Heritage Conservation Advocates
Huluga Chronology
vis-à-vis Scientific Study, Preservation and Tragedy
By Lourd Ostique
Administrative Officer, Museo de Oro, Xavier University
August 13, 2003
Publication of The Huluga Caves and the Prehistory of Cagayan de Oro in Cagayan 1971, by Fr. Francisco Demetrio, S.J., a Museum and Archives Publication No. 3, Xavier University (1971).

Fr. Demetrio declared: “But it is clear that there were people living in this area many, many centuries before the coming of Spain and of Islam. It seems even before the coming of the Chinese wares, that is, before the 17th century A.D., people had been burying their dead in Huluga Caves.

"We know, too, that the Huluga Open site contains many evidences for continued human existence from the late Neolithic until the Sung and Ming dynasties, that is, shortly before the coming of Spain. And, if that is so, it is quite clear that the memory kept by the folk for so long about their original sitio being situated up the river, some 8 kilometers to the south, is not just a creation of fancy and imagination, but, like most legends have a basis in historical truth.” [Cagayan 1971, p. 13] 
The National Museum made a partial investigation of the open site in which several trenches and pits were opened. Material culture were collected from the surface which consisted of obsidian flakes and chips, chert flakes, potsherds and some porcelain sherds. [Burton report, 1975].
January 10, 1974
Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos signed into law Presidential Decree No. 374 Amending Certain Sections of Republic Act No. 4846, Otherwise known as the “Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act.”

Highlights of this law:
  • “Sec. 2. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state to preserve and protect the important cultural properties and National Cultural Treasures of the nation and to safeguard their intrinsic value.
  • “i. A historical site is any place, province, city, town and /or any location and structure which has played a significant and important role in the history of our country and nation. Such significance and importance may be cultural, political, sociological or historical.
  • “j. An archaeological site is any place which may be underground or on the surface, underwater, or at sea level which contains fossils, artifacts and other cultural, geological, botanical, zoological materials which depict and document evidence of paleontological and pre-historic events.”
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