Monday, March 19, 2007

Manila: The Intramuros controversies continue

There's a new controversy in Intramuros. And it's about the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Metro Manila, the San Agustin Church. Do you want to find out what they plan to construct beside Fr. Blanco's Garden? The Manila Times column of Rene Martel says it all. Check out Random Jottings: God and mammon join hands at Intramuros.

There are actually some inaccuracies in the column. The new seminary won't be built in the garden itself. I actually asked Fr. Galende about this via e-mail and he assured me that the new seminary will be built on the original footprint of the former Second Monastery. I think what many people are uncomfortable about is the exterior design since I was told many have opposed it from the very beginning but to no avail. I would have to agree with the observations of Pinoy_ako in the SkyscraperCity Forums.

I am personally not against the construction of a new seminary. In fact, I am for it especially since we want to keep Intramuros alive (the Augustinians are the last order that remain in the walled city). At the same time there used to be a structure where the proposed seminary will built. However, I am also uncomfortable with the exterior design which many argue is not proper for a UNESCO World Heritage Site like San Agustin.

I would be all praises if they built the new seminary as a faithful exterior restoration of the Second Monastery with up-to-date interiors such as that mock-up of the Augustinian Provincialate built just across the street. It would even be great if they can rebuild that bridge which used to connect the two buildings.

On the sports complex issue, it was on the front page of the Manila Times yesterday. Several articles came out:
Ugly side of Tourism Authority revealed
Former PTA heads want Gen. Mgr. Barbers charged
What is behind Barbers’ insistence on this project?

The good news is that Archt. Toti Villalon's column is back! Check out Pride of Place: Monumental Legacy. Don't forget to read my other posts on the Intramuros controversies: Protect the walls of Intramuros! and Inside the walls of Intramuros.
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