Home to notable Filipino patriots and revolutionaries who contributed to the establishment of the Philippine Republic just before the turn of the 20th century, the province of Bulacan in Central Luzon is rich in cultural heritage as its colorful history.
Recently, its local government, through the Provincial History, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office (PHACTO), launched a coffeetable book on its built patrimony based on the 2018 entries of the Sineliksik Bulacan Docufest, a locally-initiated documentary film festival that features the history, culture, arts and heritage of Bulacan.
The Sineliksik Bulacan Docufest started in 2017 featuring films with topics revolving around local histories. It aims to develop a deeper understanding of the province from its people, to instill pride of place and to stoke nationalism among residents.
The book, Sineliksik Bulacan, is an anthology of articles on various topics from the documentaries as well as research papers on the province’s built heritage. It also includes a heritage map of Bulacan, a section on select images of historic structures, essays on the past and proposed conservation of some of these edifices and a paper craft series on the said topic.
The book, edited by famed Bulakeño historian Jaime Veneracion, is a product of researches, narratives and personal experiences from the authors; it gives tribute to the structures of the past and with the hope that these will be protected, preserved and conserved.
Featured structures include the train stations of Meycauayan and Guiguinto; churches of Baliuag, Barasoain, Bulakan, Calumpit, Meycauayan, and San Rafael; the Dr. Luis Uitangcoy Santos and Alberta Uitangcoy heritage houses in Malolos and the Constantino house of Balagtas; the Spanish-era mortuary chapel of Plaridel; Malolos’s American-era Aguas Potables; Baliuag’s old municipio;
the Casa Real of Malolos, now the Museo ng Kasaysayang Pampulitika ng Pilipinas; and the Gabaldon-style Pulilan’s Municipal Trial Court Building which now houses the Museo de Pulilan.
Also included in the book is an examination on the history of Plaridel (formerly called Quingua) based on archival sources and archaeological evidence.
A labor of love and dedication, the book is a good resource material on the province’s built patrimony that will inspire its residents to further study, give importance and be proud of its rich built environment, the tangible evidences of its glorious past.