via the Daily Tribune, 13 April 2019: The first time a priest in the Philippines has been involved in the direct conservation of a church.
One of the most iconic churches in the Bicol region — the church of San Juan Bautista in Bato, Catanduanes — has been restored, thanks to the efforts of a heritage-minded priest who studied and crafted its conservation management plan (CMP), bringing it back to its old glory.
It was in 2017 when Fr. Roberto Sanchez of the Diocese of Virac crafted the CMP, the main guiding document in the management and conservation of a heritage asset as part of his master’s thesis on cultural heritage studies at the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School
It is the first CMP of this scale done by a priest, a rarity since clerics are often embroiled in heritage conservation issues despite a concordat between the Philippine government through the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Vatican on the preservation of church cultural patrimony.