February 27, 2024- ASCOT and the Sangguniang Bayan ng Baler align their efforts to designate Ermita Hill as an official historical site, as discussed during a session at SB Hall, Baler.

The ordinance, authored by Hon. Emmanuel Galban and supported by fellow SB Members Hon. Pedro D. Valenzuela, Hon. Santino Guerrero, Hon. Carlito S. Morillo, and ex-officio member Hon. Euni May B. Fernando, highlights Ermita Hill’s cultural significance.

Mariano Quinoñes,Director, Center for Aurora Cultural Studies at Mount Carmel College, discussed the historical knowledge that on December 27, 1935, a big tidal wave, or “tromba marina,” wiped out the town, then located at Barrio Sabang. An undetermined number of its inhabitants were drowned, and only 14 families survived by climbing up and staying at Ermita Hill.

ASCOT President Reyes, in his response, reminisced about his aspirations to enhance Ermita Hill’s appeal to tourists. ” Ang gusto ko sa Ermita ay puntahan siya ng turista. Pero pag pinuntahan siya ng turista, merong makikita at malalaman tungkol sa Ermita. Ang maganda kasi ngayon, pino-promote ng Commissioner on Higher Education ang Educational Tourism Program. Katulad ng Ermita, pero, pag pinuntahan, kailangan maganda. Kailangan educational. Merong makukuha”

He emphasized the importance of integrating arts, culture, and history into the tourist experience. Drawing from his scientific background, he shared insights on his discoveries, including a unique mushroom species in Maria Aurora. He envisioned transforming Ermita Hill into an educational and captivating destination, reminiscent of European aesthetics, adorned with Corinthian pillars and Japanese tori gates. He proposed the creation of an open-air auditorium for cultural performances, a meditation area, and eco-friendly shops nestled within the forest.

He expressed gratitude for the LGU’s initiative in recognizing ASCOT’s importance and welcomed the prospect of further collaboration.

Present during the session from ASCOT were President Renato G. Reyes, Acting VPAFP Engr. Oscar S. Barawid, Acting VPAA Ma Luz F. Cabatan, Legal Officer Karl Thomas D. Olivar, and Board Secretary Joseph T. Gonzales. Their engagement with local government officials, including Vice Mayor Pedro M. Ong Jr., is a collaborative approach towards realizing the shared goal of promoting heritage tourism in the region.

#ascot #ermita #SB #historicallandmark