The Cebu Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church (CACCHC) referred here as ‘Commission’ was canonically established on July 2, 2002 spearheaded by the late Rev. Fr. Carlito Pono as the director until May 2014, under the bishopric of the late His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal the Archbishop of Cebu. The Commission is the concrete response to the directives of the Holy See especially as contained in the Circular Letter Opera Artis of April 1971 and in the spirit of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II) and in conformity with the Sacred Canons. To date the Commission is headed by Rev. Fr. Brian C. Brigoli.

The Commission has its mandate to superintend all the conservation, restoration, preservation initiatives of all heritage parochial churches and their adjunct structures and their holdings therein. It was canonically created to monitor the proper application of heritage conservation laws of the Church as well as their civil effects. 

These are the objectives of the Commission as guiding principles for all its engagements.

  1. Shall promote the cultural heritage of the Church as an invaluable aid to evangelization and catechesis.
  2. Shall foment research and understanding of the ecclesiastical cultural heritage.
  3. Shall serve as a consultative Body on the scientific conservation of cultural ecclesiastical goods.
  4. Shall initiate and sustain collaboration between Government and/or civic agencies involved in the care, conservation and appreciation of the cultural heritage of the Church.
  5. Shall act as official liaison with the CBCP Episcopal Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church.
  6. Shall undertake projects in different Parishes upon invitation or authorization of and collaboration with the Parish Priests and the Team of Pastors concerned.
  7. Shall recommend Accredited Contractors of the Commission to undertake projects in the Parishes upon the authorization of the Parish Priests and the Team of Pastors concerned in collaboration with the Commission.

The Commission is involved in the network of both public and private institutions which are committed in the protection and enhancement of the cultural heritage of all its diversity. The Commission is in coordination with the CBCP Episcopal Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church at present headed by the Commission Chair His Excellency Most. Rev.  Julito B. Cortes, D.D., Bishop of Dumaguete. The Commission has linkages with academic institutions such as the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas in Manila its Center for the Conservation of Cultural Properties and Environment in the Tropics (CCCPET), with the University of San Carlos, Cebu City its Conservation and Heritage Research Institute and Workshop Studio (CHERISH) and its School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design (SAFAD). From the government institutions, the Commission is in coordination with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the National Museum (NM). For local network, the Commission has a working relation with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation (RAFI) which drafted a roster of programmes for heritage protection. RAFI and the Commission are also partners in the aspect of Museum Administration due to the yearly event of the “Kabii sa Kabilin”. This is in keeping with the culmination event of the Heritage Month of May where all the participating museums will open until midnight showcasing musuems’ special exhibits and activities.

The Commission actively participates in the cultural life of the city and province of Cebu and works harmoniously with the city and the provincial governments in the protection of the heritage ensembles of the church as well as in the heritage tourism aspect.

The Commission has four working committees so as to facilitate its engagements and concerns. Here are the following committees and its mandate:

Committee on Sacred Places, Arts and Architecture: To scientifically conserve all the identified sacred places, art, and architecture of heritage value in the Archdiocese

Committee on Ecclesiastical Museums:  To preserve and restore the movable museum artifacts of heritage value found in the Archdiocese. To assist in the establishments of the parochial museums

Committee on Ecclesiastical Archives:  To organize, consolidate and conserve the archival documents of the Archdiocese

Committee on Heritage Tourism:  To foster basic awareness in the appreciation of the value of historic and heritage structures, sites, and movable objects

Fr. Brian C. Brigoli :Chair, Clergy, Conservator, Professor
Fr. Generoso Rebayla, SVD:Clergy, Administrator, Photographer
Fr. Dennis Ruiz, OAD:Clergy, Curator, Professor
Louella Eslao-Alix:Writer, Entrepreneur
Rodolfo G. Alix:Artist, Engineer, Entrepreneur
Carlos Apuhin:Banker, Businessman, PDHC
Jose Eleazar Bersales:Professor, Archeologist, Writer, Historian
Ernesto Chua:Businessman, Art Collector, PDHC
Mary Frances V. Despi:Businesswoman, Architect
Maxwell Espina:Architect, Civil Engineer, Urban Planner
Melva R. Java:Conservation Architect, Professor
Teresita Manguerra:Banker, Ecology Advocate
Ramon Gitamondoc:Civil Engineer, Professor
Benjamin Negapatan:Corporate Lawyer, Chemical Engineer
Audrey Dawn Tomada:Anthropologists, Government Museum Director
Bonifacio Ramo Jr.:Retired Banker

Archdiocesan Museum of Cebu
Mabini St. Corner P. Gomez
Brgy. Sto Niño, Cebu City
Telephone Number: 032-341-3173; 09189195539; 09438108935

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The cultural heritage of the church specifically intends its pastoral programs for:

(1) Awareness and empowerment among lay members on how the valorization of the cultural heritage of the church patrimony be an invaluable aid to evangelization and catechesis;

(2) Strengthen the capability of Parish Cultural Heritage Committee in determining and responding to church heritage issues and concerns; and,

(3) Provide technical support and expertise to heritage church parishes in their conservation and restoration projects.

