Iloilo City, which boasts of a wide selection of heritage buildings, from old mansions to significant edifices used as commercial establishments, has restored UP Visayas one of its heritage sites.
The University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas' main building was formally opened to the public in a turnover ceremony held Friday, led by National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chairman Rene Escalante.
It was restored with a P54-million grant from the NHCP through the efforts of Sen. Franklin Drilon and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda.
After the restoration, big columns, high ceiling wood frames, and wooden floors in each room were shown to the public.
The school also features a courtyard, while airconditioning units were installed in the main hall.
The grills inside and outside the building were refurbished as well.
For Drilon, an alumnus of UP-Iloilo, the building will now be an icon for Ilonggos.
“It gives pride to the Ilonggos, that we are able to restore these buildings (that) make Iloilo and the Ilonggos conscious of its rich cultural, and historical background. This becomes part of our effort to really restore Iloilo to its old glory,” Drilon said.
Portions of the building will be used as galleries, while important cultural events are set to be held inside the newly restored building.
The building's construction started in February 1931 and was designed by renowned architect Juan Arellano for P90,000. The building used to be the Iloilo City Hall back in 1935.