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Baclayon's Cultural Heritage under Threat

IJsselstein, Sunday, 6 February 2005

Plans to widen and resurface the coastal ring-road of Bohol pose a threat to a number of one century old houses, as well as to one of the best known historical landmarks of Bohol, the church of Baclayon.

Although Bohol governor Enrico Aumentado assured the concerned citizens that the crucial two-kilometer will be spared, the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) and its contractor, Hanjin Construction, plan to push ahead with road repairs and reconstruction that will damage a number of one century old ancestral houses, and may even mean the destruction of some of the them. Also the belfry of Baclayon's church may be affected.

If this would be to happen, Bohol will adversely affect its attractiveness to tourists. The island province's cultural heritage is one of its core attractions, and helps to lure numerous domestic and foreign tourists to the island.

In a desperate attempt to save their houses from demolition, the home owners sent a letter to president Arroyo, urging her to intervene on this matter.

Please read the letter here. We appeal to you to write letters of appeal to the following

  • The president of the philippines
  • The National Commission for Cultur and the Arts
  • National Historical Institute
  • National Museum
  • DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways)
  • DOT (Department of Tourism)

Baclayon's ancient church under threat from "development"?

Jeroen Hellingman

What readers think...

Lukarette wrote:
Saturday, 6 August 2005 00:42:31 PHT
Only insane people would ever think of touching Baclayon church to give way to a road...instead, why don't you think of ways to preserve it? For over hundred years it had been standing there...nauna pa yang nag-exist kesa sa mga taong gustong sumira sa simbahan...WHAT RIGHT HAVE YOU????
Pol Monteverde wrote:
Wednesday, 3 August 2005 09:35:44 PHT
Well... Bohol has a special place in my heart. The fact is my ancestors hail from this island. I really love the scenic view of the old churches. I was entraced by it's antiquity and beauty. I also adore the coastlines of this island. But recently (just summer), I was distraught. Bohol was a total mess. It was dusty and the excavations or I say the development process is an eye sore. Oh well, I really hope they won't destroy the place in developing it. P.S. Due to the dust I didn't enjoy our vacation there due to occasional asthma attack.
Christine Tecson wrote:
Tuesday, 5 July 2005 14:32:58 PHT
Nice.... very memorable...
NDL wrote:
Friday, 24 June 2005 06:25:56 PHT
Cultural heritage is something that cannot be restored back when its gone. If the road will be re-routed to the seashore in order to spare the historical landmark (the baclayon church), I think the costs involved can be justified. Money can be replaced while historical landmark cannot, especially if the landmark is interwoven in the history of the island. Attention: caretaker of the baclayon church. I noticed that the interior wall of the church is gathering MOLDS, roofs are leaking, the belfry too is gathering molds (as seen in the picture). If you want this historial landmark spared from demolition, clean it up and maintain it well because if you don't, it will deteriorate over time and lost it anyway. I think this is a good trade-off. If you don't maintain it, it's not worth saving it. How about that? fair enough.

The road issue is resolved now, and no demolition will take place. I too have noticed a marked increase of molds and algea growing on the walls of Baclayon church. It is time to do something about it.--Jeroen

Benjie F. Galacio Jr. wrote:
Friday, 20 May 2005 16:36:48 PHT
Ive been to Bohol on a yearly basis coz its the native place of my Parents. My mother, Margarita Felisan hails from Guindulman and my father, BENJAMIN GALACIO SR., is from Garcia-Hernandez(East Canayaon). I was born and raised in Manila. When I first came there in 1997, I fell in love with my parent's homeland. Napakaganda. Nature. It is much beautiful than Cebu and Boracay. Yap, you can quote me on that! I am a civil engineer by profession and a graduate of Mapua Institute of technology. I know Hanjin as a good contractor. I hope I remain right. Im just hopeful they have the heart to preserve THE CENTURY OLD HOUSES near Baclayon. Its our link to the past. We should VALUE and RESPECT that. As a Civil Engineer, all I can say is, NO AMOUNT OF DEVELOPMENT CAN EVER REPLACE THE HISTORY THAT WE INTEND TO PRESERVE. If we are truly morally upright Constructors, HERITAGE AND CULTURE should be preserved!

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