The National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) will complete its restoration and reconstruction of the century-old heritage structures destroyed by the earthquake in Bohol with the handover of the reconstructed Parish Church of the Holy Cross in the city of Maribojoc to its legal owner, the Diocese from Tagbilaran. on December 12, the National Museum of Bohol said in a press release.
Holy Cross Parish Church, diocesan shrine of St. Vincent Ferrer, is one of two churches from the Spanish colonial period 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 neighboring municipality of Maribojoc, had already been ceded to the same diocese on September 7.
The reconstruction of the two churches had been implemented by the NMP, a government agency responsible for various culturally significant properties, sites and reserves across the country.
Before its destruction, the ecclesial complex of Maribojoc which includes the church and the convent in stone masonry, its side squares and the stone staircase behind the church, was declared a national cultural treasure by the NMP on May 5, 2010.
The declaration recognizes the Church of Maribojoc as a unique cultural asset, possessing exceptional 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 Historical Institute (now the National Historic Commission of the Philippines or NHCP) as a historic center / heritage area.
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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 achievement of rebuilding and restoring Bohol’s damaged heritage structures is the result of the collective and collaborative efforts of the national government, local government units, entrepreneurs and stakeholders.
Eight years after the Bohol earthquake, the NMP restored the religious heritage complexes of Loboc, Dimiao, Alburquerque, Cortes and Panglao; Besides the churches of Loon and Maribojoc, the watchtowers of Loay, Panglao and Balilihan were also reconstructed.
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 home, the former provincial capital, which was also damaged in the earthquake and restored by the NMP.
Image courtesy of Nathaniel Luperte, National Museum of Bohol