This seminar workshop provides the municipal and city engineers the working knowledge in handling heritage conservation works. This is in collaboration with the Cebu Provincial Government, the NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) and NHCP (National Historical Commission of the Philippines). The seminar provides the engineers the proper training be it in theories and hands-on procedures guided by the  experts in the field. The project is an important step intended to correct whatever mistakes had been made in the past and offer warranted solutions to problems affecting heritage sites.

This is designed for contractors who are at the front lines in the restoration works of the churches and its adjunct structures. This is in collaboration with the CCA (Cebu Contractors’ Association), the NCCA and NHCP. The seminar-training equipped the contractors the necessary knowledge and skills, much more to introduce them the proper discipline of heritage conservation. This is to prepare the contractors to legitimately handle any restoration works they will engage in and to be in close coordination with the Commission for proper planning and implementations.

Orienting the personnel of the parish-based heritage committees regarding restoration endeavors. Providing them the frameworks on how to go about proper restoration measures and guiding them in the process. This is also the venue of recommending accredited contractors who are capable in handling restoration works.

Almost seven years had passed since we were hit by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on October 15 of 2013, a devastating force where our heritage churches were badly damaged. Since then many concerted efforts were gathered and consolidated to bring back those damaged churches to their former glory and retain their foremost value, significance and meaning. Both government agencies and the church heritage commission are working in collaboration with each other. The NHCP and the Commission are seeing to it that all restoration efforts are all in track. These efforts are now complete. But before these efforts reach to the intervention stage, there were important preliminaries being observed such as the proper documentations of the materials damaged, the technical assessment of the damages sustained, the engineering studies and the material classifications. All of these are to be conducted before designing the desired intervention and restoration procedures. This process is designed in order to provide an objective and well-informed considerations before interventions will commence. This is to ensure that the restoration proper is the most desired one and the closest possible method of retaining the value and meaning of the structure.

The projects implemented were: retrofitting, consolidation of both the exterior and interior walls, plastering, even construction of comfort rooms, construction of covered trenches around the church, restoration of convent, rewiring, re-roofing, ceiling painting restoration, retablo restoration, pipe organ restoration. This includes the restoration of the movable ecclesiastical heritage items, such as , statues, sacred vessels, record books and vestments.

The following churches are the ones included in the MOA between the Cebu Archdiocese and NHCP for restoration projects and funding:

  1. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
  2. Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Catherine of Alexandria, Carcar
  3. Our Lady of Pillar Parish, Sibonga
  4. San Guillermo de Aquitania Parish, Dalaguete
  5. Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel, Argao
  6. Nuestra Señora Patrocinio de Maria Parish, Boljoon
  7. Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Bantayan
  8. St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Samboan
  9. St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Dumanjug
  10. Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish, el Pardo, Cebu City

The Commission is directly responsible for the day-to-day operations of the museum which is formerly known as the Cathedral Museum. It is always in keeping with the pastoral function of ecclesiastical museum which is to preserve and safeguard the important artistic and historical patrimony of the church and the valorization of her heritage.

The Archdiocesan Museum of Cebu (AMC) is an ecclesiastical museum that was opened in 2006 to serve as an instrument for Christian evangelization through its exhibits and events. Built in the mid-1800s, the structure is a fine example of a “arquitectura mestiza” made of coral stone blocks, timber and clay roof tiles. This is the only ecclesiastical museum in the country that is completely housed in a Spanish-era rectory restored for use as a museum. It was a former convent for priests of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral until the 1980s. The museum houses seven (7) galleries, a Church Archive room, a museum shop and a lecture/audio-visual room.

The exhibits include a collection of sacred images, liturgical vestments, sacred vessels, liturgical and ecclesiastical records, cantorals, to name a few, gathered from different parishes of Cebu which are no longer in regular use. There is also a good number of collections for the memorabilia of the past Archbishops and significant events of the Archdiocese such as Papal visits and the like. Upstairs one can find most of the exhibits, including the memorabilia of the well-loved Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal. The museum is SEC registered as a non-profit, non-stock foundation run by a Board of Trustees with the Archbishop as the chairman of the board and the Museum Director as the vice chair.

Archdiocesan Museum of Cebu
Mabini St. Corner P. Gomez
Brgy. Sto Niño, Cebu City
Telephone Number: 032-341-3173; 09189195539; 09438108935