Nat'l Museum turns over restored Church Complex to Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia

MAGSINGAL, Ilocos Sur, Dec. 15 (PIA) - The National Museum of the Philippines (NMP), headed by Director General Jeremy Barns, formally turned over the completed restoration project and site improvement of the Magsingal Church Complex National Cultural Treasure to the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia in a ceremony held on Sunday, December 13.

Also called “Hermitania de Magsingal 1730” – declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the NMP in 2001, the Magsingal Church Complex includes the ruined walls and bell tower of the former Parish Church of San Guillermo de Aquitania, which was built in the 18th century under the Augustinians, a school, the present church, and the old convent – now the Magsingal Museum.

“It’s been our privilege at the National Museum of the Philippines to have also been present at the church compound since the 1980s. We have been really concerned through the years to bring out the ruins of the former church that dates from the 18th century and to integrate our museum with the existing church, the ruins, and the famous bell tower,” NMP Director General Barns said in his message.  

Representing Most Rev. Marlo Peralta of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, Archdiocesan Cultural Heritage Director Rev. Fr. Jeric Jaramillo said in his message that the restoration doesn't only convey a message of faith but also unity among the community who made it happen. 

“This project in Magsingal conveys a message that these stones and mortars are not simply ordinary crumbling walls that destroy a beholder's view, these are living expressions of the faith of our ancestors," Rev. Fr. Jaramillo said.

"There is a reason to be grateful to this great effort, we helped together so that this will bear fruit and will educate the people, especially the youth about our past so as to trace a greater, brighter future,” he further added.

In September 2018, an agreement was signed by the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia and the NMP for the restoration and improvement of the church complex, particularly the former church ruins, the bell tower, and the surrounding grounds, through the initiative of the Office of Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur First District Representative Deogracias Victor Savellano.

Maraming treasures ang probinsiya natin. May mga panahon na napabayaan natin ang mga ito pero sana sa pamamagitan ng aktibidad natin ngayon ay mabuksan ang isip ng lahat upang mas mapalago pa ang rich history natin. Tulungan niyo kaming maghanap ng mga historical pieces upang maibalik ang mga ito at makatulong na maisulong ang ating turismo gayun din ang ating ekonomiya," said Rep. Savellano.  

In her message, Magsingal Mayor Victoria Ina Favis expressed her enthusiasm for the lasting impact of the complex to the public, saying that it wasn't restored only for the people of Magsingal, but for all.

“This site can now serve as a place where a community could gather, students and visitors will be able to find their way to this new space and develop a new and heightened sense of appreciation and curiosity and we know that the curiosity is out there. With the cutting of this ribbon, I am thinking of these people – young and old, most importantly, I am thrilled for the important cultural contributions the restoration of this complex will confer to our community and the country,” said Mayor Favis.

The ceremonial turn over was graced by Rep. Savellano; Archdiocesan Cultural Heritage Director Rev. Fr. Jaramillo; Magsingal Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Albert Rabe; Magsingal Mayor Favis; and Parish Pastoral Council President Dr. Estrella Soria. (JCR/AMB/JMCQ/PIA Ilocos Sur)



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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