Historical structures and heritage sites in the Philippines received a much-needed “facelift” with the establishment of Escuela Taller de Intramuros in 2008. By teaching the proper art of preservation and rehabilitation, important heritage sites in the country are restored to their former beauty so that Filipinos can continue to enjoy them for posterity.
With over five years of partnership among the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Intramuros Administration and other supporting agencies, the exhibit Escuela Taller Foundation: Contributing to the Preservation and the Rehabilitation of Philippine Historical Heritage opened on June 20 at the National Museum of the Philippines’ Old Legislative Building , highlighting the works of its students and at the same time empowering the youth with the ability to preserve the country’s history.
“With this exhibit, we hope to better inform the public not only about the origin and evolution of Escuela Taller, but more importantly, its efforts of rendering assistance to the preservation of Philippine historical heritage, and uplifting the cultural gratitude of this country,” Spanish Embassy in Manila’s Charge d’ Affaires Ignacio Perez-Cambra stated.
As the only Escuela Taller technical-vocational restoration and preservation school in Asia, the Spanish government granted a fund of over P133 million for 300 students from marginalized areas in Manila, Pampanga, Ilocos Sur and different parts of the country to study and learn the different skills of masonry, wood work, carpentry, designs, and others needed for heritage restoration.
“We think that we can only appreciate heritage if both tangible and intangible are given attention to and preserved. But through Escuela Taller, not only are we preserving heritage but we are also able to provide much-needed livelihood that really gives meaning to the lives of poor people,” said Felipe De Leon Jr., chairman of NCCA.
“We provide a source of dignity, which is work. For it is only by giving people decent work that the country promote peace, harmony and further appreciation of heritage and culture,” he added.
While part of the exhibit provides different information on the institution’s origin and evolution in Spain and Latin America, it also showcases the important role of Escuela Taller de Intramuros in strengthening the long-standing ties between the Philippines and Spain.
The public will also see the preservation works done within Intramuros, as well as Escuela Taller Foundation’s assistance in reconstructing heritage site in the earthquake-stricken areas in the Visayan region.