Thursday, 19 March 2015

Of having a ransacked legacy with apologetics "urging to move on" from our cherished pasts

Of having a ransacked legacy 
with apologetics "urging to move on" from our cherished pasts

Santa Ana Park (home of the Philippine Racing Club)
Demolished few years ago for a mixed commercial residential complex
Owned by the Ayalas known as "Circuit".

If the purpose of demolishing old yet remarkable structures is paving way of progress and development, then it is no different from barbarians ransacking legacy for the sake of loot. In seeing old structures full of grime and soot through centuries, sitting and waiting to be destroyed by a contract, regardless of its contribution and its legacy being left.

And some, if not most people around would felt really concerned over its beauty and time-tested strength as it survived decades of war, growth, and today's degeneration made by the system; but the latter, whom at the same time appeared as developmental with all the press releases and rhetorics, raised the sledgehammers of "progress" and threatening them over, and be justified by contracts trying to assert the validity of demolishing it and be called as development- in case of the San Lazaro Hippodrome for a mall; Sta. Ana Park for a commercial complex, Jai Alai for a supposed "hall of justice" yet end as "Torre de Manila", and La Ignaciana for a condominium. Those edifices stated as examples somehow meant to be preserved for posterity given the fact that besides the architect and the style, was also the reputation that mold the districts wherein these establishments situated. Be it an old Hispanic house, church, commercial establishment, even a Factory.

Carlos Palanca house
Demolished yet blocked by an order
issued by the National Centre for Culture and Arts

Lucky enough if an attempt or an unjust building be blocked by an order from the National Centre for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in case of the Army and Navy Club, Admiral Apartments, even Torre de Manila and the Palanca mansion. The Torre was almost complete when it was blocked by the order, again given the building disturbs the Manila setting if not situated in a complex that also once situated the Jai Alai. But despite having an order from the NCCA does not guarantee in letting its attempt be stopped, worse, there are instances that companies behind such building attempts contiue to do so discreetly, hence likely to be scraps of paper if not be given appropriate action.
On the other hand, apologetics may time and again assert the actions given by those "developers" especially in online news and in social media commentaries, be it in simple but stupid terms like "moving on" and "in pursuit of progress", or in a series of alibis such as "old and dilapidated", if not "useless and needs to be demolished" if not "expensive to preserve why not create new". But since they afford speak in pursuit of progress, of going beyond, does it mean having a society more clutter than order? Manila has almost rid off of significance save what is museumified and regularly shown by tourists. Even Makati is affected too given that there were some old buildings be end demolished for "new ones" regardless of its contribution in that district's development.
But remember, even the much modern Singapore tries to keep heritage too, even Red China!

But again, given the perchance for superficial modernities, then history, heritage, identity be end disregarded for commercialism and its illusion of development and progress. Old houses, buildings, complexes with spacious lots be end demolished for a condominium or a mall to be built upon in its ruins; and today's people, apathetic so to speak, cares less except what comes from the "present" whose package stresses being "modern" and "state of the art." If that's the case, then it is obvious enough that the modern world is as not as civilised in its technical term and form but barbaric in its character, barbaric in a sense that it disregards culture whilst appearing civilised with all the "reading, writing, and arithmetic" imbued upon to them. Yes, they may be literate in technical terms and fads of the present, but in matters such as preserving heritage, rekindling identity and forging ideas in pursuit of social changes they are misliterate, if not intentionally ignorant.

Pardon this writer's message, but as observed these are the remarks worth inconveniently true.