Las Piñas salt beds to revive city’s cultural heritage
- Rhodina Villanueva () - December 13, 2005 - 12:00am
Sen. Manny Villar and his wife Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar led yesterday the inauguration of a salt bed project and fishport stalls, which are part of the "Historical Corridor" program that aims to restore the cultural heritage of the Las Piñas City and transform its historical sites into national landmarks.

"Apart from restoring the historical sites in the city, I also want to make sure that the rich cultural heritage of Las Piñas is kept alive. Las Piñas was basically a fishing town then, so we are reviving fishing through the fishport project and salt-making through the Irasan Center. These will also provide residents with a good source of livelihood," the senator said.

He said the project will re-instill cultural pride and identity among Filipinos and at the same time spur responsible economic progress in the city.

Joyce Crisanto, designated spokesperson of the various city projects, said the undertakings intend to make the Filipinos, especially the city residents, aware of their historical past and their cultural heritage.

"Taking notice that rapid urbanization, especially during the 1980s, brought drastic changes to the way of life in the city, the projects intend to make the city’s culture alive once more," Crisanto said.

She pointed out that the salt bed will help generate employment for several residents in the city.

"Considering that salt is being used as a raw material in the manufacture of food and beverages, it will no doubt be of great help to the unemployed population since production and transport would require manpower," Crisanto said.

The salt bed, located on a 3,000 square-meter property in Barangay Pulang Lupa I, can produce an average of 45 to 50 kilos of rock salt daily.

The new fishport stalls will also provide employment to fisherfolk in the area.

"In line with this is the clean-up operation currently being conducted on the entire stretch of the Las Piñas river," she added.

The "Historical Corridor" project kicked off with the signing into law of the Villar-authored Republic Act 8003 in February 1995. RA 8003 had declared the following as tourist spots: the Las Piñas Church and Bamboo Organ, Las Piñas Bridge, Father Diego Cera Bridge, Old District Hospital and the Asinan area.

The law mandates priority tourism development in the area.

"Through these projects, I hope to revive the historic Las Piñas and help its people by providing them with livelihood opportunities," Villar said.

He stressed that despite urban blight and congestion in inner Manila, a suburb of the city still contains rich deposits of the country’s illustrious past and cultural legacy.

"Despite the ravages of urbanization, a shining tourist spot still beckons near the heart of the city," he said.

Other projects which have been completed under the "Historical Corridor" include the boundary arch between Las Piñas and Parañaque; a historical and cultural museum; a new district hospital; a manpower school; a fire station; a public library; Zapote bridge; Plaza Quezon and Las Piñas park.

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