church turnoverThe National Heritage Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) turned over completed restoration project of the San Guillermo de Aquitania Church last November 22, 2016.

“This structure is the 10th structure here in Cebu damaged by the earthquake of 2013 that was restored by the NHCP to be turned over”, Dr. Maria Serena I. Diokno, NHCP chairperson, stated in her message in a short ceremony held in front of the church.

Dalaguete Church known as the San Guillermo de Aquitania Church was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historic Institute in 2004. Dr. Diokno expressed how happy the commission is that the Parish Heritage Committee is very active. They hope that the parish will continue their interest in preserving local heritage especially the restored church.

The commission acknowledged requests made by the committee but cannot promise just yet as they still have projects to accomplish. They cannot commit not unless they find that there will be enough funds. Dr. Diokno added, “We cannot make changes that were made by the past parish priests, what we corrected were mostly structural aspect due to earthquake as per the budget approved by law.”

In January 2017, NHCP will do trainings for parishes in Dalaguete and other churches to train the designated members of the parish in the maintenance of the structure, cleaning of the walls and so on. They are hopeful that in June, they will be able to hold classes in the municipality. The parish priest or designate will choose who will attend and NHCP will provide for the trainers and the materials for the training. They expect in restoration projects that before any changes, addition, subtraction or anything be made to the structure; they need to be consulted because if done wrong and inappropriate materials were used, it will cost double to redo and correct the errors. They are very mindful that the money used is of the taxpayers, they want to utilize it properly. They would greatly appreciate it if letters or emails with copy of plans be sent to them for their perusal so they could also reply to the requests.

Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Aloysius Alojipan, in behalf of the archdiocese most especially the parish of Dalaguete, conveyed their gratitude towards NHCP for taking over the restoration of the church and convent. 3 years ago, the people of Dalaguete tried to pull up their resources so the restoration project could commence apparently funds ran short. Thanks to NHCP the restoration is now complete. He assured the commission that their work will not go in vain because the parishioners will pay full responsibility in taking care and safe guarding the gifts that have been received from the ancestors. He added, “We promise that the restoration project that you have made in this place will be forever cherished by those who’ll come after us.”

Constructed in 1800s and surviving the tests of time and nature San Guillermo de Aquitania stands not just as a testament to the mastery of Filipino craftsmen in stone and woodwork but most especially a true exemplification a rich culture and history.


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