Sunday, February 26, 2006

Manila: Gota de Leche... una gota lleno de esperanza!

My comprehensive exams are finally over... I hope! Hehe! So that's one load off my shoulders. Now it's time to catch up with the backlog, that is work which has piled up since I had to drop everything and focus on my exams. That's the same reason this blog had been untouched since Christmas! Hehe!

Anyway, I was at the Gota de Leche building yesterday to attend the general assembly and elections of the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS). Located along Lepanto (now S.H. Loyola Street) in Sampaloc, Gota de Leche was saved from years of neglect after a 2002 restoration that won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Cultural Awards for restoration in 2003. The project summary reads: "The Gota de Leche building, situated in a congested area of Manila, was restored to its original appearance of 1917. The rental building attached to it in a recent past has been removed to offer clear sight lines from the street and vehicular access. The charitable program of providing free pediatric care and milk to poor children through the Gota de Leche (drop of milk) activities has been maintained since the original completion of the building."

Today, it may be the last remaining heritage property of value on historic Lepanto. And as the proposal says, "this (restoration) project shows to the anti-heritage conservation Manila authorities and population that heritage is valuable, viable, and applicable to the lifestyle of the contemporary Manileno."

Back to the HCS meeting, I was one of those nominated to the 2006-2008 Board of Trustees. And to make the long story short, I'm in. Congratulations as well to the other members of the incoming HCS Board of Trustees: incumbent HCS president Gemma Cruz-Araneta, former DepEd undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz, former ambassador Raul Goco, urban planner Nathaniel von Einseidel, restoration architect Melvin Patawaran, and Prof. Rene Luis Mata of the UP College of Architecture. Photo of the HCS board courtesy of the Philippine Tatler; Gota de Leche courtesy of Ivan ManDy.

To be continued...
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