THE National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) finally approved the "Gulis Pamana" project of the San Fernando City Government and the city’s Arts and Culture Council.

The NCCA’s approval marked the official launch of the “Gulis Pamana” project through the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) by the CSFP Arts and Culture Council and three chapters of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), including San Fernando, Cabalen, and Sinukwan recently.

The signing took place on Tuesday, April 30, at the Otel Pampanga.

The “Gulis Pamana: Workshop on Documenting Built Heritage” covers a seven-day architectural documentation workshop on the city’s cultural heritage buildings. The workshop is expected to begin this May.

It is stated in the MOU that the purpose of the project is to memorialize the responsibilities of the Arts and Culture Council and the involved UAP Chapters with respect to the project.

City Tourism Officer Ching Pangilinan said the project will be jointly funded by the NCCA under the Competitive Grants Program and the City Government.

“Under the Competitive Grants Program of the NCCA, we were able to access funding amounting to P200,000 while the City Government pledged an additional P300,000 for this particular project,” said Pangilinan.

The project will be spearheaded by the ArkiCamp Foundation Inc., together with the participation of the three UAP chapters and other professionals who are engaged in history, heritage, and culture.

“We will be working closely with ArkiCamp Foundation Inc., which is headed by Architect Edgardo Mar Castro, who is a member of UAP Cabalen Chapter, and the expected output of the project will be as-built plans of the three heritage houses which will be part of our pro-active efforts on cultural preservation and disaster resiliency,” Pangilinan said.

For the first run of the project, the groups are expecting to have as built plans of three heritage houses in the city.

“The project’s aim is to provide a basic understanding on how to make and manage documentation, as well as hands-on experience that will help participants make informed decisions to ensure the protection of cultural heritage sites,” Pangilinan added.

Meanwhile, UAP-Cabalen Chapter President Architect Hermel Gulapa vowed to convert the trust given to them by the City Government into a

“fruitful output.”

“Malaki ang pasasalamat namin sa City Government dahil binigyan nila kami ng pagkakataon upang maging parte ng adbokasiya sa heritage conservation. Asahan niyo po na ibibigay namin yung expertise namin upang maging well-documented ang heritage sites sa siyudad,” Gulapa said.

“The City of San Fernando is committed to the preservation and management of our cultural heritage. In the arts and culture council, we put importance and value to our heritage because this is something that has been passed on to us from the previous generation,” said Dr. Lourdes Javier, CSFP Arts and Culture Council chairperson.

For his part, City of San Fernando Mayor Edwin Santiago said the City of San Fernando’s management is centered into two things: culture and history.

“Culture and history are important to one’s race. We won’t call it ‘race’ if one doesn’t have a backbone. So we must love the inheritance of our ancestors and use them towards our restorations. We have to embrace new development because we created some areas for another economic growth areas. Architects are the ones who are good in planning. We have to preserve our heritage district and don’t forget where we came from,” Santiago said.

The Arts and Culture Council is responsible for seeking permission with the heritage homeowners in the conduct of the architectural documentation, overseeing the teams’ progress, monitoring and controlling project budgets and schedules, and ensuring timely submission for outputs.

Coordination meetings and community involvement are the joint responsibilities of the two parties.

It was also stated in the MOU that the workshop and the actual documentation will commence in June, and the production of as-built plans will start in July.

Also present in the event were City of San Fernando Arts and Culture Council Chairperson Dr. Lourdes Javier, UAP Cabalen Chapter President Architect Hermel Gulapa, UAP San Fernando Chapter President Architect Edgar Sampang, UAP Sinukwan Chapter President Architect Janine Canda, City of San Fernando Arts and Culture Council Member Robbie Hizon, PIA-Central Luzon Director William Beltran, and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Central Luzon representative Teresita Lorenzo. (With reports from Nicole Renee David, Correspondent)