DAUIS, BOHOL, August 14, 2017 (PIA) –The Bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran led an assemblage of secular priests and a throng of ecstatic parishioners in momentous celebration of gratitude in re-consecrating the newly restored heritage church, exactly 9 days and 94 years after it was first consecrated by Bishop Juan Gorordo of Cebu in August 23, 1923.
Earlier, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) represented by Chairman Dr. Rene Escalante and Executive Director Ludivico Baduy, turned over the restored and conserved heritage church to the Diocese of Tagbilaran through Bishop Alberto Uy and then to Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Priest Desiderio Magdoza, during a fitting ceremony under the newly restored portico of the shrine church of the Assumption, witnessed by Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, Mayor Marietta Sumaylo and local officials.
The re-consecration also formally reopened the church which has closed its doors to its parishioners for safety reasons some four years and two months the Assumption Church closed its doors following jeopardized structure after the October 15, 2013 earthquake.
The solemn jubilation in fact hyped even more as the heritage church opened again August 14, 2017, on the vespers of the feast day of the Assumption.
Opened with hardly a trace of the earthquake ruined structure, the restoration of the Assumption Church of Dauis has sustained itself in keeping her queer artistic architectural styles.
The church feature Gothic, Greek columns, elements of the Corinthians, art deco, Baroque arts, neo-classical retablos and its Renaissance trompe l’oeil ceiling paintings.
A church with an interior having an uncanny semblance to the San Lorenzo de Medici Basilica in Florence Italy, wedding planners said the option for the church as wedding venue is obvious.
Said to be the fifth church built in the center of the town, according to historian Regalado Trota Jose citing Jesuit records. a church of light materials could have been built before 1692, while another one, this time with a convent was finished in 1753 by Jesuit priest Joseph Nepumuceno.
When the Augustinian Recollects took over the parish in 1768, by the following year, they built a church of wood and bamboo, which burned down in 1795.
A report by the Recollects in 1886 described the next church, the fourth one as being made of tabigue and roofed with nipa, probably the one camarin type church depicted in the convent ceiling, which too was constructed along the same line as the present convent now.
The present church was built in 1863 by Rev. Fr. Julio Saldaña, one which was slightly longer, wider and taller than the old church.
According to Jose, a historical researcher of churches in the Philippines in his Book, Visita Iglesia, in January of 1884, the copula of the church collapsed following the compromise of the four arches holding the column carrying the dome.
It was only in August 23, 1923 that the church was consecrated by Bishop of Cebu, who came to visit Dauis and who was reserved a bishop’s seat in the also restored convent.
While the church underwent centuries of alternations and redecorations, at about 8:00 AM, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake brought down the whole portico on to a hearse, while a funeral mass was about to start.
To the wails of the old ladies whose spiritual identities were cemented by their grand edifice of faith, the NHCP has declared the church as National Cultural Treasure before the earthquake hit.
The declaration then allowed the government to fund the restoration and rehabilitation of the damaged structures, being important parts of the local heritage. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)