BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the City of Victorias City yesterday marked its 23rd charter anniversary by launching the “Victorias Heritage Square” at its public plaza, while strictly observing minimum health protocols.
The Victorias Heritage Square, Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca said, is a celebration of Victorias’ past life, a remembrance of time, places and views, which “our elders used to savor, and from which generations extracted many simple joys”.
The heritage site, that displays relics and mementoes of the items found since the establishment of the public plaza in 1939, exhibits a collection of remnants of previous fixtures, gathered and bits and pieces of decors, as well as ornaments, that enhance the beauty of the plaza.
It brings about relaxation and peace of mind to Victoriahanons, who seek rest and leisure, also providing an atmosphere conducive to peer and family bonding, Palanca said.
A memory box capsule was also placed under a historic bust of Gat Andres Bonifacio, that contains not just the life and times of the pandemic experience, but hopes and dreams for the next 50 years. The box will be opened on March 21, 2017.
Aside from the Bonifacio bust, also being displayed at the heritage square are a cauldron, locally known as “kawa”, the stylized outdoor trash receptacles during the stint of Jesus M. Fermin as mayor, looped iron edgings, concrete pavers, an 82-year old Narra, that came to life in 1939 , dotted benches made of marble chips, “ Ye Olde World” lamp posts, Victorias Milling Company mill bricks, and bench of skills, where “Dama (Filipino Checkers Game) duels” are being played.
The construction of the heritage center was initiated through the efforts of the Victorias City Heritage Council, with City Administrator Dino Acuña as the co-chairperson.
“We want the new generation not to forget what their forefathers did,” Palanca said.
From being Daan Banwa several centuries ago, the city of Victorias is now a fast rising local government unit, in terms of development, also because of Victorias Milling Company, he added.
But we cannot rely forever on VMC, Palanca also said, stressing the need to open its doors to more investments.
Palanca said he is hopeful that more investors will come in, with the construction of the new government center and the P400 million industrial park in Victorias City, that will provide more jobs to its residents.
The mayor said he was informed by former Representative-turned provincial consultant Alfredo Benitez that he will bring in the Ditto, Converges, PLDT and Globe to Victorias City.
He also attributed the stabilized peace and order of Victorias City to the presence of economic opportunities.
Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez, who was the guest of honor and speaker yesterday, enjoined everyone to visit the heritage square and “to remember our connections in the past”.*