Regardless of religion, Notre Dame Cathedral is an international treasure – Brigoli
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu is rich in cultural and heritage sites with its century-old churches and government buildings taking special places in weaving the historical narrative of the province.
That is why when news of the fire that engulfed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France reached Rev. Fr. Brian Brigoli on Tuesday morning, April 16, 2019, he could not help but be sad for the devastation that befell on the international treasure.
“We are shocked and feel very sorry. Regardless of the religion, it is a world’s heritage (site). It is very sad that even in a sophisticated place, it (fire) still happened,” said Brigoli, chairman of the Archdiocesan Commission on Culture and Heritage.
A massive fire which started late evening of Holy Monday, April 15, 2019, devastated large parts of the 850-year-old cathedral causing its iconic spire to fall in the hours that took firefighters to put out the blaze.
Portions of the cathedral was undergoing renovation when the fire happened.
In Cebu, Brigoli said they have learned their lesson from the 2013 earthquake to ensure that century-old churches and other heritage sites are protected in times of disasters.
“It is important to check the wiring system in every parish (church) in Cebu. In fact, we’ve already done that after the 2013 earthquake. We already checked those (wiring systems) especially in the old churches (in order) to prevent elements which pose as fire hazards,” he said.
Three years ago, a heritage chapel in Pitalo, San Fernando was gutted down by fire when a couple lit up 4,900 candles as a gesture of thanksgiving after the husband was cured from cancer. However, the good intention turned into a disaster when the same candles sent the entire religious structure ablaze.
The San Vicente Ferrer Chapel was considered a heritage structure because it was built in 1925. A few religious articles were saved but the chapel itself was severely damaged and had to undergo rehabilitation.
It was rebuilt and reopened to the public in April 2018. / celr
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