ravages of development.
This is the challenge of our time.
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