In a video news report from ABS-CBN, when they first arrived in Guiuan, the southeastern town in Samar province, showed footage showing the heavy damaged not only of the town but of the centuries old church. The roof of the belfry and the church has been blown away and a big portion of the pediment has been knocked down.In another photo, this time from the AFP Central Command Facebook page, shows an aerial photograph of Guiuan that includes the roofless church, right.
The Church of the Immaculate Concepcion was built by the Jesuits in the 18th century and after their expulsion, the Franciscans took over. The church is known for its very interesting shell mosaic, the only one of its kind in the Philippines.
The church also has an intricately carved front door which, Lonely Planet writes, as having caught the eye of Imelda Marcos and wanted to buy it for P2 million. It was declared a National Cultural Treasure in 2001 and it was part of the list of churches that will form as an extension of the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing Baroque Churches of the Philippines.
This supertyphoon came in the heels of the Bohol earthquake which greatly affected heritage churches in that province and in Cebu including Carcar, Sto. Nino Basilica Minore, Dalaguete, Cebu Cathedral, Pardo, Dalaguete and Sibonga.
As one looks at it, 2013 is becoming a sad year for Philippine Heritage.