MULTIMEDIA

SLIDESHOW: Guiuan church rises again 6 years after Yolanda

Text and photos by Alren Beronio for ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 08 2019 06:29 PM

The Immaculate Conception Church in Guiuan, Eastern Samar was among those ruined when super typhoon Yolanda struck on November 8, 2013.

The church, which was recognized as a cultural treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines in 2001, failed to withstand Yolanda’s sustained winds and gustiness. The powerful typhoon severely damaged the roof, retablo, and other relics.

After six years, Guiuan gears up for the rededication and formal turnover of the church on December 8, coinciding with the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

RESTORATION

It was in 2016 when the National Museum provided the amount of P111,997,440 for the restoration and reconstruction of the Immaculate Conception Church as they target its completion under the contractor J.S. Lim Construction and Trading in 2017.

Members of the National Museum retained the original altars, carvings, painted ceiling, and architectural design. The Guiuan church is most known for being the only church in the country with interiors that are extensively decorated with natural shells embedded in the interior walls. 

REDEDICATION 

The rededication will be done during the celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, six years after the church was severely damaged, according to Guiuan parish priest Fr. Edwin Lanuevo.

The Diocese of Borongan has invited the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Gabriele Giordano Caccia to preside the rededication. The event will be held in the presence of other dignitaries, particularly representatives of the National Museum and the Embassy of the United States of America to the Philippines, who supported the rebuilding and the restoration of the historic church.

(Additional photos from Fernando G. Sepe, Jr and Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News)

The Immaculate Conception Church in Guiuan, Eastern Samar on December 8, 2013, a month after the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

The Immaculate Conception Church in Guiuan, Eastern Samar on December 8, 2013, a month after the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

Old wooden pilasters with scrolling vines were kept for the restoration of the Immaculate Conception Church in Guiuan, Eastern Samar in this photo taken on April 21, 2018. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

The Baroque façade of the Immaculate Conception Church in Guiuan, Eastern Samar in this photo taken on November 8, 2019. Alren Beronio for ABS-CBN News

Interiors of the restored Immaculate Conception Church in Guiuan, Eastern Samar in this photo taken on November 8, 2019. Alren Beronio for ABS-CBN News

The retablo made from extensive shell ornamentation in its interiors in this photo taken on November 8, 2019. Alren Beronio for ABS-CBN News

The choir loft in Guiuan church in this photo taken on November 8, 2019. Alren Beronio for ABS-CBN News

The retablo made from extensive shell ornamentation in this photo taken on November 8, 2019. Alren Beronio for ABS-CBN News

The restored ceiling of the Immaculate Conception Church that was hand painted by the members of the National Museum of the Philippines in this photo taken on November 8, 2019. Alren Beronio for ABS-CBN News

The restored Baptistry of the Immaculate Conception Church in Guiuan, Eastern Samar in this photo taken on April 21, 2018. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Locals play outside the Immaculate Conception Church in this photo taken on November 8, 2019. Alren Beronio for ABS-CBN News