NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE PRINT SUNDAY EDITION OF BOHOL CHRONICLE.
The Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Bishop Charles John Brown and His Excellency Jorge Moragas Sanchez, Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines will be the guests of honor at the official renewal of the Holy Cross Parish Church, one of the churches devastated during the strong earthquake that hit the province.
The nuncio representing Pope Francis arrived at Bohol Panglao International Airport at 10:40 am yesterday morning with the honors of a military arrival on board the plane as he was greeted by church leaders Bishop Alberto Uy, Bishop Patrick Daniel Parcon of the Dioceses of Tagbilaran and Talibon, respectively.
Upon his arrival he visited other restored churches such as the Sanctuary-Parish of the Assumption of Our Lady in the town of Dauis, the centuries-old Parish of the Immaculate Conception in the town of Baclayon. Yesterday he celebrated Holy Mass at Saint Joseph Cathedral.
The two visiting dignitaries are guests during the Church’s official rotation at 8:30 a.m. this morning.
The ceremony to unveil the new marker of the National Historic Churches of the Philippines while a mass will be celebrated inside the restored church as the official dedication of the church.
The National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) completes its restoration and reconstruction of centuries-old heritage structures damaged by the earthquake in the city of Tagbilaran.
Ambassador Sanchez will deliver a special message, while President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will be represented by Sec. Leoncio Evasco, Presidential Advisor on Streamlining Government Processes, to read the President’s message for revenue.
Further messages will be delivered in person by Governor Arthur Yap and Cong. Edgar M. Chatto.
The National Museum’s General Manager Jeremy Barns, SACO III, will then make the turnover and his speech followed by a commemorative video documentary of the church.
Bishop Uy will deliver an acceptance speech and message of gratitude, while the signing of the turnover and acceptance certificates and the unveiling of the NHCP marker will follow.
The dedication mass of the parish church and the diocesan sanctuary of Maribojoc and the pontifical mass will be celebrated by Bishop Uy with Bishop Charles John Brown as a homily.
Holy Cross Parish Church, diocesan shrine of St. Vincent Ferrer, is one of two churches from the Spanish colonial period completely destroyed by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Bohol and its neighboring islands on October 15 2013.
The other church, the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Lumière in Loon, a town bordering Maribojoc, had already been handed over to the same diocese on September 7, 2021. The reconstruction of the two churches had been implemented by the NMP, an agency cultural center responsible for various goods, sites and reserves of cultural significance across the country.
Before its destruction, the church complex of Maribojoc, which includes the stone masonry church and convent, its side squares and the stone staircase at the rear of the church, was declared a national cultural treasure. by NMP on May 5, 2010. The declaration officially recognized the Church of Maribojoc as a unique cultural asset, possessing outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and scientific value of high significance and importance to the country and the nation. The site, due to its colonial architecture representative of the Spanish colonial period, had also been listed by the National Historic Institute (now the National Historic Commission of the Philippines) as a historic center / heritage area. A new historic landmark by the NHCP will be unveiled during the awards ceremony.
Unique to the church are its neo-Gothic and Mudejar style altarpieces incorporated with local motifs. His ceiling paintings by Cebuano master painter Raymundo Francia are a fine example of early 20th-century church art in the Visayas. Both elements of the church have been meticulously restored by local artists, guided by expert restorers and art curators.
The feat of rebuilding and restoring Bohol’s damaged heritage structures, including the Church of Maribojoc, is the result of the collective and collaborative efforts of the national government, LGUs, entrepreneurs and stakeholders. Eight years after the Bohol earthquake, the NMP restored the religious heritage complexes of Loboc, Dimiao, Alburquerque, Cortes and Panglao; rebuilt the churches of Loon and Maribojoc, as well as the watchtowers of Loay, Pangalo and Balilihan. The Escuela Niña, a Spanish school building, and Plaza Rizal in the capital of Bohol, the city of Tagbilaran, were also restored by the NMP and refurbished in June this year. In 2018, the Bohol National Museum moved to its new headquarters, the former Provincial Capitol, which was also damaged in the earthquake and restored by the NMP.
Three bishops from Boholano join in today’s celebration.
Archbishop Romulo Valles, former president of the Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) arrived yesterday with other Boholano church leaders, Bishop Antonietto Cabahug and Bishop Crispin Varquez. Valles is originally from the town of Maribojoc. (With NM PR)