The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) will declar Calle Real considered to be Iloilo city’s business district as a heritage zone on August 8, 2014.
In an interview on Thursday, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said that the declaration will further boost the local government’s effort in promoting the city as a heritage and cultural area with the support from the NHCP.
He further said that the city government could ask for funding for the maintenance of the place once it has been officially declared as a heritage zone.
”Calle Real will become a part of the local destination to be visited during the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Conference),” the mayor contended. The declaration is also in time for the hosting of Iloilo city of the APEC by next year.
Meanwhile, Iloilo City Councillor Jason Gonzales said that Calle Real is historic for national hero Jose Rizal himself on his way to Manila from his exile in Dapitan trod in there and even bought a cap from the merchants. Rizal had also described the place as the “liveliest” because of the teeming businesses.
Chinese merchants constructed beautiful buildings with truly unique architectural designs along Calle Real that also used to be known as the Royal Road where the rich people from all over come to buy their merchandise.
Councilor Gonzales said that it is because of the historic significance of the area that he passed the so-called pedestrianization ordinance of Iloilo city for the purpose of enticing more people after the place experienced set back with the construction of the malls in other parts of the city.
The pedestrianization ordinance implements road closure of Calle Real from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Sunday starting June 2014 to let the people experience shopping among stores as in the olden days and see also the cultural presentations of performing troupes. [via PNA]