Rebuilding the Dauis watchtower through livelihood, heritage conservation

In the wake of a destructive 7.2 earthquake that hit Central Visayas in 2013 and destroyed many of its historic churches and structures, Ayala Foundation and its partners have contributed to restoration efforts in the region through livelihood and heritage reconstruction training.

In collaboration with Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation, the Diocese of Tagbilaran, the provincial government of Bohol, and the municipal government of Dauis, Ayala Foundation championed a skills program in heritage reconstruction for 29 Boholanos. The trainees underwent an intensive 12-month course in traditional masonry skills with actual on-the-job training in the restoration of the Dauis Church Watchtower. The church complex where the watchtower stands has been declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum and a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

 The program is the first of its kind outside of Manila. Its highly trained graduates are expected to contribute to the proper restoration of ruined churches in Bohol and other heritage structures in Central Visayas.

On April 20, the program came to an official close with the trainees’ graduation ceremony and the turnover of the restored watchtower, held at the Assumption of Our Lady Shrine in Dauis, Bohol. Guests included Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Ambassador Luis Calvo; Senator Loren Legarda; Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Y. Medroso, Chair, CBCP Permanent Committee for the Cultural Heritage of the Church; NCCA Chairman Felipe de Leon, Jr.; National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Ma. Serena Diokno; Ruel T. Maranan, President, Ayala Foundation, Inc.; and Dr Jaime C. Laya of Escuela Taller. 

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