The National Museum of the Philippines has turned over the reconstructed parish church to the Diocese of Tagbilaran
On Oct. 15, 2013, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Bohol and its neighboring islands causing major damage to many centuries-old heritage structures in the area, one of which is the Holy Cross Parish Church, popularly known as Maribojoc Church. After over eight years, the church is finally back to its former glory and now open to the public.
The National Museum of the Philippines, which led the parish’s restoration and reconstruction, has turned over the Maribojoc Church to its legal owner, the Diocese of Tagbilaran, last Dec. 12, 2021. The church and its complex, which includes the stone masonry church and convent, its side plazas, and the stone stairway at the back, was declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the NMP on May 5, 2010, validating its status as a site “possessing outstanding historical, cultural, artistic, and scientific value highly significant and important to the nation.” With its colonial architecture that is representative of the Spanish colonial period, it had also been listed by the National Historical Institute (now the National Historical Commission of the Philippines) as a historic center/ heritage zone.
Beauty is present everywhere in the church. What one will find unique are its neo-Gothic and Mudejar-styled retablos incorporated with local motifs. Its ceiling became a canvas for the art of Cebuano master painter Raymundo Francia, which showcases a fine example of early 20th-century ecclesiastical art in the Visayas.
Apart from the Maribojoc Church, the NMP also led a number of restoration projects in the area, in collaborations with the national government, LGUs, contractors, and stakeholders. Other refurbished heritage sites include the Our Lady of Light Parish in Loon, which has been turned over to the Diocese of Tagbilaran last Sept. 7, 2021. The Escuela Niña, a Spanish school building, and the Plaza Rizal in Bohol’s capital, Tagbilaran City, have also been restored by the NMP and turned over in June of this year.
Check out the restored Maribojoc Church below.