Potential Unesco honor for Boljoon

By: Marian Z. Codilla November 21,2014 - 12:34 AM

The defaced limestone mountain called Ili Rock in Boljoon town is not just a  loss of heritage value.

Ongoing excavations may  reduce the town’s chances of being named a world heritage site by the UNESCO.

“This project will change the landscape of the town,” said Fr. Brian Brigoli, chairman of the Cebu Archdiocesan and Commission on Cultural and Heritage, who was apprehensive about the damage.

In June, the church complex of Boljoon town, which includes the 18th century Patrocinio de Maria Church,  the plaza, the surrounding community and the famed Ili Rock, was nominated for a spot in the country’s “Tentative List,” an inventory of Philippine cultural and natural heritage sites.

Sites on this list will be evaluated by international bodies for  nomination to the World Heritage  Committee, which meets once a year to decide if  a site has unique cultural or significant value to be recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

The Rice Terraces of the Cordilleras, the historic town of Vigan and baroque churches in the Philippines are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Other examples are the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the pyramids of Egypt, and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Brigoli, in an interview, said “If other ways can be found to save the rock formation, let’s exhaust all means.”

“Unesco is international recognition. The world would know we have this heritage site in Cebu which will eventually generate more tourists and improve the economy of Boljoon. The site would bring national and local pride of the people. Cebu will be marked in the world map of heritage,” Brigoli told Cebu Daily News.

He said he hoped government agencies coordinate with stakeholders in the community before doing anything to disturb the sits.

The 18th century Patrocinio de Maria Church including its rectory and belfry in Bojoon were declared a “National Historical Landmark” by the National Historical Institute in 1999, and in 2001, the National Museum declared it a “National Cultural Treasurer”, which is to date the only one in Cebu.

“Heritage is not only confined within the church structure,” said Brigoli.

It encompasses the community. It is the cultural landscape of the town. It includes old houses, the cemetery, old plaza. It defines the lifestyle of the community,” said Brigoli, who finished a Masters degree in heritage conservation studies in University of Sto. Tomas.

He said Ili Rock is unique as a historic natural fortress. A watch tower built on it warned communities and southern towns of Cebu at the time when Moro invasion was rampant.

Last year,  the 7.2-magnitude earthquake caused a portion of Ili Rock to collapse in a landslide. DPWH engineers are undertaking ‘slope benching’ and a separate shore reclamation project at a cost of P89.19 million.


Related Stories:

Davide, solon back excavations on Ili Rock



Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: Boljoon, culture, Ili Rock, Unesco, Vigan

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.