Cultural Properties Division
HUMAN SKELETONS FOUND IN OLD CHURCH RUINS IN BARANGAY ARANGUEL, PRESIDENT ROXAS, CAPIZ PROVINCE
Mr. Angel P. Bautista, Acting Assistant Director and National Museum Osteologist visited Capiz Province to examine the human skeletons that were found at the Aranguel Church Ruins, Barangay Aranguel, President Roxas on February 27, 2014. This was reported to the National Museum by the Mayor of the Municipality of President Roxas, Raymund S. Locsin.
The human remains were found at the depth of four feet while digging for the foundation of the new chapel inside the ruins of the old church of Aranguel. Associated with human remains are trade ware ceramic shards that could be traced back to the Proto-historic Period of Philippine Cultural Chronology. These archaeological materials are significant because these will provide insights to the earlier period of human occupation in the area. Furthermore, the walls of the old church are still intact and should be protected for posterity. The total floor area of the old church is 826 square meters while the wall is about 2 meters high; 15 meters wide and 47 meters long. The remains of the sacristy is 15 meters long and 6 meters wide; main altar and the single nave is 15 meters wide and 41 meters long; and the belfry together with the baptismal font measures 11 meters by 11 meters.
Because of its significance, Director Jeremy Barns requested the Bishop of the Diocese of Capiz, Most Reverend Jose F. Advincula, to suspend the on-going construction of the new chapel within the walls of the old church. A team from the NM composed of heritage workers and archaeologists will conduct an extensive assessment to gather more information and to provide recommendations in accordance with the standard procedures on the development of the area as heritage site of President Roxas. Local Tourism Officer, Mr. Arnold Alarcon is coordinating with the NM regarding the technical assistance to be given to the local government.
While in Capiz, Mr. Bautista also coordinated with local parish of Santa Monica in Pan-ay, local government represented by Engineer Rey Cordenilla, and the technical staff of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts led by Fr. Harold Rentoria, Architect Busmente, and Engineer Ramirez regarding the restoration of the Santa Monica Church, a National Cultural Treasure; and conservation programs, maintenance of the museum and registration of movable cultural properties. Ms. Cheryl Anne V. del Rosario and Mr. Johnwee Parnesio, both from the United Capizenos Foundation, Inc. provided assistance on duration of Mr. Bautista’s stay in Capiz.
Barangay Aranguel, President Roxas, Capiz
Mr. Bautista together with Vice Mayor Alfonso Galero, Mr. Alarcon and Brgy. Captain Lorna Labo)
Mr. Bautista together with Fr. Rentoria, Engineer Ramirez and Architect Busmente
Aranguel Church Ruins, Brgy. Aranguel, President Roxas, Capiz