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Magalang, UST execs sign pact for town’s Heritage Core District

At the MOA signing are Mayor Malu Lacson,  Councilor Norman Lacson and.Magalang Tourism Officer Ryan M. Miranda.  UST was represented by Dean Rodolfo Ventura (Architecture), Dean Melanie Turingan (Arts andLetters), Dean Michael Anthony Vasco (Graduate School) and Associate Professor Eric Zerrudo (CCCPET).

MAGALANG, Pampanga — Magalang Mayor Maria Lourdes “Malu” Paras Lacson and officials of the University of Santo Tomas recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the drafting of the site development plan of the Heritage Core District of the town and the Conservation Management Plan of the Old Municipal Building.

Both plans underscore the need to establish the significance of Magalang town and the approach to balance threats and changes vis-à-vis the town’s heritage significance that need to be protected and conserved. The plans provide the road map on how to proceed, with systematic caution, on decisions of intervention in the town.

Joining the Mayor during the MOA signing are Councilor Norman Lacson and Tourism Officer Ryan M. Miranda. UST was represented by Dean
Rodolfo Ventura (Architecture), Dean Melanie Turingan (Arts and Letters), Dean Michael Anthony Vasco (Graduate School) and Associate
Professor Eric Zerrudo (CCCPET). The signing was held at the Opo Beato Angelico Buliding (College of Architecture) of UST.

“Today, we stand at a significant moment in the history of Magalang, a town deeply rooted in rich Philippine heritage. From its revolutionary events to its architectural wonders, Magalang has borne
witness to changes of time, preserving within its walls the stories of generations past. As we reflect on the significance of this town, we cannot just ignore the pressing need to protect and conserve its heritage,” said Mayor Lacson in her speech.

“Through this memorandum of agreement, we commit ourselves to the development of a site plan for the core zone plaza and the formulation of a conservation management plan for some of Magalang’s historic structures. These plans will serve as our roadmap, guiding us with educated caution as we navigate the balance between progress and preservation,” she added.

“Yet, in the face of development and urbanization, these treasures are under threat. The increase of population and the demands of modernization have placed pressure on our town, threatening to erase parts of our past. It is with this sense of urgency that we are here today to forge a partnership —a partnership between the Municipality of Magalang and the University of Santo Tomas. Together, we embark on a journey to safeguard our heritage, to preserve the essence of what makes Magalang truly special,” said the mayor.

Lacson said that “this partnership is not just a document but  a shared vision and a shared responsibility to honor the legacy of those who came before us and to ensure that future generations can also marvel at the beauty of Magalang.”

“The watch towers that once punctuated the sugarcane landscape, the genteel houses that speak of wealth and elegance, and the meticulously planned town plaza — all bear witness to our earlier identity, a testament to our shared history,” said Lacson.

Also present during the signing ceremony were Municipal Treasurer Raissa L. Bayani, Municipal Budget Officer Helen Cruz, Supervising Officer Ana Joy C. Tayag, HRMO Head Juan Paolo Ruperto Dela Paz, MDRRMO Head Dr. Ernie Aguilar, Municipal Agriculturist Royce Lising and MSWDO Head Maristrell Lugtu.

Lacson thanked UST, Reverend Father Richard G. Ang, the University Rector, Dr. Eric B. Zerrudo, Director of the UST Graduate School – Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics and to all the people behind this partnership.

“Thank you for this opportunity. Together, let us write the next chapter of Magalang’s story—one of resilience, preservation, and reverence for the past. Thank you and God bless us all,” concluded
Lacson in her speech.