Cultural Properties Regulation Division
NATIONAL MUSEUM UNVEILS NATIONAL CULTURAL TREASURE AND IMPORTANT CULTURAL PROPERTY MARKERS IN PUNTA CRUZ WATCHTOWER; AND PANGLAO CHURCH AND WATCHTOWER
Director JEREMY R. BARNS and Acting Assistant Director ANGEL P. BAUTISTA of the National Museum (NM), together with Hon. Cabinet Secretary LEONCIO B. EVASCO, JR., Hon. Governor EDGAR M.CHATTO, Hon. Mayor GUMERSINDO M. AROCHA, and His Excellency, Most Reverend ALBERTO S. UY, Bishop of Tagbilaran unveiled the National Cultural Treasure (NCT) marker at the Punta Cruz Watchtower on December 12, 2017 in conjunction with the turn-over ceremony of the aforementioned watchtower to the Municipal Government of Maribojoc. The unveiling and the turn-over ceremonies were also graced by Fr. Rev. GERARDO F. SACO, JR., Hon. JOSE V. AROCHA, Fr. Rev. TED MILAN TORRALBA and Fr. Rev. JOSE STELITO RUYERAS. The liturgical blessing was officiated by Bishop Uy.
On December 13, 2017, the NM officials, Secretary Evasco, Fr. Torralba, and Fr. Ruyeras joined the local community of Panglao in the unveiling of NCT and Important Cultural Property markers in Panglao Watchtower and San Agustin Church respectively in conjunction with the turn-over of the said structures to the Diocese of Tagbilaran by the National Museum.
The National Museum (NM) is one of the lead government cultural agencies which is tasked to achieve the goals of instilling cultural consciousness and a sense of pride and nationalism among Filipino citizens through its activities covering the sciences, education and culture. To ensure the preservation and protection of cultural properties in the Philippines, the NM is mandated to declare significant cultural properties as National Cultural Treasure or Important Cultural Property.
Since 1972, the National Museum has facilitated the declaration of more than 160 National Cultural Treasures (NCTs) and Important Cultural Properties in the different cities and provinces of the country.
Generally intact with high integrity, Punta Cruz and Panglao Watchtowers are architectural and engineering structures with notable historical and cultural significance.
Located along the coast of the Municipality of Marobojoc, the Punta Santa Cruz Watchtower is a triangular shaped tower which was built as a lookout against marauding pirates in 1796; and it offers an excellent view of the Bohol Channel and the island of Cebu. It is one of the first stone structures built in Bohol and looks like an abridged pyramid and with inscriptions over the entrance, Castillo de Nuestro Senor San Vicente y Nuestro Senor Santa Cruz and Spanish Coat of Arms, on the walls highlighted with reddish earth tint. The triangular plan of Punta Santa Cruz Watchtower topped by hexagonal tower all made of cut coral stones makes it a unique example of Spanish military architecture and serves as a testament to the ingenuity of its builders.
Considered as the tallest Spanish Colonial Period watchtower in the Philippines, the Panglao Watchtower was erected in the church complex of San Agustin Parish in 1851; and composed of five stories with eight sides and a pitched roof cover.
Damaged during the 2013 earthquake and restored under the Heritage Site Restoration and Reconstruction Program of the government, these watchtowers have outstanding cultural, artistic, and historical significance to the Philippines. They are among the network of watchtowers that protected the entire province of Bohol from invading forces in the past. These stone structures played a significant role in the history of Bohol as part of colonial military defense system against Moro raiders during the Spanish Period. These watchtowers endured and survived the wars fought in Bohol during the Philippine-American War and the Second World War.
Located in the poblacion, the Parish Church of San Agustin which has been preserved and developed through time and across generations of adherents of the Christian faith is an architectural and engineering structure that clearly manifests cultural and historical significance. The present cruciform church was begun in 1894 by the Augustinian Recollect Fray Valentin Utande de San José, parish priest from 1893 to 1897. The ceiling paintings over the nave, perhaps dating from the 1920s or 1930s, are arguably the most unusual in Bohol. They are in shades of brown and monochromatic lavender, a strange colour combination. The three retablos are in the spirit of neoclassic style. The central niche of the retablo mayor is occupied by an image of San Agustin, the patron saint of the parish church. On both sides of the transept are confessional boxes constructed like frilling gingerbread houses. The intricate carving features birds frolicking among vines and flowers, all rich symbolisms, each with their respective meanings, of hope, of life after death, of the triumph of Jesus by His resurrection from the dead.
Unveiling of NCT marker in Punta Cruz Watchtower, Maribojoc
Unveiling of ICP marker in San Agustin Church, Panglao