CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma heeded the clamor of Cebuano heritage groups to save the facade of Patria de Cebu for the incoming development of the property by the Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI).
Palma, in an interview on Saturday, February 16, said that he conceded to the request of the heritage groups following the statement of CLI that they would incorporate Patria’s facade to the planned multipurpose complex.
The prelate admitted that he was moved by the sentiments of the Cebuanos to save Patria which according to him was just as important as any ‘official’ heritage title.
“I made an announcement didto sa meeting sa Archdiocesan Committee on Cultural Heritage kay daghan mang mga hangyo nga dapat unta ma-retain ang usa ka bahin sa Patria,” said Palma.
Palma said that although the Patria had not been a recognized heritage site, the call of the people, who values the Patria’s heritage, should be respected and honored.
The Patria de Cebu, a 50-year-old edifice owned by the Archdiocese of Cebu, was built in 1954 by students who were members of the Student Catholic Action (SCA) and who wanted a youth center for their activities.
From its origins as a youth recreation center, the area had also served as a convent for nuns, before eventually becoming a budget-friendly hostel for city visitors who need clean, safe, yet inexpensive accommodations.
Palma said that the design plans for the mixed-use development would now accommodate the facade of the original strucuture.
“Dili man mausab tanang design. Iincorporate lang ang usa ka bahin sa Patria,” said Palma.
Read more: The Patria de Cebu may stay — NHCP
According to Palma, the construction would start anytime this year and the new Patria de Cebu would be expected to be completed in 2021.
The prelate said that the development of the Patria would be necessary to maximize the use of the property as the current edifice had not been properly maintained.
“Guba-guba na kaayo, hapit na matumpag. Wala nato nakuha iyang optimum benefit,” said Palma.
The new compound is expected to include a public piazza, a hotel, a department store, supermarket, restaurants, and office spaces.|dbs