Filipino nary-tage, not heritage

“I don’t have any explanation why the Filipinos are like this…???” and Bambi threw her arms in the air.

After Bambi had spoken, there was an open forum and Mary, a Canadian, asked:  “Why don’t the Filipinos establish an organization that will maintain and conserve these historic structures … something like Britain’s ‘National Trust’?”

We all knew that we already had HCS Heritage Conservation Society, of which several in our group were members.  But funding so that it could have “teeth and claws” was an entirely different story…

It isn’t just those pine trees in Baguio which everyone is babbling about;  the overly emotional public outcry is probably the work of the dirty tricks department of a law or public relations firm in Manila.  The beautiful Baguio of old [ Session road, Burnham park, Baguio cathedral, the convents of various religious congregations, elegant mountain villas and gardens in the Leonard Wood area, Wright park, “Mansion House” the presidential summer residence, the original Baguio country club, the American Camp John Hay, etc. ] has long been ruined anyway by political greed, disorganized development, and multitudes of squatters from all over the country.  It isn’t like the SM group is committing the gravest sin removing those pine trees;  far worse atrocities have already been committed and even more are in the offing.  It’s sooooo much else all over the country and inside all of us…  Sooooo much of our national heritage has been destroyed, is still being destroyed, and will still be destroyed — all in the name of “progress.”  We Filipinos inherited the “disposable” mentality imposed subliminally by our American colonizers:  We throw everything away, including ourselves.  We have thrown our sense of national identity away in a frenzy of “globalization,” to the extent that our youth now want to emulate our black, Negro brothers — not even in their native Africa — but in hiphop Harlem in New York city, in the United States.

The problem with a lot of the Roman Catholic parish priests, specially those assigned to the heritage churches, is that they sincerely think that what they like for their parish churches is beautiful and suitable, when most of the time, it is exactly the opposite…

Very rare are the likes of Diocese of Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco D.D. who engaged the services of patrician artist Rafael del Casal “carte blanche” to redesign the Immaculate Conception parish church to the Cathedral of Cubao.  Both Bishop Ongtioco and Mr. del Casal are gentlemen of uncompromisingly elegant tastes and their collaboration has been exceptional.  Combined with the generous funding of Captain Oca and the other benefactors, the result is an absolute artistic marvel unique in these islands [ except for the very few areas where Mr. del Casal was not involved ].

It’s the “Uglification of the Philippines,” and the average Filipino is powerless against it.  Poor guy.  What he thinks is beautiful is actually ugly by world standards.

Unless the Filipinos of culture and resources act — the intelligentsia, the culturati, and the plutocracy — there will be nary a trace of “Filipino heritage” — whatever little of it remains — in the near future.


  1. May 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    La Fortuna – pagingthe society- some of whom I personally know and consider friends if as yet ‘not current’ due to lifes visicitudes.
    I’m just about done with having all the necessary elements of the A of our M&A, in San Carlos. The path was, as emotionally laden as already been narrated by Toto re Others – similarly situated. Generational phase shifts – invariably cause these. In this instance I remain the Principal Primary Steward. When it came time to Ante up; I Did as my Grandfather did 100yrs ago. He went ALL IN so did we.

    Priorly I wanted to make “Period correct” our ancestral home which unlike others is in
    As Built condition. I wanted to go a step Further like my manang Elen Lopez-Jison vision -shared w Toto regarding Nelly Garden. Anyway I now Answer to no One but myself. If anyone would like to help me get started ” Inertia wise” on this Id be much Obliged. Its amusing in that Manang Elens & Tess’ Haciendas hereat, are almost adjacent albeit in Neg oriental.
    La Fortuna through to the next Municipality our demesne are arrayed almost as they are in Jaro. Even here the Mise en scenes changed not the Characters.
    I even so much as proffered to my cousin Celso that should they decide to – i would more than gladly be willing to fold it into a Trust Im about to assemble and bequeath if Only to preserve what Already IS.

