Sto Niño Shrine in Tacloban undergoing repairs
TACLOBAN CITY — One of the sequestered properties of the Marcoses here has been undergoing some facelift.
At least P10 million was set aside for the repair of the Santo Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum, a sprawling property built by former first lady Imelda Marcos from 1979 to 1981.
The funds were taken from the Department of Tourism under its Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Project.
The repairs, which involved landscaping and drainage work, started early 2019 and would be completed before June 30 when the city celebrates its annual fiesta.
Renoir Dauag, regional representative of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), which has the supervision and management of the more than two-hectare property located along Real Street, said they were happy with the ongoing repairs.
“We are very thankful to the DOT for helping us improve the shrine. This will further help us in attracting more tourists to the shrine,” Dauag said.
The Santo Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum is considered one of Tacloban’s top tourist attractions.
Last year, more than 20,000 tourists visited the place, bringing in more than P1.4 million in income for the PCGG.
The PCGG collects entrance fees from visitors, which would be used for the building’s maintenance and salaries of its 11 staff – some of whom serve as tourist guides.
The shrine, sequestered by the government on suspicion that it was part of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses, houses some of the collections of former first lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos.
These include Russian icons, oriental jars, and paintings by some of the country’s national artists like Maulo Malang and ivory-made statues.
The Santo Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum has also an Olympic-size swimming pool and a state dining room on the second floor. Each of its 21 rooms has a motif depicting the country’s regions.
A chapel also greets the visitors with the image of Santo Niño, the patron of Tacloban.
Dauag said the last time the Marcos widow came to see the property was in 2014, a year after the city was pummeled by super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan).
The shrine, which was damaged during Yolanda, was in need of major repair especially that portions of its ceiling were falling apart mainly due to termites, said Dauag.
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