Friday, March 02, 2007

Manila: Protect the walls of Intramuros!

I got a text message yesterday. It was both good news (a response of Bulacan to the Bagac project) and bad news:
"1. Bulacan culture lovers have created TASK FORCE PAMANA to address the issue of vanishing old houses. The first meeting will be on March 8.
2. We have another concern and this is the project of Dean Barbers, PTA GM who is building a sports complex beside the walls of Intramuros. All these stupid undertakings done out of material selfishness must be put to a STOP! Let's do something to arrest this new travesty on Philippine history and culture."

The follow-up message I received states that sports complex is being built in the Club Intramuros area, in the driving range very close to the walls. The project, worth PHP85M, was done despite the disapproval of the PTA Board to which Barbers is answerable to, and a stoppage order issued by the Intramuros Administration. Barbers should not forget that Intramuros and its walls are protected by PD1616!

I saw photos of it at SkyscraperCity (courtesy of TheAvenger which I posted here) and they are shocking since the sports complex is being constructed right at the back of the Rizal Shrine in Fort Santiago! Indeed, this desecration of our national heritage must be stopped! As PTA GM, Dean Barbers should know better.

Tell Barbers what you think. Leave a comment below.

* * *

Update (6 March 2007): The latest from the DOT is that Sec. Durano has already sent a memo to Barbers to stop construction because the project has no approval from the PTA Board.

If you're disgusted with corruption and these illegal activities in Manila, help stop the project by contacting/writing/e-mailing the agencies mandated by law to protect our built heritage resources, Intramuros in particular:

Hon. Joseph "Ace" Durano
Chairperson, Intramuros Administration
Chairperson, Philippine Tourism Authority

Prof. Ambeth R. Ocampo
Chairperson, National Historical Institute
National Commission for Culture and the Arts

Dominador C. Ferrer Jr.
Intramuros Administration
Palacio del Gobernador Building,
Intramuros, Manila 1000
5273155; 5275642; 5273084

Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles
Head, Committee on Monuments and Sites
National Commission for Culture and the Arts

Copy this entry and forward to all Filipinos who believe in the need to protect and preserve Intramuros!

* * *

Related articles
Stationary bandits in Intramuros
by Gemma Cruz-Araneta, Manila Bulletin
The arrogance of dimwits
by Bambi Harper, Malaya


  1. Anonymous1.3.07

    Wala talagang hiya tong Barbers na to... he is a discgarace to the Filipino nation. head pa naman sya ng PTA, tapos sya pa ang unang taong sisira ng intramuros.

    Ivan, can we do an online petition for this? sana maliwanagan na sya bago pa amsira ang intramuros. its a national treasure.

  2. Yes, I'm asking for copies of the PTA and IA decisions so that when we draft the petitions, we have the facts right.

  3. Has no one filed a complaint or a restraining order to stop this?
    I suggest that you send copies of the petition and the supporting documents to newspaper editors, columnists and opionion writers.

  4. Anonymous2.3.07

    such a disgrace this really is

    will try to visit again that place.
    will try to post something about this in my blog

    wonder why barbers is soooo "kapit tuko" sa PTA

  5. Anonymous2.3.07

    That construction of the Sports complex in Intramuros adjacent to its walls is so wrong! Someone should enjoin that continued construction. Why was that allowed?!!

  6. Anonymous2.3.07

    I hope a case be filed against this monstrosity and desecration.

  7. Anonymous3.3.07

    That's just wrong. Very wrong.

    I hope HCS, Intramuros Administration, and the media can do something about this. Such a shame.

    I'm still busy with a lot of things but that's not an excuse. I'll do my part.

  8. Anonymous3.3.07

    What is your next step now? Do you have some sort of legal fund or legal team to file for a temporary restraining order and hopefully, a permanent injunction against this construction?

    How do you enforce that stoppage order and PD 1616? Why isn't Mayor Lito Atienza doing anything about this? Obviously, since construction has been under way, they have obtained permits to build this structure.

  9. We start with media. As soon as we get copies of the PTA and IA decisions, the real noise begins.

    Mayor Atienza? Hmmmmm, who knows, he might have a part of the grease. And for someone who plans to build shopping malls in Intramuros, what's a sports complex?

  10. Anonymous3.3.07

    can any of us do anything to help?? I mean if its intramuros,.. I'm willing to do a lot of things... :D

  11. Anonymous3.3.07

    Send me your e-mail address, Kyle via PM. I'll add you on my list so you can forward the e-mail to your friends. That way, the conservation will keep you updated as well.

