Neri: Heritage Awards Gala Night

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Neri: Heritage Awards Gala Night

A fitting end to the National Heritage Month was the Cebu City Heritage Awards Gala Night at the NUSTAR Resort Ballroom. The yearly National Heritage Month has served as a platform to raise awareness and appreciation for our country’s traditions, crafts and historical sites.

Here in our Queen City, it has also given birth to the Cebu City Heritage Awards which give recognition to Cebu’s heritage treasures and champions.

In his speech, Acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Garcia, chairman of the Cultural & Historical Affairs Commission (Chac), expounded on the theme of the month-long celebration, “Championing Heritage: Capacity-Building to Transform Communities.” He concluded with, “Let us celebrate our heritage not as a relic of the past but as a beacon guiding us forward.”

Four heritage awards were given out by Chac. First on the list was former Cebu City Mayor Alvin Garcia, a known heritage champion who came up with plans for the redevelopment of our historically and culturally significant waterfront, the preservation of historic buildings, and the promotion of cultural tourism. He also commissioned renowned sculptor Eduardo Castrillo to create the Heritage of Cebu Monument in the old Parian district, and facilitated the installation of the Colon obelisk.

Also acknowledged as a heritage treasure was the beautifully preserved Castillo ancestral house in Lahug, now used as a restaurant named Circa 1900. Other awardees were La Filipina Guitars, started by Pedro Abendan in 1919 and continued by his descendants, who have maintained Cebu’s guitar-making tradition; and Doce Pares, an organization dedicated to promoting Eskrima, the indigenous Filipino martial art known for its rattan stick-wielding techniques.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama was honored with a Special Award for several projects he initiated to protect Cebu’s rich cultural heritage. The happy occasion also saw the installation of the Cebu Heritage Council.

The Heritage Awards Gala Night was truly an inspiring celebration of Cebu’s cultural legacy and heritage!

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