Cultural mapping sought to preserve Pasuquin church ruins

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LAOAG CITY — The recent discovery of a heritage artifacts which was accidentally found in the Vatican Archives has stirred so much interest from residents in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte.

The old photo shows a picturesque facade of a ruined Fil-Hispanic church in Pasuquin town which can help prove the town’s rich history.

As a result, the town council has requested the help of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and the National Museum to conduct a cultural mapping and archeological study of the old church ruins.

On February 20 or more than a month ago, Fr. Ericson Josue, a native of Pasuquin town who is currently pursuing a doctorate in history and cultural heritage of the church in Rome, found the black and white photograph of the old Pasuquin church which was believed to be in existence as early as 1591 under the Diocese of Nueva Segovia.

Record shows the old church was elevated to a parish in 1784, and there had been few reported repairs on the church during the mid-19th century.

Josue expressed excitement on the latest developments of his hometown, which he hopes will “yield to better appreciation of the town’s history which must be valued, protected, and preserved.”

“The old photograph is considered as a significant heritage artifact in the history of the town,” he said.

The church facade measures 100 meters long and 35-meter wide and it resembles the St. Augustine Church in Paoay which has been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

“The foundation could still speak of the lost glory that was in the site. It tells us of a church that once united our forefathers in prayer. This was the ground where our ancestors knelt in supplication to a God of providence,” Josue added. -PNA

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