    I'm not sure if there will be a protest and I mean out in the streets (if it's Intramuros, protest within the walls) but we'll keep you posted and hope that you will support this cause.

  12. Anonymous3.3.07

    nakakabaliw naman tong balita. di lang pala sila expert magwasak ng mahahalagang buildings. nagtatayo pa sila ng basura sa bakuran ng intramuros. pera talaga. sana malugi tas ipa demolish.

  13. Anonymous3.3.07

    I think the best way now is to make a protest through the media and later we can ask the militant and cause oriented groups to join in the protest.

    I already wrote a letter to the Opinion column of Phil Daily Inquirer and Phil Star, with attached photos of the illegal constructions of sports complex adjacent to the wall of Fort Santiago / Intramuros.

    Also I have sent a copy of my letter to my manila high school alumni association with a request to forward the protest letter to all their friends
    in Manila

  14. Anonymous3.3.07

    This project seems to have started more than a month ago and I wonder why no publication ever printed a story about this. I'll try to spread the word about this stupid project.

  15. Anonymous3.3.07

    aww! that's just stupid! wala na ba talagang konsiderasyon ang mga nasa tungkulin? suporta ako sa pagpigil sa desecration na iyan!

  16. Anonymous3.3.07

    Hi Ivan,
    Saw that too when i was in the Philippines last December. the golf driving range fencing was an eye sore even before. how come they even think of putting up a sports complex there. actually i wonder how the Architecture community in the Philippines is reacting about it , the so called urban planners, those who banners their company as an oversea educated master planners. those who said there the best in the country and in asia?? where are they. i should believe they should be reacting first about this coz they know more than a laymen.

    maybe we could check whos the architect and petition him/ her on the UAP or PIA or the PRC..err... im sorry but the government agency or NGO realated on these matters are not very clear if they are actually are responsible about such things.. how can the city of manila approve such planning?

    oh please filipinos wake up.

  17. I hope you can stop this, Eric. But the fight will be difficult. You are up to very powerful people with a lot of money.

    The Philippines want to attract more foreign tourists. They will not do this by building sport complexes near historical sites.

    In any case it is a shame (if) the project was approved by the City Hall.

    Good luck! Intramuros is worth fighting for!

  18. Anonymous5.3.07

    Please keep me up-to-date on this issue. I'm really sad that our history is becoming less and less important to the gov't. Tourists want to see history, old architertures, musueums - something they can learn from and not malls. I love your blog. Thx!

  19. Anonymous5.3.07

    This is really sad. That is not the best way in promoting Manila. Just let us know how we can help.

  20. Anonymous6.3.07

    hi there ivan.

    i forwarded your email(the one with PinoyBlogosphere) to evey person in my address list. so expect more support to sure a lot people will feel the same concern for the walls of intramuros.

  21. Anonymous6.3.07

    Please get certified copies of the PTA and IA decisions. You will need them for your petition.


  22. ivan,

    howie severino ought to be the 1st media person who can help, if he isn't already.

    count me in, and just pm me through if needed.



  23. Thanks to all for your support for this noble cause!

    @miss joan: Thanks for forwarding the e-mail!

    @kay: Yes, we've been working on it. But the DOT people said that Barbers will make it difficult for us to get it. In fact, the IA submitted a timeline to Durano which we hope to get a copy of to base our petition.

  24. @spanx: Yes, I hope Howie Severino lets the public know ASAP. Thanks for the support.

  25. I'm with you all the way, Partner!

  26. cabalen,

    i just requested carlos to consider organizing a picket line or mini-rally; ace durano's hold order notwithstanding.

    this barbers blasphemy is making me physically sick. really.

  27. Anonymous16.3.07

    [...] I have known about this story first from fellow travel blogger Ivan Henares. With all the insensitivities and callousness of our government officials, I wasn’t surprised at this. I was freaking mad. [...]

  28. Anonymous30.5.07

    Somebody should file a case against Barbers, sigurado ako gusto lang gumawa ng pera nitong ugok na'to.

  29. Anonymous30.5.07

    Barbers, magkano na naman ba ang komisyon natin diyan sa proyekto mo, ang kapal ng mukha mo, talaga bang pera-pera na lang ang labanan ngayon! Mag-isip-isip ka naman!


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