The National Museum declares the Malabon Church an “Important Cultural Property”

Photo by Kiseki Lacroix/Wikipedia

The National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) recently declared the 408-year-old San Bartolome Parish Church in Malabon City an Important Cultural Property (ICP).

In a CBCP News report, NMP Deputy Director General, Attorney Ma. Rosenne Flores-Avila and Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David led the unveiling of the declaration marker last Thursday in Malabon City.

“Let’s partner to preserve it for future generations. Let us continue to make this sacred place a vibrant center of conversation and action for our cultural heritage,” said Avila.

“We really need to take seriously our partnership with the appropriate government agency for the preservation of our church’s cultural heritage,” David said.

Under the National Heritage Act 2009, PCIs are defined as those of “outstanding cultural, artistic and historical significance” to the country.

Those declared PICs or National Cultural Treasures may, in turn, receive government funding for their protection, conservation and restoration.

David said caring for religious heritage structures, such as the parish church of San Bartolome, would benefit both the church and the government.

“Without inheritance, the church will be soulless,” said the current president of the Philippine Conference of Catholic Bishops (CBCP).

“Even the whole town of Malabon, what really gives it character are the heritage structures like this church,” David added.

During the event, David also announced plans by the Diocese of Kalookan to ask the Vatican to designate the secular neoclassical church as a minor basilica.

If approved, the parish church of San Bartolome will be the first minor basilica in the diocese since its creation in 2003.

Declared an independent parish in 1614, the Church of San Bartolomé is located near the town hall of Malabon and stands next to the Catholic school St James Academy. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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