Revival of original Nayong Pilipino pushed


September 18, 2022

The Nayong Pilipino Foundation is set to mark its 50th anniversary in November, with activities lined up to further promote Filipino culture and heritage, the Philippine News Agency has reported.

“The foundation’s golden anniversary would be marked with the launch of the exhibit ‘Mga Pamana ng mga Nayon’ on 4 November and a research summit on 22 to 24 November,” the report said. “It will also hold the Fiesta sa Nayon event at the New Entertainment City in Parañaque on 25 November.”

Nayong Pilipino is an attached agency of the Department of Tourism, mandated to champion the Filipino identity by developing parks and research projects, among others.

The foundation was created during the time of former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in order to revive cultural practices and folkloric traditions that existed before the coming of colonizers, University of the Philippines historian Patrick James Serra said.

“The idea can be traced back from the revival of a defunct plan to establish a souvenir shop for native crafts and products in the Cultural Center Complex. This time, however, it was re-envisioned as a cultural theme park by Imelda Marcos,” he said at an online discussion.

“Nayong Pilipino as a park was an amalgamation of everything Filipino — the culture, the tradition, the lifestyle, that designated it into a compact site for people to conveniently explore and experience, which is why it is near the airport, the reason why it was called one-stop tourist shop. Very convenient to foreigners who don’t have the extra time to explore the entire archipelago,” he added.

Serra was referring to the old Nayong Pilipino park situated near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport — a 47-hectare property divided into seven regions, each of which was designated with a renowned architect, such as National Artist Leandro Locsin.

The old park, which also housed the first mosque built outside Mindanao, however, was closed in 2002 under Executive Order 111 to give way to the airport’s expansion.

As the country pushes to revitalize the tourism sector, former NPF executive director Apolonio Anota Jr. said he believes it is high time to reopen the park, noting that it would contribute to job generation.

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