When it comes to helping complete projects that will benefit Sorsogon, Escudero makes it a point to work with different architects and designers–professionals who fit the respective project.
“For example, for the provincial museum, I worked with architect Tito Encinas as well as designers from the national historical commission. For the Provincial Capitol, I worked with interior designer Kyoko and the national historical commissions architects as well. For the provincial or Sorsogon Olympic Village, I worked with architects and designers from the Arimar Construction Company.”
Such professionals, new or experienced, must be able to keep up with the governor’s standards and simple design principles that revolve around healthy, open spaces.
“I believe in open spaces as any city or LGU or municipality or province develops. Slowly but surely, you’ll just wake up one day and there are no longer spaces available because everything has been filled up with development. So I believe I will provide and maintain it as Sorsogon City and as Sorsogon Province develops. This will be appreciated by the people in the coming years.”
At present, Sorsogon has the Capitol Building to flaunt. The original structure’s facade was constructed in 1916. All in all, the structure is already 104 years old and will be a year older by October.
“Our job was to restore and expand it following the same neo-classical design in order to maintain the structural integrity and visual prowess of the building as it was originally constructed 104 years ago.”
Alongside governor Escudero, the project was guided by the expertise of the National Historical Commission (NHCP) which had already recommended the building’s consideration as a historical and cultural landmark, and Centerways Construction’s Chino Lubiano. This team then started and went through the restoration project for the governmental office. During the entire process, the offices had to relocate in order to continue providing community services even in the middle of the pandemic. In the end, however, the Capitol Building will be the main landmark in the province of Sorsogon and the City of Sorsogon.
The Capitol Building’s Design
Back in 1916, the building’s construction was led by Governor Eco during the American occupation. Until now, the design stays loyal to the neo-classical design that’s clearly present throughout the entire building including its expansion in order to keep a singular motif. Its entire design process was completed by closely coordinating with both the architects and the designers from the NHCP and the contractor. The Provincial Engineering Office in Sorsogon was also involved in order to consistently keep the neo-classical design.
With the fresh new yet reminiscent look, the Capitol Building in Sorsogon has been looked at in a positive light. So far, the building is able to give the locals a sense of history and serves as a beacon to never forget their history.
“Although we are in a pandemic and very few people get to see it, we expect that once the world reopens and the pandemic is over, the people will get to enjoy it and love it because so far the reviews we’ve been getting have all been positive.”
Socially and economically, the project is expected to lift everyone’s spirits, to be an extension of good work ethics and attitudes.
The Capitol Building in the context of Filipinism
For a long while now, the term Filipinism has been used negatively and is a term that has been endlessly debated upon.
“Filipinism is basically described in a group of words that are used in a grammatically incorrect manner.” Escudero says, “So Filipinism, really, if defined in this way, would mean that we are overly Filipinizing something that is originally not. For example, the neo-classical design of this building in Sorsogon is not Filipino; however, this design was chosen during the American occupation, including the Filipino-American revolution, which is part and parcel of our history.”
“It’s important to know your past, he continues. “Find out about the history, not only of your province, your country, and your people so that your generation will know exactly where you want to bring our country and people.”
With a future generation that is adamant in making the country a better place, Escudero believes in a new Philippines that is more prosperous and like the heritage sites that the Sorsogon government has been striving to better and preserve, will persevere and serve as inspiration.
For more on the Capitol Building’s rich history and unique redesign, click on the link to BluPrint’s latest e-mag issue.