Artists draw attention to Manila's historic landmarks

MANILA (REUTERS) - Many of the capital Manila's cultural landmarks are crumbling and slated for demolition, but a band of sketch artists are hoping to draw attention and possibly save them, keeping heritage alive with art in the Philippines.

"It's like we're sharing the impression that we have on the scene, hoping that if there's a strong feeling that we see in the venue, in that setting, at least we can impart it through a sketch," urban sketcher Meg Roxas said.

Art enthusiasts with Urban Sketchers Philippines converge at the sites of dilapidated buildings once a month. They post their work on social media to rally support, or simply to capture them on paper. For some, it's more than just sentimental value.

"You can learn from heritage structures, the ingenuity behind the tropical designs that they implemented, or the structural system, the earthquake-proofness. We'll lose all of this," convenor of Urban Sketchers Philipipnes said.

The group can claim one success: the pre-war Metropolitan Theater. But while its renovation has begun, Urban Sketchers admit the process is often underfunded and too slow. For now, they'll continue their crusade, protecting the past one sketch at a time.