A survey of images and texts in the LMM library archive that related to the conservation of material and non-material aspects of Philippine culture. Visitors viewed photographs of architectural icons such as the Paco Train Station, Crystal Arcade, and Divisoria as they once were. These were shown alongside plans for the re-making of parts of the country through plans drawn up by seminal architects such as Juan Arellano and through texts illustrating the contested terrain of heritage conservation in the Philippines.
As important as international recognition given to the Philippines’ tangible and intangible heritage is local recognition. Ultimately it is the people in the community who determine or create the value or significance of the heritage to them, and will take care and manage these. But questions of heritage, change, adaptation and flux in relation to contending claims of a variety of stakeholders have made the choice and/or naming of a country’s heritage challenging. The exhibition Efface, through a survey of images and texts, looks at the discourse on built heritage as well as intangible culture.
The Hudhud of the Ifugaos and the Darangen of the Maranaos have been recognized by the UNESCO as two of the Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2001 and 2005 respectively. The Philippines also has properties considered world heritage sites because of their outstanding universal value. These are the Baroque Churches of the Philippines (declared such in 1993), Tubbataha Reef Marine Park (1993), Rice Terraces of the Cordilleras (1995), the town of Vigan (1995) and Puerto Princesa Subterranean Rover National Park (1999). The recognition given to these intangible and tangible heritage has brought in funds for their preservation and promotion. Other places and practices in the Philippines are also valuable, but their preservation and promotion has not been at par with that of the previously mentioned heritage. Identifying these and their conditions and encouraging the awareness, preservation and promotion of more of such places and practices are some of the aims of Effaced.