Restoration of 209-year-old Ilocos church completed
By Leilanie Adriano
LAOAG CITY—After shutting its door for more than four years, the 209-year-old St. Anne Parish in Piddig, Ilocos Norte province is ready to open again for church services.
Fr. Carlito Ranjo Jr., head of the Diocese of Laoag’s restoration committee, shared his excitement on Monday as he posted on Facebook a fully-restored facade and interiors of the Baroque church.
The newly-restored church is expected to be turned over on July 25.
In September 2014, the old church was decommissioned as engineering experts from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) declared it unfit for occupancy, with its wooden trusses heavily deteriorated and its foundation weakened.
“The St. Anne Church restoration is done. Just waiting for the turn over date,” said Ranjo, who delighted netizens taking a peek at the new look of the old Piddig church located on top of a hill of the town center.
Recognized as one of the oldest churches in the province, which forms part of the colorful history of the Piddig Basi Revolt in 1807, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) initially funded its restoration and rehabilitation worth PHP50 million.
It was March 22 last year when the restoration works started.
Ranjo said it took about two years for restoration experts to study the structure and the materials used to determine the best way to approximate the original design and makeup of the church.
For Piddig residents, the upcoming re-opening of the church is an “answered prayer”. Piddig residents built the church for the Augustinian friars in 1810.
Piddig, 21 kilometers from this capital city, was a former “visita” (a community with a chapel) of neighboring Dingras town. In 1798, Piddig was established as a town. (PNA)