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

June 17, 2003
Discovery of the destruction of Huluga Open Site by HCA. The team members who conducted site inspection were Elson Elizaga, Nono Montalván and Lourd Ostique.
June 23, 2003
"Emano Contractor Damages Huluga" by Herbie Gomez, The Mindanao Gold Star Daily, June 23, 2003. Highlight: City Hall officials allowed a construction firm to bulldoze portions of the site of what is believed to be Cagayan de Oro’s first settlement, permanently damaging the place that continues to yield archaeological artifacts to this day.
June 24, 2003
"Damages to Huluga Irreparable: Experts" by Herbie Gomez, The Mindanao Gold Star Daily,June 24, 2003. Highlight: The damages caused by the ongoing construction of a road and bridge to the archaeological site Huluga in Cagayan de Oro are irreparable, experts said.
June 24, 25, 26, 2003
"The Tragedy of Huluga" by Antonio Montalván II, The Mindanao Gold Star Daily, June 24, 2003.
June 25, 2003
"Emano: Bridge More Important than Site", by Herbie Gomez, Lito Rulona and Mark Francisco, The Mindanao Gold Star Daily, June 25, 2003.

Highlight: Cagayan de Oro Mayor Vicente Emano yesterday broke his silence over the Huluga mess and maintained that city hall did the right thing in flattening out portions of the archaeological site in Barangay Indahag to give way to a road that leads to the Taguanao -Balulang Bridge. “Para nako, mas importante man unta ang tulay kay mao man gyud ni ang mapuslan sa katawhan (As far as I’m concerned, the bridge is more important because people will find it useful),” said Emano. “Pasaylu-on lang ako nila. Alang kanako mas bililhon kaayo ang tulay kay sa gi-ingon nila nga heritage nga na-damage (I hope they forgive me. But for me, the bridge is more important than heritage).”
June 30, 2003
"Destruction of Heritage Site Ongoing" by Antonio J. Montalván II, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 30, 2003, p. A9. Highlight: The Huluga Open Site is no more. The caves are still there beside a mammoth bridge that will receive a daily flow of heavy traffic, on top of the fact that no preservation and protection measures have been put in place by Emano. The so-called “buffer zone” was simply a prevarication of Emano’s alter egos and armchair historians.
June 30, 2003
"Invasion of the Barbarians" by Manuel Valdehuesa, Jr., The Mindanao Gold Star Daily, June 30, 2003.

Highlight: The reckless destruction of the Huluga heritage site calls to mind the Taliban’s barbaric blowing up of the ancient Bamian Buddha shrine in Afghanistan. It is a classic case of hubris, of the arrogance of power, of flying in the face of public opinion, of public servants giving the middle finger to the people they swore to serve and respect. It dramatizes what many have been saying in private, that this is a government of and by the politicians and to hell with the people!

June 30, 2003
"Two Km Radius At Huluga Site Not Feasible: Hiscom", Sun Star Cagayan de Oro, June 30, 2003.

Highlight: Earlier Regional Director Dorothy Jean Pabayo of the Department of Tourism (DOT-10) said the issue was addressed two years ago. She said a compromise was reached to readjust the approach further from the cave and the open site. “If the bulldozers were able to unearth significant artifacts then the theory is correct but if no significant find then the radius of the so called open site might be too wide and therefore no significant damage,” Pabayo said.

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