The most important thing perhaps that the renovation of the San Pablo City Cathedral façade has allowed us to experience is the ‘re-discovery’ of the façade’s beauty. I have said this several times already but who would have thought that those red brick artworks are just behind the indifferent cement plaster? But now that the renovation is halfway through, perhaps more than the halfway mark of the time frame, the possible point of question now is the re-plastering of the façade using lime.
In Regalado Trota Jose’s book ‘Simbahan’ he mentioned that paletada was used to avert erosion and wearing because of the elements. Lime was, and still is, a major ingredient for it among other materials. But by the look of it, with the paletada being placed now on the façade, the red brick ‘version’ is the one more pleasing to the eyes.
I wish I would be able to consult again the foreman on this part of the refurbishment. Or perhaps even better, an architect or an engineer trained on conservation. Or to dig even deeper to the past, and I too have been wondering about this: was it possible that when the cathedral was built, the red bricks used for the façade without any coverings?