National heritage zone status for the Quiapo district would mean more funds and other resources from the national government for infrastructure, tourism development, and preservation of historical structures in the district. Time is of the essence as there are many Quiapo heritage houses and structures rapidly deteriorating.
Quiapo district must be considered as a heritage zone being home to two historical churches — the Basilica of the Black Nazarene, which was recently named as a national shrine, and the Minor Basilica of San Sebastian.
Manila Rep. Joel Chua, who filed House Bill 3750, expressed gratitude to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines for elevating the Quiapo Church to a national shrine. This, he said, would formally recognize the premiere stature of the church as a faith center and pilgrimage site among the many Black Nazarine shrines nationwide.
This CBCP action, he said, boosts the prospects of his pending bill in Congress conferring national heritage zone recognition to the district.
“It is a serendipitous sign to Congress to get HB 3750 moving faster through the legislative pipeline.”
The Quiapo Church, founded in 1578, had been gathering thousands of devotees every Friday and millions join the annual festivity of the Black Nazarene on January 9 each year.
The church was declared a minor basilica by the late Pope John Paul II on December 11, 1987 because of its role in strengthening a deep popular devotion to Jesus Christ and its cultural contribution to the religiosity of the Filipino people.
The Minor Basilica of San Sebastian, which is part of the heritage zone, was destroyed by earthquake and fire in 1621 and was rebuilt to its architectural marvel as the only all-steel church in the country to house the statue of Virgen del Carmen.
Chua cited the need for the City of Manila to be a heritage zone to create jobs and uplift the city’s reputation in the Philippines and around the world.
As a living heritage zone, the district will receive the attention it deserves.
National heritage zone status for the Quiapo district would mean the channeling of funds and other resources from the national government for infrastructure, tourism development, and preservation of historical structures in the district.
Time is of the essence for HB 3750 because there are many Quiapo heritage houses and structures rapidly deteriorating because of many decades of disrepair, exposure to the elements, and ravages of time and urbanization.