Dupax del Sur’s horno is now a garbage pit

Overgrown and neglected

Overgrown and neglected

Like most heritage structures that are not churches and buildings, those lumped under others, are usually just taken for granted, neglected and left to the elements. These structures like watchtowers, cemetery perimeter fences and chapels and kilns almost always suffer the same fate. Unless its so good looking like the San Joaquin cemetery complex with its gorgeous cemetery chapel crowning a grand staircase to merit a National Cultural Treasure declaration.

Hornos in the Philippines, kilns, used in baking bricks as an important building material are rare considering that provinces and regions especially in Luzon have many structures constructed with the material. Of the existing ones, the horno in Camalaniugan is the best example in Cagayan Valley. The region has two more: Tuguegarao City in Barangay Bagumbayan and in Dupax del Sur poblacion.

Dupax del Sur in the province of Nueva Vizcaya is known for its beautiful stucco relief at the baptistry as well as the carved twin pillars of the church, a declared National Cultural Treasure (NCT). It’s Spanish colonial era bridge has also been acknowledged as an important heritage property (NCT). It has a historic flag pole too.

But not many know that somewhere in the poblacion, hidden from trees and vegetation, a garbage pit is actually a Spanish colonial era kiln that produced the bricks used to build these declared cultural treasures. It’s in ruins, again, neglected and left to the elements. Around the horno are large unused bricks that the houses near it used as their own flooring. When you look at the back of these bricks are signatures and markings.

Too bad, nobody cares.

The horno as a dumpsite

The horno as a dumpsite

Cracked and deteriorating

Cracked and deteriorating

Antique bricks piled at one house

Antique bricks piled at one house

Writings at the back of bricks

Writings at the back of bricks

NOTE: Images taken in 2007.

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