Apr 18, 2019

R.A. 10066, or the Philippine Heritage Act of 2009 was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Mar. 26, 2010 in hopes of broader protection for our local historical sites.

Under this law, the government and pertinent cultural and historical agencies are supposed to “conserve, develop, promote and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage and resources, as well as artistic creations.” These include even undeclared but presumed important cultural properties by virtue of the following criteria:

  • Works of Manlilikha ng Bayan
  • Works of National Artists (unless declared by the Commission)
  • Archeological and traditional ethnographic materials (unless declared by the National Museum)
  • Works of national heroes
  • Marked structures (unless declared by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines)
  • Structures dating at least 50 years old

But despite these provisions, many structures are still demolished to give way to commercial spaces and establishments. In observance of the World Heritage Day, look back at some of the heritage sites we lost to “development” in the past few years.

Works of National Artists

Avenue Theater

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Lou Gopal/Manila Nostalgia

Location: Rizal Avenue (now Avenida)

Style: Art Deco

Date and Architect: 1930s National Artist for Architecture Juan F. Nakpil

Claim to fame: Once the venue for vaudeville acts and American movie premieres during the 1930s and 1940s.

Date Demolished: 2006 to accommodate a parking lot

 

Benguet Center

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of History of Architecture website

Location: Mandaluyong

Date and Architect: 1983 National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin

Claim to fame: Inspired by the Banaue Rice Terraces

Date Demolished: 2011. Part of The Podium now stands where it was

 

Mandarin Oriental Hotel

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Jim Pire/The Dude Blog

Location: Paseo de Roxas and Makati Avenue

Style: Brutalist

Date and Architect: 1976 National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin

Date demolished: November 2015

Carlos Palanca Mansion

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Stephen Pamorada/Inquirer.net

Location: Taft Avenue

Style: Tropical Mediterranean

Date and Architect: 1940s National Artist Pablo Antonio

Claim to fame: Grand residence of American-era liquor mogul Don Carlos Palanca

Date Demolished: July 2016, to make way for a condominium

 

Capitol Theater

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Lou Gopal/Manila Nostalgia

Location: Yuchengco St. cor. Escolta

Style: Art Deco

Date and Architect: 1935 National Artist for Architecture Juan F. Nakpil

Claim to fame: Manila’s Most Modern Theater

Date Demolished: September 2017 to give way to a high-rise building

 

Philbanking building

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Edgar Allan Sembrano/Inquirer.net

Location: Anda Circle in Port Area, Manila

Style: Brise Soleil / Modernism

Date and Architect: 1965 National Artist for Architecture Jose Ma. Zaragoza

Date Demolished: February 2018 following a state of dilapidation

 

Declared National Historical Landmarks

Manila Army & Navy Club

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Edgar Allan Sembrano/Inquirer.net

Location: Near Quirino Grandstand and Luneta

Date and Architect: 1898 William E. Parsons

Claim to fame: Declared a National Historical Landmark by cultural agencies in 1991

Date Demolished: 2014, when two annex buildings were demolished to give way to the Rizal Park Hotel in 2017

 

Part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Singson-Encarnacion house

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Edgar Allan Sembrano/Inquirer.net

Location: Bonifacio cor. Calderon Sts. Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Style: Decorative woodwork/New Orleans/Floral

Date and Architect: 1900s

Claim to fame: Owned by Vicente Singson-Encarnacion, lawyer, businessman, senator of American-era Philippines from 1916 to 1922, and secretary of agriculture during the term of Governor General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. in 1932-1933. One of Vigan’s 200 heritage houses

Date Demolished: November 2016

 

Structures at least 50 years old

Jai Alai Building

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of US Navy Archives

Location: Taft Avenue

Style: Art Deco

Date and Architect: 1930s Welton Becket

Claim to fame: Most beautiful of its kind during the time

Date Demolished: 2000s with the permission of then Manila Mayor Lito Atienza

 

Meralco Head Office

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Ivan Henares/Inquirer.net

Location: San Marcelino St., Manila

Style: Art Deco

Date and Architect: 1936 Juan Arellano

Claim to fame: Relief sculpture “Furies” by Italian sculptor Francesco Riccardo Monti

Date Demolished: 2013

 

Admiral Hotel

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Edgar Allan Sembrano/Inquirer.net

Location: Roxas Blvd. Malate, Manila

Style: Traditionalist/Revivalist

Date and Architect: 1939 Fernando H. Ocampo

Claim to fame: The Admiral Hotel was originally called Admiral Apartments and built by the Lopez-Araneta family. It was later renamed Admiral Hotel. Gen. Douglas MacArthur was one of its famous guests.

