Restored Baclayon Church

Bohol is home to a large number of old churches. Almost all of the 47 towns of the province have old, massive, stone churches, providing the island province an attractive heritage character. But a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Bohol on October 15, 2013 toppled down a number of these centuries-old churches, leaving behind rubble and destruction on its path.

Seven years later, the rehabilitation and rebuilding of these churches are already nearing completion, thanks in big part to combined efforts of the National Museum of the Philippines, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Restored Loboc Church

On its Facebook page, the National Museum of the Philippines in Bohol presented a video “Pagbanhaw, the 7th anniversary of the Bohol earthquake” that tells how these iconic churches rose up from the rubble, which figuratively represents the faith and resilience of the Boholanos.

Loboc Church after the 2013 earthquake

“We remember how the 7.2-magnitude earthquake toppled down well-loved and iconic structures in Bohol. With the large-scale rehabilitation and rebuilding spearheaded by the National Museum of the Philippines, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, we now see the churches rising up from the rubble, a testament of Boholano faith and resilience,” the National Museum Bohol said on its FB page.

Loon Church as of October 2020

The “national cultural treasures and important cultural properties” restored and turned over by the National Museum include Cortes Church Complex, Dimiao Church Complex, Panglao Church Complex, Albuquerque Church Complex, Punta Cruz Watchtower, Balilihan Watchtower, Loay Watchtower, Panglao Watchtower, Inang-angan Stone Stairways, Maribojoc Stone Stairways, Old Panglao Municipio, and Old Bohol Provincial Capitol now converted into the National Museum Bohol.

Loon Church destroyed by the 2013 earthquake

Three Bohol churches, namely, Loboc Church Complex, Loon Church Complex, and Maribojoc Church Complex are still undergoing restoration and reconstruction. Soon, these churches will be completed by early 2021.

Maribojoc Church today

“From the devastating earthquake, and now the life-threatening pandemic, the Boholanos have patiently endured, persevered and risen up. These challenging times turn to deepen and strengthen our inherent faith once more,” concluded the National Museum in Bohol. 

Maribojoc Church after the earthquake