  2. May Balbuena said,

    May 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I just came back from a trip back home after almost 2 decades of living abroad. I was shocked to see the gigantic billboards dotting the city…how and why the urban plannng people allowed such gigantic ads to be displayed without regard to the resulting loss of skyline is beyond me…most esp as the billboards were just touting the faces of whoever’s currently hot in Philippine showbiz! Its sad that I can only agree the country is on an ‘uglification’ spree.

  3. Joanne Ranada said,

    May 15, 2012 at 12:20 am

    LOL Myles! I agree….but doesn’t it also look like a gingerbread house esp. during Christmas? 🙂

  4. Myles Garcia said,

    May 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    It’s OK, Joanne. At least Laoag has a city hall lit like a cine:


    I mean, how many city halls are as…colorful as that? 🙂 LOL!!

  5. Joanne Ranada said,

    May 9, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Next to the old sinking bell tower in Laoag City will stand Puregold. There are plans to also demolish the historic Gabaldon-type Laoag Central School and the buhos-type building of the old Divine Word College just across it. Funny how the city government and the Catholic Church allow these to happen.

  6. Presy Guevara said,

    May 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    News of black sand mining in Pangasinan, Ilocus Sur and Cagayan just caught my attention. Who’s selling the Philippines to whom?

  7. Presy Guevara said,

    May 7, 2012 at 11:35 am

    One way we can preserve our public buildings such as churches and others reflecting whatever heritage we own is to provide bird screens or deterrents with due respect to the architecture and special features.. Droppings ruin the finish of whatever items may be inside and outside those irreplaceable buildings.

  8. robert santos said,

    April 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    The educated filipinos of the traditional families from the 1920’s onward have mainly moved to western countries during the 1980’s and onward, bringing with them the tradition and beliefs of what would have been the next generation.

    It will take another two to three generation to rebuild what was lost.

  9. Mike Jordana said,

    April 30, 2012 at 9:03 am

    To say we are throwing away “our sense of national identity” presumes we had one in the first place.

    In the old colonial days, anybody who could be regarded as a “somebody” had some Spanish in them, even if only being the illegitimate progeny of some frisky friar.

    Later, it was links to the United States, either by blood, business, or studies there, that made one a somebody. Then, it became more generalized, and if you could righteously claim any sort of connection to any first-world country, you were deemed a person of respect.

    This is one of our biggest problems… we are an outward-looking lot, defining ourselves by the mores of other countries we admire more than we admire our own. This has its advantages, of course… as immigrants, we more easily assimilate ourselves into our host countries than almost any other race.

    But when it comes to national pride or national identity, to a sense of purpose or a sense of innate greatness… fahgeddabouit!

  10. Nona Pimentel said,

    April 30, 2012 at 6:54 am

    I also believe that SM should have left Bagiuo alone. The rustic and quaint beauty of the place, its cool atmosphere, its quiet and serene trees added to the magic we have known since time. I think it is an affront against the sacredness almost, of the place…

  11. Jolo Tamayo said,

    April 30, 2012 at 1:06 am

    I definitely agree.

    We’re changing for the worst.

  12. Alicia Perez said,

    April 27, 2012 at 10:02 am

    That’s a very nice group — the OCSP Oriental Ceramic Society of the Philippines — to whom Bambi Lammoglia-Harper spoke about the conservation of Filipino heritage at the home of Eliza Romualdez-Valtos in North Forbes Park last Tuesday, 24 April 2012: Connie Carmelo-Pascal, Nening Pedrosa-Manahan, Ninit Roces-Paterno, Ane Miren Ugarte-Aboitiz de Rotaeche, Marivic Madrigal Vazquez, Rita Ching Tan, Ana Aguirre-Pamplona, Eliza Romualdez-Valtos, Mary Garlicki-Moorani, Werner Troesch, Ian Smith, Dexter Go, Toto Gonzalez, et. al..

    Alicia Perez

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