Date Demolished: September 2014

 

PNB Office

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Edgar Allan Sembrano/Inquirer.net

Location: Escolta

Style: International

Date and Architect: 1962 Carlos Arguelles

Claim to fame: Most expensive building in Manila during that period

Date demolished: 2016

 

Hospicio de San José accessoria

Location: Binondo, Manila

Style: Eclectic

Date and Architect: Early 20th century Arellanos Hermanos

Claim to fame: The last of its kind on Quintin Paredes (Rosario) Street

Date demolished: April 2017 to give way to a high-rise condominium building

 

Don José Tio Bonpua Sr. House

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Christian Bonpua/Inquirer.net

Location: Oslob, Cebu

Style: Eclectic

Date and Architect: 1919

Claim to fame: Also called Villa del Mar because of its nearness to the sea, it hosted Presidents Ramon Magsaysay, Carlos P. Garcia, and Diosdado Macapagal

Date demolished: June 2017

 

Philippine Su Kuang Institute

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Ivan Dy/Art Deco PH

Location: Masangkay St. Binondo, Manila

Style: Art Deco

Date and Architect: 1933

Claim to fame: The last wooden Art Deco-inspired school in Binondo and possibly, in Manila

Date Demolished: August 2017

 

Tumagboc Bridge (Miag-ao Bridge)

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Edgar Allan Sembrano/Inquirer.net

Location: Spans the Tumagboc River between the villages of Igtuba and Poblacion Style: Spanish-era Britanico Bridge

Date constructed: 1937

Date Demolished: June 2018 to give way to a DPWH road project

 

Aleonar Heritage house

Location: Carcar, Cebu

Date constructed: 1930s

Claim to fame: One of a number of heritage structures of the town described as a heritage area in the newly-published Cultural Center of the Philippines Encyclopedia of Philippine Art

Date demolished: Dec. 7, 2018, razed by fire

 

Spanish-era cemetery of Balaoan

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Max Tuazon/Inquirer.net

Location: La Union

Date and Architect: 1877 Fr. Casimiro Melgosa

Claim to fame: It was where the seven martyrs of Balaoan were executed by Spanish authorities during the 1896 Philippine revolution.

Date Demolished: 2018 and transformed into a cockpit

 

Uy Su Bin building

uy su bin new po-heng art deco
Photo courtesy of Samantha Ong

Location: Rosario St. Binondo, Manila

Style: Art Deco

Date and Architect: Constructed during Commonwealth Period

Date Demolished: 2019 (?)

 

Philippine Free Press building

Location: Avenida Rizal cor. Soler Quiapo, Manila

 

Claim to fame: Philippine Free Press was founded in the early American period. The bylines of top writers like Nick Joaquin and Cesar Carunungan graced its pages before it was closed down by Ferdinand Marcos during martial law,” according to Inquirer.net.

Date Demolished: 2019(?)

 

Angela Apartments

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Edgar Allan Sembrano/Inquirer.net

Location: M.H. del Pilar St. Malate, Manila

Style: Art Deco

Date and Architect: 1936 Fernando H. Ocampo

Claim to fame: “Fine example of prewar art deco apartment building popular at this period in the city’s history, progress and development.” -Jeremy Barns, National Museum

Date Demolished: February 2019

 

Old Manila Railways Co. (MRC) Caloocan Train Station

world heritage day sites
Archival photo

Location: Caloocan

 

Claim to fame: Used by Antonio Luna in sending telegrams during the war

Date Demolished: March 2019

 

Old GSIS building

world heritage day sites
Photo courtesy of Inquirer.net

Location: Arroceros cor. Concepcion Sts., Manila

Style: Mix of Neoclassical and modernism

Date and Architect: 1957 designed by Federico Ilustre

Date demolished: Set for demolition to accommodate the proposed Manila Hall of Justice

 

Read more:

My great grandfather’s house will be a heritage site in China

The government blatantly lacks cultural heritage literacy. Here’s why

Homebound: Take a heritage tour around Binondo and Taal

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