Yolanda-damaged cultural heritage to be Rehabilitated
by FFE PH News Staff
Typhoon Yolanda first made a direct hit on Guiuan, Samar, and it spared no buildings in the process, including the age-old, Church of the Immaculate Conception.
Before the storm hit the country on 8 November, the Church of the Immaculate Conception was being considered for inclusion in the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).
Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (CCCPET) director Eric B. Zerrudo said the affected heritage sites must be inspected first by concerned institutions like the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the National Museum (since Guiuan is a National Cultural Treasure), the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (since it is a National Historical Landmark) and the Unesco Philippines (since it is on the tentative list of World Heritage sites).
Some of the assessments that need to be done include:
- Manual documentation of the damages
- X-rays of the whole building
- Engineering study
Zerrudo said that these are necessary to check the structural stability of the buildings and to serve as a basis for the rehabilitation.
Former Guiuan Mayor Annaliza Gonzales-Kwan suggested that the maps made during the rehabilitation efforts be used for preservation, education and tourism. She said ‘Cultural mapping has taught us to be more conscious of the vast cultural wealth that we have.
‘It gives us identity and pride of place. It reminds us of who we are. It is something that we have to pass on to our sons and daughters, as it had been passed on to us by our forefathers. Each of us has an inherent claim to our place, our heritage, and we have the obligation of preserving, safeguarding, promoting and strengthening it.’