I just learned from Arnaldo that Henry Sy’s money-making monster, the SM Group of Companies, is set to build a mall right beside (‘gasp!’) a heritage site. And that heritage site is no ordinary site, dear readers — I am referring to the 310-year-old San Nicolás de Tolentino Church in San Nicolás, Ilocos Norte!
We, the undersigned Catholics of the Parish of San Nicolás de Tolentino and other concerned Catholics respectfully bring to Your Excellency our serious concern about the seemingly imminent lease or probably sale of a southern portion of the lot on which the Catholic Church stands. We only came to know this from some concerned Catholics of the town. Although we do not have a direct knowledge about this rumor, we are convinced it is true.
Visualizing what may happen next, this is the scenario we believe will transpire: that the southeastern portion of the Catholic lot immediately adjacent to the Catholic Church will be leased or maybe sold to SM, a giant commercial corporation that operates malls in different parts of the Philippines. How big the land to be leased is only a matter of our imagination but it could be the site of the convent and probably to include the eastern side of the original building of Santa Rosa Academy.
The size of the land rented or leased whether small or big is not important to us. What concerns us is the desecration of a sacred ground and the invasion of the privacy of our Catholic Church and Santa Rosa Academy considering the fact that the commercial building will be built just beside the Catholic Church on its southern side and adjacent to the old building of Santa Rosa Academy on its eastern side.
Please click here (Ms. Guía Imperial’s blog) to read the manifesto in full.
And whether you are a Christian/Catholic or not, you may want to show your support if you are a heritage advocate. This is all about respecting history and preserving our national treasures. Our heritage structures help us define our national identity. We must not allow these to be defaced nor defamed in the name of profit. So please add your name in the said manifesto by leaving it as a comment in Ms. Imperial’s site. Thank you. Dios ti agngina ken sapay koma ta denggen ti Apo daytoy a dawat tayo. (God bless, and may He hear our prayer.)