Tuesday, September 28, 2010


National Museum Director IV Ms. Corazon S.
Alvina and the bishop of the diocese of Laoag Sergio
Lasam Utleg unveiled the Important Cultural Property
marker at Santa Monica Church Complex in Sarrat,
Ilocos Norte on September 27, 2009. Witnesses to
the unveiling were Municipal Mayor Edito Alberto G.
Balento, Municipal Vice-Mayor Corazon R. Abas,
parish priest Rev. Romualde D. Batoon and NM
Director III Cecilio G. Salcedo. The public declaration
and unveiling of the Important Cultural Property marker
were held in conjunction with the feast of Saint Michael
and attended by local officials and parishioners.
Pursuant to Presidential Decree 374, amending
certain sections of Republic Act 4846, otherwise known
as “The Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection
Act” and Republic Act 8492 or the National Museum
Act of 1998, the National Museum with the support of
a panel of experts declared the Santa Monica Church
Complex as an Important Cultural Property based on
the criteria set by the National Museum. The members
of the panel included Architect Augusto F. Villalon, Fr.
Milan Ted D. Torralba, Ms. Anna Maria L. Harper, Fr.
Rene B. Javellana and Mr. Cecilio G. Salcedo.
The parish church of Santa Monica in Sarrat, Ilocos
Norte is strategically situated on sandy and hilly land by
the bank of the Padsan River, and is acclaimed to be
the biggest church in Ilocos Norte, measuring 140 meters
long, 21 meters wide and 10.5 meters high. Originally
known as the Church of San Miguel, the red brick church
built in neo-classical style in 1779 has withstood natural
calamities such as earthquakes and typhoons, remaining
generally intact for the past 220 years and continues to
be a manifestation of sound engineering practices guided
by aesthetic principles.
One of its significant structures is the wooden roof
truss, which number to about 480 wooden beams or log
trusses from hardwood molave, seventy-five percent of
which is original – making it one of the most impressive
examples of timber roofs in the country. The framework is
formed from around 480 trozos (logs), with all the beams
hewn from exceptionally tall trees measuring up to 50
feet, evidence to the vastness of environmental resource
and diversity of the Philippines.
Within the church complex is a convent that was built
in 1769. Known as Casa del Palacio Real, the convent
was originally used as a chapel prior to the completion
of the church and the bell tower, and later used as the
Presidencia Municipal.

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