The repair of the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) Woman’s Club and Old High School buildings, through the Handumanan Project, officially commenced after the groundbreaking ceremony held at the UPV Little Theatre, Iloilo City campus on June 5, 2023.
The said heritage structures found in the Iloilo City campus will be repaired for adaptive reuse to ensure that they become relevant to the times.
The Woman’s Club Building will include a gallery hall, a store that will sell UPV and other merchandise, a lounge and alumni heritage café, and an office. The Old High School Building will have an alumni heritage gallery/display area, a function hall, an old model of a classroom/ mock-up room and an audio-visual room, and an information desk.
During the ceremony, former Sen. Franklin Drilon and retired Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza were given time to talk about the project. The two alumni of the UP High School in Iloilo (UPHSI) are instrumental in the repair of the two buildings.
Drilon talked about the restoration and preservation of several heritage structures in Iloilo City, including the two UPV buildings. He spoke about the importance of preserving the iconic UPV buildings and said he hopes to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony after the completion of the project.
Jardeleza recalled some of his memories of the Woman’s Club Building which was built in 1953, and the Old High School Building which was established in 1952. He also took the opportunity to acknowledge high school and college students who are recipients of scholarships from UPHSI alumni.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Clement Camposano talked about the history of the two buildings and how the project will transform them for adaptive reuse.
“These two buildings represent the history of the larger society and we are very thankful that we have leaders in government, leaders in the private sector, leaders in our community that have no trouble really appreciating the historical significance of these two buildings, “he said.
Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor, Jr., an alumnus of UPHSI, also gave a message and thanked the stakeholders who pushed for the project to ensure that the iconic buildings are preserved.
After the messages, Camposano, Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development Rhodella Ibabao, Vice Chancellor for Administration John Lorenz Belanio, Drilon, Jardeleza, Defensor, Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council Chairperson Kristin Treñas, Arch. Wilfredo Sy, Jr., and Rep. Jojo Ang of Uswag Ilonggo Partylist dropped the time capsule, located between the two heritage structures.
The time capsule contains the contract, groundbreaking ceremony program, floor plans, Notice to Proceed, and local dailies Panay Journal and Panay News. (Mr. Carlson B. Alelis, IPO)