It was organized
in July 2001 after concerned citizens learned about a bridge-and-road
project that could destroy Huluga, the home of the original people of
Cagayan de Oro. Members also discovered that other archaeological sites
were under threat. Prior
to the organization of HCA, several groups had already met with local
and regional officials, and launched a signature campaign to protect
Huluga. The National Museum
the mayor, and later, the HCA composed a
of Protest. Then the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
issued a cease-and-desist order.
June 7, 2003, however, HCA members were horrified to discover that a
large portion of the Huluga Open Site -- where artifacts are still being
found -- has been destroyed. A road now cuts through it, leading to
the bridge. The caves are spared, but remain unprotected. On June 23,
2003, Dr. Burton and other HCA visited the area, accompanied by journalists.
[See more photos and article by
Antonio J. Montalvan II. See also the primer on
Help protect our heritage
Archaeological research made in Cagayan
de Oro and vicinities reveal the removal of ancients pots and other artifacts,
like the one shown here. Wrenched from their context, many of these objects
become isolated, generic antiques. People who sell and buy them cannot
tell how they were used, who used them, and where they come from. The
story about these objects are often lost forever.
If you find what you
suspect is a fossil or an artifact, refrain from touching the item and
its surrounding. Even the positioning of these materials will affect scientific
analysis and interpretation. They must be seen in relation to the soil,
ashes, bones, water, and other materials nearby. Even if the date of a
skull is determined in a laboratory, the date could be meaningless if scientists
do not know exactly where the object was found. Removal and possession
of artifacts and fossils are also illegal and punishable by law.
collect, buy, and sell these objects as "antiques", but these
items are transformed to simply old objects if details about them are unknown.
Make a difference in
the life of our nation by helping preserve our heritage. Encourage your
local officials to protect heritage sites and objects, to put up a museum, or help an existing museum. Contact
us for advice.