Sugar landscape of Negros eyed for world heritage site recognition

WITH its rich sugar industry history, Negros is being considered by the Heritage Conservation Society as a potential recipient of the world heritage site recognition from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

Cristine Mansinares, supervising tourism operations officer of Negros Occidental, said the sidelines of the press conference on the 11th Philippine Bird Festival at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City.

Mansinares said the provincial government is currently doing the cultural site mapping and data collection as part of the 10-year preparation process.

She also said the Unesco recognition focuses on the sugar cultural landscape of the two Negros provinces mainly its old sugar mills or “centrals.”

“One of our potentials is being the only region in the Philippines to preserve old sugar mills particularly those built since the pre-war period,” Mansinares added.

Aside from sugar mills, the recognition will also highlight the entire sugar landscape of Negros built by the industry including other structures like houses, buildings and town halls, and even food.

Based on the information from the Heritage Conservation Society, Mansinares said that having been included in the serial nomination for the world heritage site recognition will also mean tedious work especially in the preparation stage.

Thus, support and cooperation from the provincial governments and local government units as well as from the private sector that will form part of the sugar trail are needed, she said.

“We have yet to establish more the uniqueness of our sugar cultural landscape through research,” Mansinares added, stressing that the recognition will surely provide an international value to the region’s rich history.

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