Archaic Eastern Samar church preserves its past

April 29, 2015 4:52 am 

By Niza April M. Porteza

TAFT, Eastern Samar, April 28 (PNA) – When people get misty to the old times and just wish they could visit a place where history prevails, San Antonio de Padua church offers an reminiscing experience, being the one of the oldest church in this province.

Constructed during the Spanish regime, this two-century old church, located at Mantang village, Taft Eastern Samar is one destination where visitors could come and bring back those times when the first Spanish priests established Catholicism.

Around 1800s, laborers used “apog” in building this historical church – a type of old rock found in the water, which is a highly durable material. No wonder the structure lasted until this modern age.

The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) of Taft is the in-charge of preserving and maintaining the beauty of this tourist attraction so that the town will not lose one of its oldest structures.

Nilo Pico, the 77-year old PPC president, shared his plans like painting it and finishing the walls, but the priests disagreed on his development proposal.

“The priests said that this church should be preserved as original as it possible. They want that if people will come to visit here, they will appreciate the natural beauty of this historical building,” Pico explained.

Pico also said that after the town fiesta, the ceiling renovation will probably be finished. PPC then agreed to just clean the visibly old walls instead of finishing and painting it.

In terms of maintaining the cleanliness, Pico’s wife voluntarily cleans the 280-square meter church while he requests churchgoers to also help by not littering inside.

“Before, this church was surrounded by banana trees and other big trees, making it look like a forest. But later on, we have decided to cut off the trees so that it would look cleaner and brighter,” Pico shared.

According to him, about 50 years ago, the church had sculptures of different saints but it was taken away by a priest once assigned to their parish and brought it to other church.

“This church was way better before because there were still many antique things. But as time went on, few only remained here. Nevertheless, we still try our best to preserve this oldest church in our town.” Pico said. (PNA)

RMA/SQM/NIZA APRIL M. PORTEZA/EGR

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