Tag Archives: Philippine colonial

#154 Fort San Pedro

Main entrance gate to Fort San Pedro

Fuerza de San Pedro or Fort San Pedro in Cebu City (Visayas, Central Philippines) is a military defence structure built by Spanish and indigenous Cebuano labourers under the command of Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi (from Wikipedia). Date of the fort’s construction remains unclear but some historical accounts refer to the original structures around 1565.

The fort is located near Plaza Indepedencia in the pier or port district of Cebu City, considered as the oldest city in the Philippines. Within the fort complex is the smallest, oldest triangular bastion fort in the Philippines built in 1738 to repel Muslim raiders. At the end of the Spanish era in 1898, the fort served as a stronghold for Filipino revolutionaries. During the US colonial period the fort was turned into a US military barracks and later as a school during World War II. By the end of the war, the  defeated Japanese forces later used the fort as a hospital for the wounded.

After World War II the fort served various uses and housed both government and civic offices. In the 1950s then Cebu City Mayor Mayor Sergio Osmeña Jr. angered the public when he announced plans to demolished the fort. A public campaign forced the mayor to abandon the plans but a religious sect was given approval to manage a small zoo within the fort. Original structures were demolished leaving only the facade and some ruined fort towers.

Today, after years of expensive and labor extensive reconstruction work, Fort San Pedro is now a historical park managed by the city government. It houses a museum, which displays the city’s colonial legacy in paintings, documents and sculptures from the Spanish era.

Mabuhay ang Fort San Pedro!

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#151 Sariaya Ancestral Houses


The Art Deco-styled Governor Natalio Enriquez ancestral house in Sariaya

Similar to the Mestizo district in Vigan, Sariaya in Quezon province (Luzon, northern Philippines) is synonymous with beautiful ancestral houses that define the elite and affluent centre of the town in the pre war years (from Waypoint).

But unlike in Vigan where older Spanish colonial houses were preserved, Sariaya’s architectural gems are from the Art Deco period (early 1900s), a latter period where few building examples exist due to the devastation during World War 2.

An example from Sariaya’s Art Deco ancestral houses is the eye-catching and brick-roofed Sariaya landmark near the church, known as the Governor Natalio Enriquez Ancestral House designed by European schooled architect Andres Luna de San Pedro, the son of the artist Juan Luna. It was built in 1931 for then Tayabas Provincial Governor Natalio Enriquez (1941 – 1945) and his wife Susana Gala.  The house was a venue for fabulous high society gatherings in pre-war Sariaya, and was listed by the National Historical Institute as a Heritage House on May 2008.

Sariaya’s fabulous ancestral houses defined an era of affluence in the Philippines (early 1900s) when the characteristic old Filipino-Spanish architecture was renovated by rich owners and transformed with foreign influences like the then Art-Deco style. Other houses of note in Sariaya are the ancestral houses of Donya Carmen Rodriguez Arguelles, Enriquez-Gala, Don Catalino Rodriquez, Juanito Rodriguez and Francisco Rodriguez.

Mabuhay ang Sariaya Ancestral Houses!


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