Bohol’s quake-damaged churches can still attract tourists as ruins, says CBCP

Now, that’s an idea.

Evelyn Macairan of The Philippine Star reports that the seven churches in Bohol that were badly damaged by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Central Visayas last week can still become tourist spots by introducing them as archaeological ruins, according to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines' (CBCP) Committee for the Cultural Heritage of the Church.

The report quoted committee head Fr. Milan Ted Torralba as saying that the remnants of the centuries-old churches destroyed by the quake are now similar to ruins of ancient temples and structures that tourists visit abroad. He cited the Aztecs in Mexico and Machu Picchu in Peru as popular examples of archaeological ruins. He suggested that the local government may ask tourists to pay an entrance fee when visiting the ruined houses of worship to provide funds for the churches' restoration.

"The six churches in Bohol classified as national cultural treasures that were damaged by the massive earthquake last Oct. 15 are the San Pedro Apostol Church in Loboc, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church in Baclayon, the Church of Our Lady of Light in Loon, the Diocesan Shrine of Saint Vincent Ferrer-Holy Cross Parish in Maribojoc, the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Dauis, and the Church of Santisima Trinidad in Loay."

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