This is an important milestone for heritage advocates and an achievement by the local Commission on Cultural Heritage, Restoration and Conservation (CCHRC) chaired by Architect Owen Francis Canlas.
A National Cultural Treasure is defined as:
…structures that represent built heritage, and which possess outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value that is significant and important to the country and the nation.
Minalin Church is not only an architecturally interesting structure but it has outstanding features that make it unique among other Spanish colonial era churches not only in Pampanga but also in the country. It is also the second NCT in the province after Betis Church in the municipality of Guagua.Fr. Pedro Galende, OSA, in his landmark book Angels in Stone describes the facade of the church as retablo like, is striking in its form and adornment. In and around this building and the kumbento are native motifs and carvings of local flora and fauna.
Inside, the baroque retablo mayor at the presbytery is a sight to behold. But one of the most treasured piece in the church complex is located at the second floor of the kumbento, just near the grand staircase. Here, a fresco on the wall shows a map of the town and a painted image of a woman has a date written on it: Ano 1619.
The church is also the only one of its kind with intact capilla posas at the four corners of its atrium. This feature is common in Latin America and in the Philippines, only three churches have this one: Minalin, Navalas in Guimaras (the chapels are located two in front and two at the back of the church) and Argao in Cebu, where, unfortunately, only one is original and renovated while the rest were replaced with modern ones.
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