The National Museum of the Philippines has donated P15 million to repair the damage to the 382-year-old Marian shrine in Taal, Batangas, caused by the eruption of Taal Volcano in January last year.
Rector Raul Francisco Martinez said that the shrine’s structure, especially its roof, had been seen as early as 2019 and became more transparent when part of the patio appeared to have sunk and its façade showed fissures.
The fissures resembled those caused by the 1874 and 1911 eruptions, according to the town’s history.
NMP director Jeremy Barns last week led a team of engineers, architects and archaeologists to survey the shrine.
The historic shrine at Barangay Labac normally draws devotees of the “miraculous” image of Our Lady of Caysasay, housing a 20-centimeter antique statue, which was fished out in the Pansipit River by local residents in 1603.
The NMP in March last year declared the shrine a “national cultural treasure” as well as its two other features—the Sta. Lucia well and the 125-step “hagdan-hagdan” (steps) or the San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps.
Martinez said the NMP approved the P15-million restoration budget in September last year, adding that everything was happening “by God’s grace.”
Photo: Lakad Pilipinas