And just like that, the month of May has arrived. While there is Labor Day, the Maytime festivals, and summer that this month is known for, not many people know that May is also the month for Philippine Heritage as the country celebrates National Heritage Month at this time of the year.
First decreed to be celebrated by Presidential Proclamation No, 439 on August 11, 2003, the celebration of the National Heritage Month aims to raise awareness on the country’s heritage and instill a sense of pride, respect, and appreciation for our heritage. With these values instilled in our people, it is hoped that through this celebration, there will be more efforts that will be made to preserve and promote the country’s heritage as priceless links to our past as well as a source of livelihood being attractions visited by many who come from different parts of the country and the world as well.
As it has always been a passionate advocate for heritage, particularly the heritage of Manila and its metropolitan area, the Urban Roamer in the celebration of National Heritage Month as it continues to promote the city’s often underappreciated heritage as a way of somehow helping create a sustainable future for the metropolis where it has managed to embrace its past while meeting the trends and demands of an ever-changing environment. Something that Manila right now has yet to achieve admittedly, but I remain a bit hopeful.
Let us all give an all-out “mabuhay” for Philippine heritage and support National Heritage Month whatever way you can. Take the opportunity to visit a heritage site or a museum and appreciate the priceless treasures that we have.
In conjunction with this celebration, a project was recently launched by the Wikimedia Foundation with support of the country’s National Historical Commission of the Philippines to help map out and document the country’s existing heritage landmarks.
Called the Philippine Cultural Heritage Mapping Project, this particular project aims to build on the existing database presently available on Wikipedia, expanding on existing data and be able to share more information about the country’s heritage landmarks, especially those that lack much information in their Wikipedia pages.
To help realize this goal, the project has selected volunteers from different parts of the country. They will be undergoing a 3-day workshop from May 2-4 in preparation for the work they will be doing.
The Urban Roamer is honored and privileged to be among those selected volunteers. At the same time, there is also the responsibilities that come with this selection, and it somehow gives a bit more pressure, in a good way, to be able to do my job not just as a project volunteer, but also as an active contributor of knowledge for the country’s heritage.
That being said, I will devoting some space in this site for my travels and work as a Heritage Mapping Project volunteer. I hope you will appreciate not only the work I will be doing but more importantly, the places that will be documented for this project and from it, you would be able to better appreciate our country’s rich yet overlooked treasures from the past.