USTGS-CCCPET partners with Mabalacat, Leyte for cultural mapping projects

The City Government of Mabalacat City in Pampanga and the third district of Leyte in two separate occasions have entered into agreement with the UST Graduate School Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (USTGS-CCCPET) for the cultural mapping of their respective places. 

Identifying cultural heritage of Mabalacat City 

The City Government of Mabalacat City of Pampanga partners with UST Graduate School CCCPET to launch four modules of cultural mapping to gather the heritage resources for its nature and culture-based tourism promotion, development and conservation. 

The cultural mapping activity is supported by the local government represented by Councilor Win-Win Garbo, chairperson on tourism, culture, and arts. Instructors from Mabalacat City College and teachers of the Department of Education Mabalacat City Division serve as cultural mappers of the city. 

According to Mr. Arwin Paul Lingat, a UST Cultural Heritage Studies alumnus and the tourism officer of the city, the cultural mapping is part of the nine pillars of governance of Mayor Crisostomo Garbo, which is “Culture and Heritage Awareness.” The project will run from January to May 2020. 

Cultural mapping is a tool to identify the natural and cultural heritage resources of a specific locality for purposes of conservation and development. 

A key step in Leyte’s push for development

The third District of Leyte is a partner of the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School-Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment (USTGS-CCCPET) in conducting a Cultural Heritage Mapping of its five municipalities namely, Villaba, Leyte, San Isidro, Calubian, and Tabango.

The Local Government of the Province of Leyte appreciates Cultural Heritage Mapping as an important stage in the overall effort geared towards local development. During the first module, Congressman Ching Veloso reflects on how mapping the unique culture and distinct assets of each town will be fundamental to opening up various opportunities for development through tourism.  Mapping is also seen as a tool to address the urgent need to promote the district, which is known to be the “black hole” of Leyte as it is relatively unknown compared to its more popular neighbors such as Ormoc and Tacloban. Concretely, the mapping data will be used to develop the Master Plan for Leyte’s 3rd District. 

The project commenced in December 2019 with an orientation of stakeholders, including representatives from the Provincial Government, DOT Region 8, academic institutions, the different towns, and DepEd. CCCPET Director Assoc. Prof. Eric Zerrudo is training more than 70 mappers representing the five municipalities of this district. The project is ongoing and is set to finish by the second quarter of the 2020.

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