The San Salvador del Mundo Parish was built in 1883. The restored church will be opened on the occasion of its 137th parochial fiesta on July 16, 2020. (By Neela Duallo/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan )
DAVAO ORIENTAL, July 13 (PIA) - San Salvador del Mundo Parish, the oldest Catholic church in Mindanao, finally opens again after undergoing two years of restoration worth P20 million.
Located in the Municipality of Caraga, Davao Oriental since 1883, the church was turned over to the Diocese of Mati, which was described by Most Reverend Bishop Abel Apigo as a "dream come true" for the parishioners.
"The day has finally come for the people of Caraga, for them to come and pray again inside the church. They have waited for the restoration. Making them happier is having a beautiful place of worship. The priceless collections that one can see inside speaks so much of the strong Catholic faith of the people," Apigo said.
Davao Oriental Governor, Nelson Dayanghirang, expressed his gratitude for the restoration completion as this was a sign of unity between the church and the state.
"It is proof of a successful spiritual undertaking of the church and the state. There will be more collaborations for the people. In the province, we can boast of exchanges of support between the province and the Diocese, and the latest instance of support is evident in this time of the pandemic," he said.
Since the church was declared as a national historical site in 2012, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines took charge of its restoration to preserve the structure.
Through a recorded message, National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Executive Director Restituto Aguilar expressed his happiness and outlined how the two-year restoration was done.
"The restoration was a very meticulous process. Based on the restoration guidelines of the agency, the walls were thoroughly cleaned and repaired, as well as the doors, windows, the roof, especially the corals. The Commission wanted to help the locality, the institution, and the parish so that it will remain preserved," he said.
The cost of the restoration project was P20 million. It was initiated through a resolution passed by the Sangguniang Bayan of Caraga and was consequently approved by the NHCP.
On the other hand, as its counterpart, the local government unit of Caraga allocated P2 million pesos - P1 million for the sound system and another P1 million for the sanctuarium and baptistry.
The Governor also added that this historical site adds to the charm of Caraga, and urged more visitors to visit the town and other beautiful spots of the province. (Jan Vincent Leuterio, PIA-XI from Neela Duallo, PIO Davao Oriental)