Quezon’s quest to preserving history


The Capitol Building glistened in diamond-like flashes as it shivered under the embrace of the sun. It inhaled the polluted air – tolerating the painful dust – just watching three-dimensional men pass by with its two-dimensional walls.

For many years, it had been like this, watching Quezon change before its eyes. Finally, it is now Quezon’s turn to witness the Capitol’s change towards preserving the past.

The 150-million peso restoration and rehabilitation project put forward by Gov. David C. Suarez initialized the Old Tayabas Capitol Building’s road to progressive transformation.

Under a team headed by Architect Joel Vivero Rico; Engineer Johnny Pasatiempo; Provincial Information Officer, Ma. Janet Gebeblazo; and local historian, Carlos Villariba, the Capitol’s restoration will turn the edifice into the “Gem of the Province”

Like any other treasure, it was kept inside the cages of conventional and traditional architectural details, to store it safely against the boundaries of time, and evolution of construction styles.

It stood on the same ground donated by Gov. Filemon Perez in 1908 and stayed unbothered by the fast-moving present. For over 100 years, it wore a face conceptualized and designed by Ar. William Parsons, and towered over the sunken ground of the park.

From the facade, the simple columns, symmetrical composition and pediments, and friezes – the Capitol’s structure encapsulated the features of the neoclassical style.

According to Villariba, the last governor who used the old capitol building was the late governor Anacleto Alcala. After the Alcala Administration, the succeeding governors transferred their offices, leaving the building on a lonely stage of deterioration.

Suarez, however, will end his term in June 2019. Worrying about the interruption of the project due to the transition of the next administration, Pasatiempo said that when a new governor has taken over, it will not interrupt the process of Restoration as it is now lined-up, with a budget already allocated to finance the restoration works.

We are lucky to have a structure like the Old Tayabas Capitol. It is not just an ordinary building, but it symbolizes our identity as Quezonians. Let us appreciate the efforts of the Provincial Government and the Restoration Team as they show their eagerness to preserve our local heritage sites to showcase it to the next generations.