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Nayong Pilipino is closing down

Part of the Nayong Pilipino (Filipino Village), a 32-year-old cultural theme park that represents the country's variegated culture will soon give way to the development of the new terminal of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila's Pasay City.

Gulf News

Part of the Nayong Pilipino (Filipino Village), a 32-year-old cultural theme park that represents the country's variegated culture will soon give way to the development of the new terminal of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila's Pasay City.

The heritage, traditions, and way of life in the country's six main regions - Ilocos, Cordillera, Tagalog, Bicol, Visayas and Mindanao - are recreated in a smaller dimension in 22 of the sprawling 46-hectare property.

Four out of the six regions, or 80 per cent of the park, will be obliterated when the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) concludes its acquisition of some 8.6 hectares of the park to be used for NAIA's new runway.

The affected areas are Tagalog, Bicol, Visayas and Mindanao regions, including the Mayon Vol-cano, provincial houses, lagoon and even the park's main road.

Nayong Pilipino will have to close down temporarily and its 59 permanent employees will be out of jobs.

The affected regions will be transferred to the remaining 38 hectares of the park property. Former first lady Imelda Marcos conceptualised the park, which opened in 1970, then dubbed as Asia's first living cultural park.

Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand constructed similar parks. Nayong Pilipino displays historical houses found in various regions.

It has a replica of the Rice Terraces in northern Luzon's summer capital; the Mayon Volcano, with its perfect cone in the Bicol region; Chocolate Hills of Bohol in the Visayas Region; and the cross planted by Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan in Cebu, central Philippines.

The Mindanao Region features a mosque, then considered the first Muslim temple outside the southern region. It also displays the collection of ethnographic and cultural artifacts of the Muslim Filipinos, royal houses, and the colourfully decorated Samal houses on stilts.

Nayong Filipino has a collection of Philippine plants. Its Museum of Ethnology showcases live mannequins in ethnic costumes.

Nayong Pilipino Foundation Inc. executive director, Charito Planas, called for $ 10 million (P 500 million) for MIAA's payment for the land, payable in two years.

The target date for the re-opening of the park has been set for December this year or early 2003.

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