LOOK: Organizations, communities unite to preserve Paco Park
MANILA, Philippines – The Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation, Incorporated and the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), along with communities surrounding Paco Park in Manila, launched a campaign to increase awareness of the heritage site in line with its preservation.
Paco Park is among the heritage sites in Manila that need preservation. It is also the only remaining colonial cemetery that is still intact. (READ: Fighting to preserve heritage in Santa Ana, Manila)
The launch of the campaign was attended and supported by barangay officials, business owners, and students from various schools, including the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila and Manila Science High School.
"Heritage assets can only be alive and significant if the communities around them make use of them and continue to help protect them," said Angeline Calurasan of Escuela Taller.
The event was highlighted by the unveiling of the campaign banner that reads, "May pakialam ako sa Paco Park." (I care about the Paco Park.) On the banner, people wrote their messages of support for the heritage site as well as their concerns about its preservation.
Escuela Taller also recognizes the power of the youth and their participation in these efforts. The organization has helped restore a number of historical structures, including the Malate Church and the San Agustin Church.
"The youth play an important role in these efforts because they will be the future users and custodians of these sites and it is just necessary that we get them involved in these initiatives," said Escuela Taller executive director Carmen Bettina Bulaong.
The ossuary of Paco Park, which is also being restored, was shown during the launch of the campaign. The ossuary was an area used as a repository of bones when Paco Park was a cemetery during the colonial period.
The restoration is expected to be finished by March 2018.
The NPDC allotted P12 million for the overall conservation program of Paco Park. – Rappler.com