Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Manila: Old street excavated in Plaza Cervantes

Wow! I was just talking about the walking street in Guangzhou, China (left) where they accidentally discovered several layers of older streets while excavating for a redevelopment project. The nice thing about it was that they covered it with glass. And it is now an attraction of the walking street.

Well, they just discovered an old street in the old business district of Binondo! I first heard about it at the Senate hearing on the heritage bills yesterday morning. But like most heritage sites in Manila, I was already resigned to its obvious fate. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I read the short article below in the Philippine Star. In fact, I'm still in a state of shock! Has Mayor Lito Atienza finally seen the light? What do you think?

Atienza orders artifacts secured
The Philippine Star 12/19/2006

Manila Mayor Lito Atienza has ordered Plaza Cervantes in Binondo secured following the discovery of what appeared to be centuries-old artifacts dating back to the Spanish era.

A pipe-laying crew of Maynilad Water dug up a portion of what appeared to be a cobblestone street several days ago.

Atienza instructed City Engineer Armand Andres and Museo ng Maynila officer-in-charge Monina Santiago to coordinate with the National Historical Institute "to ensure that not a single piece of what would be a precious legacy is damaged or pilfered."

Binondo was Manila’s main business district during the Spanish colonial era.

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