MANAOAG – The National Museum of the Philippines has declared the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag as one of the National Cultural Treasures.
The declaration, last December 23, states that the Minor Basilica and Church Complex of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag in Pangasinan, including the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary and movable and intangible properties intrinsic to the cultural significance of the property are now national cultural treasures.
A National Cultural Treasure pertains to a “unique cultural property found locally, possessing outstanding historical, cultural, artistic, and/or scientific value which is highly significant and important to the country and nation.”
Aside from Manaoag Church other sites declared as national cultural treasures in Region I are the watchtowers in the municipalities of Badoc, Currimao, Baccara and Pasuquin in Ilocos Norte, and in Santiago, San Esteban and Narvacan towns in Ilocos Sur, including the watchtower-belfries of Laoag and Bantay.
Meanwhile, the National Museum also declared sites, structures and objects as Important Cultural Properties (ICPs).
One of the ICPs pronounced by the National Museum is the Cariño House in Candon City, Ilocos Sur.
A number of properties were also declared ICPs in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte and these are the San Nicolas Church complex, including its convent and the roadside Via Crucis structures; the town’s elementary school building, municipal hall, Valdez-Lardizabal house; and the Nagrebcan Archaeological Site.
National Museum Director Jeremy Barns said declaring selected Philippine cultural properties as either National Cultural Treasure or Important Cultural Property is meant to “highlight their significance to the entire world that they are officially recognized as an intrinsic part of the patrimony of the Filipino people and are central to the legacy that the present generation should take special care to steward for the generations to come.”
“They are an acknowledgment of the best of what we have inherited, in order that we may care for it, enrich it further, and pass it on in turn,” he added.
The distinction would also ensure the protection, preservation and promotion of the declared properties.
“The Important Cultural Properties and National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines are individually and collectively meant to serve as testimony to the richness and diversity of heritage that speaks to the longstanding and distinctive strength, resilience and dynamism of the spirit of the Filipino people, at home and everywhere throughout the world,” Barns pointed out.
He added, “Whether they are markers of past accomplishments or living badges of identity, these cultural properties have endowed, and continue to enrich, the life of the nation.”
Barns also disclosed that dozens of sites and structures are also being considered for declaration this year.
For Region I, among those included are the Pindangan Church Ruins in San Fernando City, La Union and the Tabacalera Ruins in Currimao, Ilocos Norte. (PIA-1, Pangasinan)