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Cebu

Santa Ana Ecclesiastical Heritage Museum

The establishment of the Santa Ana Ecclesiastical Heritage Museum was initiated by Msgr. Camilo Alia who created a Heritage Committee in 2017 to set up a repository for Barili’s cultural and religious relics and artifacts.

These include old statuary, liturgical articles, 19th century wind instruments, silver items, and even an old generator from England that lit up the church when there was yet no electricity in the town.
The museum’s most important treasure, however, involves ancient documents and manuscripts that date back to 1805 and are still readable, and its main objective is to keep them safe from termites, dampness, flooding, and theft.
Files from the 1700s had already been irretrievably lost.
To make the old parish books useful, the town had these translated from Spanish to English so they would serve as reference.
An official from the National Archives had identified Barili as the only place in the country where the inventory books of the past centuries can be read in English.
The translations make it possible for visitors to get acquainted with the treasures of the Santa Ana Parish and Diocesan Shrine back when it was acabeza del partido (head of a religious district) in southwestern Cebu soon after its founding in 1614.
Other exhibits include the memorabilia of Msgr. Cesar Alcoseba, a native son, who translated the Lord’s Prayer into the vernacular. It is now on display at the Church of the Pater Noster in Jerusalem.
He was also a member of the group who translated the Bible into the “Ang Maayong Balita.”. He edited the “Lungsoranon” for many years as well. Another memorabilia in the museum belongs to his uncle Padre Juan Alcoseba, who built the present church and started the Semana Santa processions in Barili.
The campanario or bell .tower is the Museum Annex and contains the larger-than-life statues of the 19thcentury Three Kings and three huge crucifixes that are taken out during Good Friday for the “Siete Palabras.”
The Museum may be visited by appointment through the Rectory Office. Admission is free but donations are welcome for maintenance expenses.

Categories
Cebu

Santa Ana Parish Church

Elevated as a Diocesan Shrine in 2005, the Santa Ana Parish Church in Barili has gone through several reconstruction and renovations since the first structure was erected at its present site in February 1889.

Two things set Barili apart from other parishes: it was the only one in the Archdiocese dedicated to Sta. Ana, the mother of the Virgin Mary, and the first in Cebu to be run by secular priests.

It was founded in 1614, according to the book Balaanong Bahandi, citing other historians. Writing about Barili, Felipe Redondo in Breve Reseña said the date of its creation was uncertain but the oldest entries in the parish books date back to October 15, 1748.

Original stone foundations

Fr. Juan Alcoseba, who served as parish priest from 1889 to 1910, was credited with the construction of the first structure at its current location. The first church site was near a river and would occasionally get flooded so parishioners agreed to transfer it to a safer place.

Since Alcoseba’s time, the Santa Ana Parish Church had been renovated in the late 1950s by Fr. Emilio Vicentillo, who also added the concrete belfry, and in 1974 by Fr. Francisco Boltron.

“Despite modern alterations, the church still retains its original coral stone foundations and walls which rise up to a meter then give way to the cement walls,” added the Balaanong Bahandi.

Special church features

Some notable characteristics of this church: memorial to Bishop Juan Gorordo in the church’s right side, beautifully carved statue of Santa Ana at a niche in the facade, four huge reliefs of the Evangelists in the interior corners, antique image and relic of the parish patroness enshrined in the altar at the gospel side.

The Santa Ana Parish was believed to be located in the old barrio of Giloctog. In his book, Redondo named Fr. Alonso Roman de Castañeda as incumbent parish priest of Barili when he was named Vicar Forane of the district on October 16, 1619.

With the brief time period between 1614-1619, the Balaanong Bahandi believes it is likely that Fr. Castañeda was also Barili’s first parish priest.

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