Centuries-old Calumpit church’s facelift draws criticism
Photos of the centuries-old St. John the Baptist Parish Church in Calumpit, considered the oldest church in Bulacan, are making the rounds on social media because of the structure’s new “cake-like” paint color.
In a Facebook post by Eliseo de la Cruz, head of Bulacan’s Provincial History, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office, portions of the façade and bell tower of the stone church were donned with bright pink and white paint.
“400 years ka ng mahigit pero batang bata ka na ngayon. Kesong sad. Save Calumpit Church. Ano ang nangyari sa’yo? Nawa huwag tayong husgahan ng kasaysayan sa ating panahon,” Dela Cruz said.
Netizens also noted how the church looked like a “giant cake” after the facelift.
“Too much fondant, if a cake,” said Twitter user Jojo Malig.
“Calumpit Church repainting, so hideous to be honest. Nawala ’yung class. Sana pinag-aralan muna,” @DannisonCruz tweeted.
“What happened? Hope they can bring back the old façade,” said @aoanan_arkitek.
In a report by GMA News TV’s State of the Nation, parish priest Fr. Proceso Espiritu said the repainting was part of a retrofitting plan, adding the paint had components that would strengthen the structure.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) would conduct an investigation on the matter, the report said.
“’Yan ay isang heritage structure na. Dapat ’yan ay ma-conserve, ma-restore sa dating anyo,” said NHCP Executive Director Ludovico Badoy.
According to Republic Act No. 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, structures dating at least 50 years old are considered “important cultural property,” and should be protected against “exportation, modification, and demolition.” RC
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