The Far Eastern University (FEU) is now home to “National Cultural Treasures” after six buildings of its buildings were declared as such by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Through Museum Declaration-1-2018, the Nicanor Reyes Sr. Hall; Administration Building; Admissions Building, formerly the Engineering Building or the East Asia Building; Architecture and Fine Arts Building, formerly the Law Building; Science Building; and the FEU Chapel were all recognized as heritage buildings.
In a small ceremony along with the announcement, FEU unveiled a special marker awarded to the university as a symbol of its historic and cultural significance. The said marker was given by the National Museum of the Philippines.
Present in the ceremony were FEU President Juan Miguel Montinola, FEU Chair Emeritus Dr. Lourdes Reyes Montinola, National Museum Deputy Director-General for Museums Jorell Legaspi, and National Museum Chief Administrative Officer of the Research, Collection, and Conservation Management Division Anne Rosette Crelencia.
“The FEU community is privileged to know that our university is the home of many national cultural treasures through its facilities and artworks,” said Montinola.
“Moreover, these treasures are not in confined spaces. They are enjoyed daily by our students, who will carry with them the memory of our rich cultural heritage,” he added.
Legaspi, on behalf of the National Museum, said that the FEU has stood as a “symbol of dedication to the harmonious blend of history and modernity” from its inception.
“The National Cultural Treasure marker serves as a reminder of our collective duty to safeguard this heritage, which is not only a relic of the past but a bridge to a bright future,” Legaspi said.
Aside from the heritage marker, FEU also unveiled a memorial plaque for the late Architect Pablo Antonio Jr., son of National Artist for Architecture Pablo Antonio Sr. who designed most of the university’s esteemed Art Deco structures.
Safeguarding cultural heritage
In 2005, FEU’s cultural heritage conservation efforts were recognized when it received the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Asia-Pacific Honorable Mention Heritage Award. This award acknowledged five of its buildings as heritage structures.
FEU also boasts several paintings and sculptures that depict important aspects of Philippine history and culture aside from its large collection of remarkable architectural structures.
The FEU Chapel, the newest addition to the university’s list of heritage buildings, features two life-size mural paintings, “The Stations of Cross” and “The Crucified Christ” by National Artist for Visual Arts Carlos “Botong” Francisco.
The Administration Building, where the new marker is installed, houses Italian artist Francesco Ricardo Monti’s sculptures of the different historical eras of the Philippines.
One of FEU’s flagship programs is architecture, in support of global goals for sustainable cities and communities.
FEU noted that these works of art, among others, are a testament to its “dedication to the preservation of culture and the arts, as well as the safeguarding of Filipino memory.”