Restoration Of Basilica Minore Del Sto. Nino Belfry Nearing Its Second Phase

Target date not yet set but completion of restoration might be in time for the 450th year of the Augustinians in the Philippines in 2015.
posted on: Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lifestyle Geek

This week, a press conference was held in Aula Magna Pilgrim Center.

In case you have forgotten, here’s what happened to the belfry of Santo Nino.

According to Fr. Harold L. Rentoria, Chair of Commission on Augustinian Culture Heritage, gives us an update about the restoration efforts.

Part of the restoration team is Escuela Taller and Mr. Micheal Manalo, its director, gives us an idea on what Escuella Taller does.

According to Fr. Rentoria, the design of the belfry is still in the works. The design will be ready by February or March this year and will be presented to the stakeholders and experts, then once the design and financing will be finalized, construction will commence.

They will also be getting a consultant from Spain and Japan.

Architect Melva Java, an important point person in the Preservation & Heritage Research Institute and Workshop, informed us that the restoration will not be easy.

Arch. Java gave emphasis on the importance of archaeological architecture.

Every stone must be properly sorted and stored.

Every stone has a story and function. Before they are going to put back the pieces together, they must be able to determine if the stone is the cornerstone, facing stone, or if it’s part of a structure.

She even pointed the significance of opening the traffic of Osmena Boulevard road to the public because it will affect the whole structure. She compared the walls facing Osmena Boulevard and those on the opposite side. The opposite side look well-preserved while the once facing the busy street looks darker.

Fr. Jonas Mejares, Rector of Sto. Nino Church, told us that they decided to restore the entire basilica, including the Magellan’s Cross, and bring the structure back to its old glory.

Arch. Manalo also stated that the fallen debris will be studied if they fit to be recycled.

If not, Arch. Java mentioned that they will use cast stone or quarry limestone with a similar density, porosity, and appearance with the old stones of the basilica.

Fr. Rentoria enthused that they want to finish the restoration project in time for 2015, which is 450 years of Augustinian presence in the Philippines.

 To help the restoration project, you can give your donations directly to Basilica Minore del Santo Nino.

I am excited to see the church being restored again. How about you?