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Re: PS Middleside Barracks Controversy (Read 3279 times)
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Re: PS Middleside Barracks Controversy
Feb 05th, 2007, 9:00am
 
The following editorial by noted journalist Beth Day Romulo ran in the Manila Bulletin.  Editor

OPINION & EDITORIAL
Corregidor ruins are being saved not desecrated
Thursday, December 28, 2006
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AS president of the Corregidor Foundation, I, and our supportive friends from the Fil-Am Memorial Endowment (FAME) have been trying desperately for a dozen years or more to find the necessary funding to shore up the walls of the military barracks buildings on Corregidor Island before they are lost to typhoons, or merely collapse from age and lack of support. We have approached UNESCO three times to no avail. We have made private personal appeals to government agencies here and in the United States, to veterans groups and individuals with influence to no avail. We have taken architects and experts to the sites and received their recommendations but no source of funding materialized. Meanwhile, we lose a few more sections of hallowed walls with each typhoon.

Finally this past year we succeeded in interesting the local government and the Department of Budget released some funds through the National Historical Institute to clean up Middleside Barracks which was hardest hit in the recent typhoons, and shore up the walls so they will not be lost to posterity. When the work is finished, Middleside will be clean and accessible as Topside’s Milelong Barracks which stands in stark grandeur with no trees or underbrush obscuring it.

Unfortunately some well meaning people, unfamiliar with the cleanup project, have mounted a campaign on the Internet to stop the rescue work which they consider a "desecration" of a historic site. This misperception began when workmen were seen using acetylene torches to cut dangerous, dangling wires, with slabs of concrete hanging from them that might well have fallen on tourists heads. The workmen also used the torches to cut newly exposed ends of steel bars, considered equally dangerous. Workers were also, according to the National Historical Institute plan, cutting trees within a safety perimeter of the walls so that if they fall, during typhoons, they won’t bring down more sections of walls with them, which happened recently when five trees were uprooted, taking down sections of walls as they fell. One huge tree, whose roots are entwined within the structure of the barracks was simply topped rather than disturb its roots and the trees lining the road were not touched.

Phase One of the clean-up job was simply cleaning out the typhoon damage, removing dangerous debris and cutting trees close to the walls that threatened further damage. Phase two will include deepening a drainage ditch to prevent soil erosion and the flooding of the ground floor of the buildings, putting stainless steel plates to cover manholes, and a partial shoring up of the weakest posts, walls, floors and ceilings with steel bars that lie flush with interior construction. Phase Three will complete the shoring up and support of the existing walls. With the removal of trees and brush that obscured the actual front of the building, tourists will now have a view of the architectural design which was denied them when they passed in back of the barracks.

What has been and is being done is certainly no desecration of a historic site but simply technical intervention to prevent further deterioration and an attempt to preserve what we have left of the ruins.

I would have appreciated if it our well meaning friends who are trying to stop the rescue of Middleside Barracks would have started their "Save Corregidor" campaign when we needed it, and had helped with the funds. With this cleanup and shoring up operation, Middleside Barracks will look like the memorable Topside Milelong barracks which escaped collapse thus far because there are no trees near it. Eventually, if funding can be found, we hope to shore up and support all the remaining structures on Corregidor, including the hospital and the cinema. Middleside Barracks is an emergency rescue operation.

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Karl-Wilhelm Welteke
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Re: PS Middleside Barracks Controversy
Reply #1 - Feb 10th, 2007, 2:50am
 
This is not really a reply, but it presents recent, updated pics about the project.

A good friend of mine, Tom Aring from Texas,  visited Corregidor two times recently; Dec 2006 and Jan 2007, both times for 10 days.
He took only a few pictures and asked me to share them. This album is exclusively for the   pictures from the Middleside Barracks. They are of interest to the present discussion about the restoration project by the authorities.

This and the the below link were dead but are now reactivated as of 5th of May 2009.

http://s74.photobucket.com/albums/i265/PI-Sailor/Corregidor%20by%20subject/CI%20...
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« Last Edit: Aug 15th, 2011, 4:35am by Karl-Wilhelm Welteke »  
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Re: PS Middleside Barracks Controversy
Reply #2 - Feb 12th, 2007, 12:29pm
 
This album shows the condition of the Middleside Barracks in Jan. 2004 and Aug. 2006. Especially one can see that the trees and bamboos are damaging the remains of the barracks.

http://s74.photobucket.com/albums/i265/PI-Sailor/Corregidor%20at%20Random/CI%20R...
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« Last Edit: Jul 31st, 2011, 7:36am by Karl-Wilhelm Welteke »  
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