Loon Church Turned Over to the Diocese of Tagbilaran After Years of Restoration

Malipajong Pista, Loon

Finally, after 8 years of grueling, comprehensive planning and execution, the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Luz Parish of Loon has been officially turned over by the National Museum of the Philippines to its legal owner the Diocese of Tagbilaran on September 7, 2021, the eve of the feast of Loon town’s Patron, Our Lady of Light and the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the NMP, this cultural property is among the more than 19 heritage structures damaged by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Central Visayas on October 15, 2013. Considered as the largest and the “crowning glory” of recollect architecture in Bohol,  Loon Church was completely destroyed and left in ruins. 

Through the collective efforts of both the national and local government units, contractors and stakeholders, the church of the  Birhen Sa Kasilak has been reconstructed and restored. According to NMP Director-General Jeremy R. Barns, “to be entrusted with this project and successfully implement and complete it has been one of the milestones in the 120-year history of the NMP.”

Present during the event was the Atty. Edgardo M. Chatto, Representative of Bohol’s 1st Congressional District, Vice-Governor Rene L. Relampagos, together with the majority of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the province, representing the Governor Arthur C. Yap, and Mayor Elvi Peter L. Relampagos of Loon. The ceremonial turnover of the parish and convent was then followed by the unveiling of the marker of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines as National Historical Landmark led by the Chairman Rene L. Escalante.

The reconstructed church of Loon was formally accepted by Most Rev. Alberto S. Uy, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran together with Loon Parish priest Fr. Desiderio R. Magdoza and Fr. Milan Ted Torralba of the Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church. Former Loon parish priests present included Fr. Joel Ruyeras and Fr. Ruel Tumangday. The turnover culminated with the Rite of the Dedication of the Church and Pontifical by Bishop Uy, in thanksgiving of God’s faithfulness to his people, and the success of this project. 

Viva Birhen sa Kasilak!