Exhumation of the remains of the Grand Old Lady of the Katipunan, Melchora Aquino, from Himlayang Pilipino for transfer to the Tandang Sora Shrine now have a good chance of gaining congressional approval after the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) backed up Quezon City’s claims to have the remains transferred to the heroine’s birth place at Banlat Road in Tandang Sora.
The non-inclusion of Himlayang Pilipino in the list of NHCP’s national historical shrines and the failure of the memorial park’s administration to provide the city government with valid documents supporting claims that Tandang Sora should remain buried at Himlayang Pilipino, have bolstered QC’s interest to pursue the transfer of the heroine’s remains, which has long been requested by her family.
Tandang Sora’s remains were transferred to Himlayang Pilipino in 1970.
“QC is not giving up its claims to exhume Tandang Sora’s remains. Nothing will be more timely and fitting than to have her rightfully buried in her original birthplace during the commemoration of her bicentennial year on January 6, 2012,” said Mayor Herbert Bautista during a meeting with members of the QC Task Force Tandang Sora.
According to Architect Veronica Dado, chief of NHCP’s historical sites and education division, only an act of Congress would force the transfer of Tandang Sora’s remains.
To date, plans are now underway for the historical and economic development of the Tandang Sora area in Quezon City.
On orders of the Mayor, a task force was formed to oversee the development of historical and economic activities in the area, especially the expansion of the Tandang Sora Shrine, which was restored by the city government in 2005 as a fitting tribute to Tandang Sora.
The Mayor has named Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte as task force chair.
Development plans shall include the establishment of a museum dedicated to preserve the ideals and good deeds of Tandang Sora, particularly her quest for women empowerment.
The Mayor is eyeing the purchase of properties located beside and behind the shrine for the proposed construction of the Tandang Sora museum.
Mayor Bautista was optimistic that the museum will have its groundbreaking in time for the commemoration of the 200th birth anniversary of Tandang Sora next year.
According to the mayor, part of the expansion program for the shrine will also include the clearing of sidewalks along the Tandang Sora area against all forms of illegal structures. The Mayor has already instructed concerned city government officials to conduct a series of dialogues with establishment owners in the area on the city’s plan to recover the sidewalks along Tandang Sora leading to Visayas Avenue. Precy/ Ramir/ Maureen Quiñones, PAISO