How large is the damage
of the Huluga Open Site? Roughly 60 to 80 percent of the area. Hills
have been overturned. Artifacts could be lost or destroyed in the process.
What about the caves? The caves are spared, but
they remain unprotected. Since they are near the bridge, they face further
disturbance when more people migrate in Huluga and construct houses and
buildings there. Several years earlier, researchers from the National
Museum found indications of looting in the caves.
[September 2007: The caves and vicinity are occupied
by Fernando Quililan, former director of the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources (DENR)-Region 10. Despite a law prohibiting private
ownership of archaeological sites, Quililan has put up a resort called
Blue Waters in this area.]
When did you know that a bridge would be made in Huluga? In
1999, when the administration of mayor Vicente Y. Emano expressed plans
to demolish the Huluga Open Site and caves, to give way to the P635-million
What was the response of people concerned with Huluga? Antonio
J. Montalván II told Councilor Maryanne Enteria about the project. Enteria
was the head of the Tourism Committee and Montalván was a member of the
Historical and Cultural Commission.
What did Enteria do? She organized a team to survey
the area of Huluga in June 1999. The team was composed of
- Enteria herself
- Dr. Erlinda Burton, an anthropologist at Xavier University
- Representatives of the City Engineer's Office, City
Planning and Development Office, City Tourism Office, and
What was the finding of the team? The Huluga Open
Site and caves could be destroyed by the project.
What was the recommended solution? Burton recommended
that no heavy construction be made within a radius of 2,000 meters in
Huluga because "there are other sites close to the Open Site, which
would also be destroyed."
What was Enteria's response? She recommended the
diversion of the bridge project to Emano that morning. Later, in the afternoon
of the same day, Enteria said Emano had promised to divert the construction.
Were there other actions made to protect Huluga? Yes.
Montalván wrote a draft resolution, and submitted it to the City Council.
Did the City Council approve the resolution? Yes.
The Council, chaired by acting vice-mayor President D. Elipe, approved
Resolution 4433-99 on September 28, 1999. Elipe signed the Resolution.
But until today, there is no city ordinance protecting Huluga. [This resolution contains an error: It says the artifacts found in Huluga "dates back to 1,600 B.C." The correct date is 350 A.D.]
Was the construction diverted? No.
What evidence indicated the construction was not diverted? In
June or July 2001, Montalván went to the Open Site and discovered that
the bridge project contractor had built a bunkhouse and had marked some
trees with "X".
A resident of that area, Reynaldo Bacarro, explained that the "X"
mark meant that the trees would be cut down. The contractor was White
Horse Development and Construction, Inc. A few days later, Montalván visited
the area again, with Burton and Froilan Gallardo of the Philippine
Did you report this matter to the government agencies? Yes.
We invited several heads of government agencies to a meeting on July 12,
2001 at the Conference Room, Fourth Floor of the Social Science Center,
Xavier University. The purpose was to discuss ways to preserve Huluga.
Who attended the meeting? From our group, it was
Burton, Montalván, and Luis E. Ostique of Museo de Oro, Xavier University.
From the government and private offices, 16 representatives attended,
seven of which we consider major:*
- Engr. Jorie Bingona, City Engineer's Office
- Dir. Fernando P. Quililan, Department of Environment
and Natural Resource (DENR)-Region 10
- Alex D. Jimenez, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-Region
- Engr. Estevan F. Agdagdag, White Horse Trading Development
- Thaddeus A. Bautista, Historical and Cultural Commission,
- Dir. Dorothy Jean Pabayo, Department of Tourism (DOT)-Region
- Dir. Cynthia Viajar Abanil, Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor
Special Development Project
What was agreed during the meeting? Huluga should
be preserved. [To page 2]