MANILA -- The Diocese of Kalookan and Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation launched the conservation project for the La Loma Chapel over the weekend.
In a statement, Escuela Taller said the project begins with the restoration of the facade, which involves removing heavy plant growth. The process is set to be completed in eight months, according to architect Jeffrey Cobilla.
This will be followed by the conservation of the entire chapel, which is expected to take several years.
Aside from the physical restoration, the Diocese of Kalookan has also been working with Escuela Taller for a conservation management plan so the community can properly care for the chapel.
"It is important to educate the community about heritage and heritage sites. The value that comes from every artifact is a gentle reminder for all of us to appreciate the richness of history, culture, and heritage that come from within," said Fr. Paul Woo, director of the Diocesan Commission on Cultural Heritage.
"It is also an opportune time to educate everyone else in the diocese and perhaps even other natives or residents who belong to other faith traditions to give importance to structures, find meaning in it, and develop a sense of appreciation as each artifact turns back time for all of us such that we can also pass it on to the next generation," he added.
The Old La Loma Cemetery Chapel is a National Cultural Treasure, the highest designation given to a valuable cultural asset.
La Loma Cemetery, formerly known as Binondo Cemetery, is considered the oldest active cemetery in Manila.