Monday, 23 June 2014

Save the Capitol Theatre

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

Last year, after attending the Heritage Conservation Summit at Luxent Hotel, Timog, Quezon City, I received the worst news imaginable, from our President Mr. Ivan Henares. He broke the news that the Capitol Theatre in Escolta Manila will soon be swept by THE WRECKING BALL. This is every heritage conservationist’s nightmare! How can that be? It has existed for more than 60 years and it is protected by The Heritage Law. 

We have lost numerous heritage sites last week during Typhoon Yolanda. The difference from this situation from the one fueled by Typhoon Yolanda is the wreckage of this heritage site is caused by man. The people in Visayas are very careful in preserving their built heritage. They respect their roots and their rich history, aside from using it to improve their communities by taking care of and utilizing those sites for the enhancement of their tourism industry. I know that Visayas could rise again from the ruble with our help. Please feel free to contact the following details the Philippine Red Cross: 
T: 527-0000 E: 
… so that your donations will land on honest hands. 

Currently, the Heritage Conservation Society together with the Heritage Conservation Society- Youth is geared up to map out the historical buildings in Escolta. We shall identify all the buildings that should be included in the declaration to make the Escolta a historic business district. 

As heritage conservationists, Escolta needs us right now. The street lost numerous pre-war buildings such as the Botica Boie and the Crystal Arcade. Also, post-war buildings like the Lyric Theater, which was demolished in the 1980's.

Enough is enough! We need to keep our past through the preservation of these heritage edifices. We have already lost the Meralco Building in San Marcelino, Manila, The Lavesarez House in Lavesarez St., The Alberto House in Laguna, The Ides O'Racca and the St. Pancriacius Chapel in the La Loma Cemetery. 

The Capitol Theatre is next in line to be nothing but a pile of rubble. Should we wait for that to happen? We must all take action before it is too late –to build a brighter and stronger MANILA.

1 comment:

  1. As of now, thank God, Capitol Theater still stands!