Thursday, April 08, 2010
Laguna: Heritage town of Pila, Laguna
Pila is the heritage town of Laguna. The historic center of the town was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute in 2000. It was known as La Noble Villa de Pila, one of the few towns in the country which was elevated to villa during the Spanish colonial period.
The center of town is an elegant collection of colorful colonial period structures located around a spacious plaza. The layout out of the town is very typical of most Spanish colonial towns. On one side of the plaza is the Pila Church dedicated to San Antonio de Padua. On the opposite end of the plaza is the charming Pila Municipal Hall dating back to the American colonial period and painted in brick red. And on the west and east sides are the elegant homes of the town's principalia.
Pila's house colors come in shades of brown, pastels and white. This was how houses were painted during the Spanish and American colonial periods. It was not all white.
The town has a very active heritage conservation group, the Pila Historical Society Foundation, Inc. which has continuously led efforts to preserve the heritage of this genteel town. Here's a map of historic structures in Pila, Laguna if you want a guide while you do a walking tour.