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Gov. Garcia wants Boljoon pulpit panels returned

By: Carl Lorenciana - CDN Digital Copy Editor | February 16,2024 - 07:10 PM

Pulpit panels

Photo shows the four early 19th-century panels that have been donated earlier to the National Museum of the Philippines. The panels, which feature the image of Saint Augustine of Hippo, trace their origin from the pulpit of the Patrocinio de Maria Santisima Parish Church in Boljoon, Cebu. | Photo from NMP Facebook page

CEBU CITY, Philippines  – Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has called for the return of 19th-century Boljoon pulpit panels to their original home at the Patrocinio de Maria Santisima Parish Church stressing the importance of preserving Cebuano heritage.

Speaking to the media earlier on Friday, February 16,  she emphasized the need to request the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) to return the panels, noting their absence from the church’s restored pulpit.

“And since this was donated now to the National Museum, I have asked our consultant for heritage and museums, professor Dr. Jojo Bersales, to look into it so that we may take formally a position of formally requesting the National Museum to return these panels so that we can complete (the panels). You know the pulpit has been restored, but we could see there are indeed four empty spaces which correspond to these four panels,” the governor told reporters when sought for comment on the donation of the panels made earlier in a turnover ceremony at the NMP.

Originally part of the church’s pulpit, the panels depict Saint Augustine of Hippo and were donated to the National Museum by collectors Edwin and Aileen Bautista, sparking criticism online.

READ: Boljoon: Preserving the Legacy of a Rich Heritage

Many netizens also called for the panels’ return to Boljoon.

“I hope that we can – the National Museum – come to an agreement here because after all usa ra may atong tumong, we have just one goal to preserve and more so to nurture and cherish these irreplaceable treasures of our Cebuano past,” she asserted.

Garcia further pointed out the shared goal of preserving and cherishing Cebu’s history, highlighting the panels’ intrinsic significance.

“This is intrinsically a part of Cebuano history, and we would hope that these panels will find their way back to their rightful place in the pulpit of Patrocinio de Maria Santisima Church right there in Boljoon, Cebu,” she said.


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TAGS: Boljoon, heritage, pulpit panels

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