NCCA Denies the Petition to Delist the Pao Ong Hu Paoist Temple as Important Cultural Property

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), headed by Chairman Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso and its Board of Commissioners denied the petition of Ms. Chloe Go to delist the Pao Ong Hu Taoist Temple in Sta. Ana, Manila as an Important Cultural Property (ICP).

On August 8, 2020, Ms. Go filed a petition to delist the Pao Ong Hu Taoist Temple as an ICP for the following reasons: (1) that the previous and current owner has no knowledge of the ICP status of the said structure, as there was no indication that the property was already declared; (2) that the property was turned over to Ms. Go by the previous owner devoid of any artifacts; (3) that the declaration of the said property blatantly disregards the principles of due process, as no public notice and/or hearing has been done; and (4) that after declaring the said structure, the concerned Registry of Deeds was not notified.

Pursuant to Section 8 of Republic Act No. 10066 and Section 11 of its Implementing Rules and Regulations, the NCCA posted a public notice online to invite support or opposition from various stakeholders regarding the filed petition.  This public notice was posted on 8 January 2021 with a deadline set on 29 January 2021. Moreover, this Commission requested the comments of the National Committee on Monuments and Sites (NCMS), National Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts (NCAAA), Manila Heritage Tours Sta. Ana, and the local government unit of the City of Manila. The NCAAA asserted that while the said property is culturally significant, it has deteriorated so much that its architectural significance has been compromised. The Manila Heritage Tours Sta. Ana and the City of Manila have not given any position regarding the matter. After due deliberation and careful evaluation, the petition to delist the Pao Ong Hu Taoist Temple as an ICP was dismissed on 16 September 2021 for lack of legal and factual justifications as per NCCA Board Resolution No. 2021- 312. Furthermore, the declaration of the Pao Ong Hu Taoist Temple as an ICP will be duly registered in the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property and the installation of the declaration marker be implemented accordingly.

The Pao Ong Hu Taoist Temple is declared as an Important Cultural Property under the National Museum of the Philippines’ (NMP) Resolution No. 03-2016. The temple is located just behind the Parish Church of Our Lady of the Abandoned (Sta. Ana Church), which is a declared National Cultural Treasure. It features two rooms dedicated to two different personas, one for Pao Kong— a Taoist God, and for Guanyin—a female Deity resembling the image of Virgin Mary.


NCCA announces winners of Writer’s Prize 2021

Eljay Castro Deldoc, Paulo C. Marcelo, Joel B. Manuel, and Sigrid Marianne Gayangos are the winners of this year’s National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Writer’s Prize, a biennial award given to five writers, one for each category, namely; for poetry, novel, essay/creative non-fiction, short story, and drama.

Deldoc bested the Drama category in Filipino language for his entry titled “Atin-atin lang;” Marcelo on the other hand won the Essay/Creative Non-Fiction category in Kapampangan language for his entry titled “Ing Purmeru: Sanese ibat king Talapamalitang Kapampangan;” Manuel for the Novel category in Ilokano language for his entry titled “Dispersiones;” andGayangos for the Short Story category in Chavacano language for herentry titled “El Vida Encantao.”

A gross amount of two hundred fifty thousandpesos (PhP250,000) each will be given to the winner for assistance during the writing stage of the project, whichis good for one year, after which a manuscript of the writing project will be submitted to the NCCA,particularly its National Committee on Literary Arts (NCLA) for possible publication or staging.

The online awarding ceremony is set to happen on December 13 2021, Monday, 7PM, via NCCA Facebook page and Youtube channel. Performance by Abet Umil and excerpt readings from the winners will also be highlighted during the ceremony.


NCCA names new awardees of Philippine Heritage Awards

Palacio de Memoria, Partners for Indigenous Knowledge Philippines, and the Local Government of Tagum named as the new awardees of the Philippine Heritage Awards (PHA).

The PHA has six categories: Adaptive Reuse, Conservation – Built Heritage, Conservation – Movable Cultural Properties, Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Heritage Education and Interpretation, Heritage Programs Support. Following the first conferment ceremony last 2018, the PHA will be awarding three distinct projects across two categories this year.

The Adaptive Reuse category, reserved for projects which utilizes buildings, other built-structures, and sites of value for purposes other than that for which they were intended originally, in order to conserve the site, their engineering integrity and authenticity of design.

The Palacio de Memoria, one of the pre-war mansions that survived the Battle of Manila along Roxas Boulevard is awarded under the Adaptive Reuse category wherein the project was recommended for its respect and understanding of the key decorative elements of the structure by retaining them in the rehabilitation process and highlighting once more the terrazzo flooring attributed to National Artist for Architecture Juan Nakpil. With its sustainable economic and maintenance model, and reworking the floorplans to be compatible as auction and events  area made the repurposing of the building successful.

On the other hand, two projects will be awarded under the Heritage Education and Interpretation—the Partners for Indigenous Knowledge Philippines for its Keeping Alive the Wisdom of The Cordillera Indigenous Peoples project and the Kagikan Project of the Local Government of Tagum.

This category is for publications, performances, cultural practices and traditions, events, exhibitions, displays, site interpretations, tours, seminars/workshops/trainings, and multimedia including smart phone apps, websites and social media which emphasize and promote education, interpretation, and community engagement towards the protection and conservation of tangible and intangible cultural properties.

The Partners for Indigenous Knowledge Philippines (PIKP) for its Keeping Alive the Wisdom of The Cordillera Indigenous Peoples project passed through the deliberation panels and was recommended for its valuable contributions to preserving local history and culture as well as empowering the community by providing the means to document the intangible heritage of heirloom recipes through a publication.

The PIKP, in partnership with the Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples Rights (TFIP) responded to the need of relevant and accurate educational material on indigenous peoples to be able to support indigenous elders, women, and youth in the Cordillera to share their knowledge on the Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) in the schools.

Meanwhile, the Local Government of Tagum’s Kagikan Project was recommended by the panel for its initiative and effort of involving various entities to gather, share, and discuss their respective knowledge on Tagum’s history and culture through their research. The publication can be used for teaching local history and culture to empower the community.

The Philippine Heritage Awards is a conservation recognition program under which monetary prizes, awards, and citations will be given by the President of the Philippines, upon the recommendation of the NCCA, for special achievements and important contributions and services in the area of heritage preservation and conservation efforts, in accordance to Section 37 of the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 or Republic Act No. 10066.

The PHA Conferment Ceremony will be aired on the NCCA and PTV4’s facebook page on 12 November 2021 at 10 AM.