Sunday, June 26, 2011

Las Piñas: A City of Heritage

School has started, and so has my search for my thesis topic. *DUN DUN DUN*

We've already submitted preliminary proposals to the faculty handling us this year, and much as my classmates and I so badly want to have been given a month to properly commit to a topic worth tackling for a year, we had been given a week to think. *dies* But oh, well. Life goes on. 

I'm in the middle of refining one of my proposals now. The first was for the redevelopment of Manila Zoo, but I have a huge feeling that will be debunked, because it feels more like a thesis a landscape architecture student would take, when I'm an architecture student. The second proposal, on the other hand, which I am researching more on now, is a center/facility/whatever-I'm calling-this-building-type for reviving the salt industry and heritage in this city.

YES, interesting, no? Las Piñas was indeed once the salt center of Metro Manila for a time. It was a pretty big industry there until the eighties struck and a lot of industrialization happened (i.e., roads, subdivisions, land reclamation, etc.). About five or six years ago, the local government sought to revive much of the rich heritage of the city, the salt beds included. The remaining salt beds of Las Piñas were resuscitated, and they were declared tourist spots. Since its revival, it had been able to produce three hundred tons of salt in one year. (Source) Amazing, really, and quite the inspiration, because the project proves to be a potential livelihood source in the city, as the pioneers of the project have said themselves. There's a center there now, but I hope to redevelop it and bring it to the future--visionary in purpose, in form and everything else. It won't just be a tourist spot; I'll turn it to a micro-economic hub of sorts with a learning center, a research facility, an exhibition space and a trades center. Our professor said, "The battle's half won if you like your topic." I most certainly do! Hopefully my topic gets approved! 

But that aside, besides the salt beds of this city, Las Piñas seeks to restore their historical corridor, their parol industry, and most of the environment that is left to them. In fact, the city has won the UN Environment Programme Award, along with Marikina, for their environment-restoring thrusts in the city. (Read more here!


But as this is a travel blog, I guess I should point you to the sites to see in Las Piñas:

The Salt Beds, of course.

The Bamboo Organ
The Nature Church
The Sarao Jeepney Factory
The Las Pinas-Paranaque Coastal Lagoon Bird Sanctuary and Nature Reserve

If you're interested in visiting Las Pinas, kindly direct yourself to the Official Website of Las Pinas. :) Yes? Go, go!

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