Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cebu: Oslob Church gutted by fire

It was depressing news for me. The 178-year old Oslob Church was destroyed by a fire which hit at dawn today. The church was was a very important element out the Southern Heritage Trail of Cebu. A landmark of the town, it was one of the few churches with an intact clay tile roof convento.

This incident highlighted two things. The first and most obvious is that fire fighters in these remoter parts of the country are ill-equipped and not prepared. Imagine, the fire station was just 50 meters away. But fire fighters and residents had to push the fire truck to the church! Second, it shows the importance and need for architectural documentation for all our heritage sites. In cases like these, if the site was documented, we could easily refer to the diagrams to restore the church.

The Archdiocese of Cebu plans to rebuild the church within the year. I hope that they restore the church to its original form, just as other countries do when their heritage sites are gutted by fire.
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