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Baclayon church in Bohol fully restored, reopened

The Immaculate Conception Parish church, which is more popularly known as the Baclayon church, was reopened on Tuesday.

The structure is one of the churches destroyed after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the province last Oct.  15, 2013.

Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, was present during the inauguration and turnover rites of the ng church to the Diocese of Tagbilaran in Bohol.

National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chairman Dr. Rene Escalante, led the ceremonies at the portico of the newly-restored church which was witnessed by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr, a former priest who was briefly assigned at the church during the early 1970s,  Executive Director Ludovico Badoy, Diocese of Tagbilaran Bishop Alberto Uy , Baclayon Parish priest Fr. Nilo Batausa,  Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, Rep. Art Yap and other local officials.

The church was built in 1596 and was declared a Historical cultural value by the NHCP and a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum in 2010.

In 1993, the church was included in the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Tentative List of the Philippines.

Archbishop Caccia also visited the other churches that are still undergoing repair works, including the Holy Trinity Church in Laoy and the Santa Cruz Parish Church in Maribojoc.

The other churches that were damaged during the 2013 earthquake were the Church of San Pedro in Loboc and the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Dauis. — BAP, GMA News