Letran facade illuminates with its newly installed lights. (Paul Sugano/The LANCE)
After seven months of refurbishing, The Colegio de San Juan de Letran façade is now free from the obstructions of scaffolding and plywood, which impends students from entering and exiting from the semester-old turnstile.
As the crowd of the National Collegiate Athlethic Association (NCAA) On Tour game at the Blessed Antonio Varona Gymnasium leaves after the home court win, the newly installed monumental lighting lit up the refurbished façade, leaving people looking up to the four story building in awe.
The Colegio started the renovations of the façade since January with a target of three months for completion. Yet, the Vice President for Financial Affairs Fr. Lauro de Dios, O.P. shared to The LANCE that the unexpected rains has overtaken the renovations.
“We really wanted to start as early as January because we did not want to be overtaken by the rainy season. But as early as May, rain came,” he said.
Vice President for Financial Affairs Fr. Lauro de Dios, O.P. explained that another reason behind the delay is the amount of details needed to be inspected before the work to be done. The Colegio’s façade has been under renovation and paint jobs even before the last academic year ended.
For the plan on Letran’s façade Fr. De Dios shared that it was Intramuros Administration approved since January of this year.
Through maintaining the historic aura and beauty of the walled city, Intramuros Administration (IA) is strict when it comes to building designs and renovations inside the walls; every building has to follow an orderly fashion of procedure before IA can give them their go signal.
The design and work for the improved face of the Colegio was renovated inch by inch with detailed attention to each windows, grills, and paint jobs.
Lights and proper wirings are also added to lit Muralla and the building itself to add colors to the once grey structure at night.
“The façade have monumental lighting. So, if we are to celebrate women’s week, we could have [the façade] violet,” Fr. De Dios said.
The installment of spotlights also assured the security of people passing by the Muralla Street.
“It is also equipped with spotlights. The three balconies have spotlights to light the place at night,” he added.
The VP for Financial Affairs assured that the façade’s contractor is now working thoroughly to finish the renovation.
Freshmen have yet to tap their IDs in the turnstile and get to see the façade bare of any construction materials. This renovation raised some concerns from the students about the noise coming from the construction tools.
“I thought of it as a hindrance for us, students, especially when we are at school, studying. It's noisy and loud.” Freshman Kit Salonga shared.
A student noted that the initiative of refurbishing should have been done long before the Colegio is nearing its Quadricentennial.
“Matagal na dapat nabigyan nang ganong klaseng pailaw yung Letran façade,” suggested Journalism senior Enrique Agcaoili.
Although the constructions and renovations happening around the Colegio have students at the edge of their seats, some are patiently waiting for the improved rooms and services that will benefit them.
“Improving the school's facade is beneficial for the whole Letran community, and will also contribute in maintaining the beauty of Intramuros.” Fourth year Gabrielle dela Cruz told the LANCE.
“Pag tingin ko napa-nganga na lang ako kasi sobrang ganda,” Tourism alumnus Godfrey Siochi shared.
Siochi proudly added that: “Feel ko we are all set for the year three countdown celebration [of Letran] to 400 years.”
“Nagulat ako nung pagdaan ko sa Letran. Gusto ko tuloy bumalik dyan,” former Digital Arts student Karl Dizon shared.