NHCP unveils marker commemorating Ilocos Norte Capitol

Mar 02, 2018 ...

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) yesterday unveiled a historical marker at the center of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol in honor of the building's 100th year.

Though completed in 1925, the structure was erected in 1918, three years after the Casa Real (the Spanish-era Provincial Capitol) was damaged by a severe typhoon beyond practical repair.

The new and present-day Capitol was also one of two new provincial buildings that would stand as monuments of architectural beauty and models for other provinces, according to a 1917 Report of the Governor General of the Philippine Islands to the Secretary of War. The other was the Pangasinan Provincial Capitol.

"Dito nagsilbi ang mga martir na Ilocano... nawa maging bahagi ang panandang ito ng Kapitolyo," NHCP Chairman Rene R. Escalante remarked.

Governor Imee R. Marcos said in her acceptance speech:

"As we recognize the embattled history of our province for the past 200 years, indeed it has been heroic and a huge struggle, and yet we have come out triumphant.

"It is time that we begin to acknowledge this history, we begin to recognize to preserve and conserve. As the NHCP enjoins us, we realize that these buildings are repositories of our racial consciousness and of our identity," she ended.

The marker reads, "Itinayo ayon sa disenyo ni Ralph Harrington Doane at sa pangangasiwa nina Jose Paez at Tomas Mapua, 1917-1925. Nilisan ni Gobernador Roque Ablan at ipinagpatuloy ang Pamahalaang Panlalawigan sa kabundukan ng Maanteng, Solsona, Ilocos Norte nang dumating ang Hukbung Hapon sa Laoag, 12 Disyembre 1941. Nabawi ng 15th Infantry, United States Army Forces in the Philippines-Northern Luzon, 13 Pebrero 1945.

"Isinaayos, 1957, at pinasinayaan ni pangulong Carlos P. Garcia, 27 Disyembre 1958. Pinasinayaan ang panandang pangkasaysayan na ito kaugnay ng pagdiriwang ng ika-200 anibersaryo ng pagkakatatag ng Lalawigan ng Ilocos Norte, 1818-2018.  "

Doane was consulting architect of the United States Insular Government and worked on the Capitol together with Engr. Jose Paez, who became Public Works Director in 1919; and two more notable architects, Tomas Mapua and Antonio Toledo.

Major remodeling and expansion transformed the building in 1957, with the Corinthian columns and pediment featuring relief art by Ricarte Purugunan of Dingras. It was inaugurated in the presence of Former President Carlos P. Garcia in December 27, 1958.

The Capitol compound underwent another major change in 2010, at the start of the administration of Governor Imee R. Marcos. Walls enclosing the compound were taken down, and the front grounds were renovated to give the Provincial Capitol a more park-like appearance.

The Ilocos Norte Capitol's centenary coincides with the province's own bicentennial or 200th foundation celebration, which was launched last February 2. Also, last September 2017, another NHCP marker was installed at the "Daytoy ti Bannawag" monument in Batac City in honor of the centenary of Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.


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