Treasures of Pila

Pila Historical Society Foundation Inc.


Bayang Pinagpala” is Pila’s endeared name.  It is a town blessed with a long history of noble existence and doubly-blessed with evidences of its glorious origins.

In the declaration of the town center as a National Historical Landmark, the National Historical Institute (NHI) cites these documented treasures.

“…Pila…has been recognized as one of the country’s more important archaeological sites…
…Pila was honored with the name La Noble Villa de Pila by the Spaniards because of the genteel customs, refined manners and traditions of the people;
…Pila is one of the few existing towns in the Philippines that preserves the Spanish colonial town planning system of the Indies…
…the structures of Pila reflect a rich and varied architectural history…”

The events that led to this declaration began with the Locsin- University of San Carlos and the Elizalde-Esso Standard Philippines excavations of the 1960s.  The priceless finds of that era put Pila on the archaeological map.  It was the primary research of Dr. Luciano P.R. Santiago, M.D., however, that established the historical milieu for the artifacts recovered.  His unpublished study, “The Roots of Pila, Laguna – A Secular and Spiritual History of the Town,” formed the basis for the NHI’s declaration in May 2000.

Treasures of Pila pays tribute to these archaeological and historical research, which have been conducted on the town and its people over the years

As fate would have it, Pila was once again doubly-blessed.  Initially, the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) awarded to the town a grant from Sen. Teresa Aquino Oreta’s Countrywide Development Fund (CDF).  Eventually, when asked to do the honors, Cynthia Ongpin Valdes-leading authority on oriental ceramics-agreed to author a research paper on Pila Museum’s artifacts.

Spearheaded by the Pila Historical Society Foundation, Inc. (PHSFI)-which earlier worked for Pila’s declaration as a National Historical Landmark and the transfer of the museum artifacts to its present site-the publicationi is a collaboration among adopted Pilenos Ramiro Cabrera and Carolyn Dedolph, and Pilenos Dr. Luciano P.R. Santiago, Elizabeth Miranda, Cora Relova and Monina Rivera (all PHSFI members).  Mayor Wilfredo Quiat’s unwavering support played a vital role in its realization.  So did the cooperation of the Pila Municipal Tourism Council.

Treasures of Pila is a guidebook-an eye opener towards a deeper understanding and appreciation of the artifacts and old structures, of the founders and builders of the town to whom the honor of Pila now reaps really belong.  More importantly, it is an affirmation of the Pilenos’ resolve to live its history of nobility and culture.
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