USTGS-CCCPET and AUST roll out long term Church Heritage Conservation Program with Diocese of Maasin

The UST Graduate School Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and the Environment in the Tropics (CCCPET) and the Archivo de la Universidad de Santo Tomas (AUST) launched the long term Church Heritage Conservation program for the Diocese of Maasin last September 4, 2021. Part of the continuing national celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity, the program intends to develop the conservation management plans for the eight (8) historically significant fortification-churches within the Diocese in the next four (4) years. The informal launch was marked by the turnover of books by Assoc. Prof. Eric Babar Zerrudo PhD, Director of the UST GS CCCPET to Most Rev. Precioso Cantillas DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Maasin. The program, spearheaded by Fr. Mark Vincent Salang, Chancellor and Chair of the Diocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, embarks from and enhances further the global significance of Limasawa Island, a parish under the Diocese and site of the first Easter Mass in the Philippines, officially declared by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

After three (3) attempts to visit Southern Leyte because of the pandemic spike, the three (3) day preliminary inspection of the five man UST Heritage Team was finally undertaken last September 3-5, 2021.  The rapid assessment covered the Punta Barangay Chapel, Baybay City, Leyte; Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Hilongos, Leyte; Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral, Maasin City, Southern Leyte; Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Baybay City, Leyte; Santo Niño Church, Malitbog, Southern Leyte; Saint Joseph Church, Matalom, Leyte; Saint John the Baptist Church, San Juan, Southern Leyte and Amparo Barangay Chapel, Macrohon, Southern Leyte. All conservation management plans will be published by the Diocese as a legacy to the clergy and the community.

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