Naga City bares historical landmark

Guests and members of the Nueva Caceres Heritage Movement, Inc. (NCHMI) photo op at the remaining Spanish arch/portal that was launched as a historical landmark during the celebration of the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day, June 30, 2019, Naga City.   (JRM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

NAGA CITY—In celebration of the annual Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day, this City Government and the Nueva Caceres Heritage Movement, Inc. (NCHMI), launched another one of the few remaining landmarks in the city with the unveiling of the Marker on the remaining Spanish portal or arch within the perimeter of the Ramon Abella Diaz (RAD) Building, June 30, here.
The arch at the RAD building, which is located along Panganiban Drive corner Blumentritt Street is the only remnant of the historic mansion of Don Mariano Abella, member of the Propaganda Movement and Provincial Governor during the early years of the American Regime.
It was in the late 19th century that an imposing residential building was built by Don Mariano Abella and became an important hub of prominent guests especially in the early years of American rule when Abella assumed post as Provincial Governor.
During the battle of liberation of Naga, the building was occupied by the retreating Japanese as their outpost to protect the bridge against the composite guerilla forces assembled on the other side of the river. After three days of heavy fighting, the Japanese evacuated the building which had suffered untold and irreparable damage.
The launching and unveiling of the said portal was led by world- renowned historian, Professor Danilo Madrid Gerona, PhD, who gave a brief historical background of the location as he stressed the importance of the undertaking.
“This is one of the few remaining landmarks in the city, and that is the reason why we wanted to let the people become conscious of its importance, and in this small way, we may be able to awaken the consciousness of the Naguenos, the values of the few remaining structure that remains in the glorious Spanish past,” Gerona declared.
Speaking on behalf of Mayor-elect Nelson Legacion who was in Manila during the launching, Vice Mayor-elect Cecilia “Nene” de Asis also thanked everyone, especially the descendants of the Abella family who kept, restored and preserved the historical site, while vowing to give full support to the projects and activities that will promote the city’s cultural heritage.
“As we enter a new era, with the new elected city officials through the leadership of Mayor Nelson Legacion, as the Vice Mayor and former Co-Chairman of the Committee on Culture and the Arts, we will continue to provide assistance to programs, projects and activities that will preserve and promote the city’s vibrant history,” De Asis said.
The celebration of the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day is in accordance to Republic Act No. 9187 enacted on July 2, 2002 and is observed every June 30, as a means to reinforcing the relationship between the two nations that share history, values, and culture.
This was strongly endorsed by the City of Naga with the issuance of its City Council Resolution No. 2014-121 for its citywide implementation.  (JRM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)