Amidst a rapidly changing urban landscape, historic buildings and districts not only give us a visual and physical link to our past, they can also hold the key to future development. It is important to note, however, that Built Heritage Conservation is much more than just preserving a facade or the external shell of a building.
The value lies in the understanding of the significance of such structures and how their value—as perceived by the people who use them—have evolved over time. It is no easy task to work toward the retention of the intangible spirit and ambience of these historic buildings. However, this understanding and subsequent valuing naturally lead to appreciation and ultimately, to conservation. Thus, sustainable care, good management and conservation practices, and sensitive development stem from an integrated informed understanding.
For the past years, various heritage projects had been initiated and undertaken by San Pablo City in the province of Laguna to ensure the preservation of cultural resources for the development and progress of the community. A cultural mapping project with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts is currently in progress to inventory the heritage elements that are iconic to the place. Some cultural elements have been utilized in the curriculum development of the educational system particularly the elementary grades.
Heritage structures and buildings have been declared. The popular elements have been integrated in the tour script and product development of the tourism sector. As a historic city with a high concentration of identity-building heritage resources, the cityscape should be well defined in in its physical conservation and protection. In particular, there is the need to develop the definition of the heritage district and the protocols that would guide the conservation of the buildings, site, and the landscape.