Centuries-old ‘Iglesia de Santa Ana de Piddig’ restored
The newly restored St. Anne Parish Church in Piddig, Ilocos Norte.
By Buena Luz
July 27, 2019
Piddig, Ilocos Norte
The two-century old church of St. Anne in Piddig, Ilocos Norte was turned over by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to the Diocese of Laoag after undergoing restoration.
In a Mass officiated by Bishop Ronald Lunas of Pagadian to celebrate the Feast of St. Anne on July 26, the restored Church was rededicated after four years of not being used for liturgical services when the local government of Piddig declared it unfit for use.
In his homily, the prelate spoke of the church as living testimony to the presence of God in the midst of his people.
“This church was once declared unfit for human occupancy but our faith tells us that this place is always fit for God’s presence,” Bishop Lunas said.
With the efforts of the parishioners led by Fr. Lorenzo Torreflores and local officials, the church underwent restoration following the standards of restoring heritage structures.
The church of St. Anne of Piddig is one among the twelve standing Spanish-era built churches within the Diocese of Laoag.
It was first under the spiritual guidance of St. Joseph Parish of Dingras until its erection as parish between the years 1770 and 1775. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1862, gutted down by fire in 1870 which was subsequently rebuilt using bricks and stones.
The church was used as headquarters by Filipino Revolutionists in 1898, destroyed by a strong earthquake in 1931 which was restored by the then Parish Priest, Fr. Arsenio Pacis. It was burned by Japanese forces during World War II and was restored in 1965.
In 2014, the municipal council declared it unfit for human occupancy because of its deteriorating condition.
For about five years, Masses have been held in a makeshift church within the parish rectory compound.
The event was also the homecoming for Bishop Lunas whose maternal roots come from Piddig. Also in the celebration were bishops Renato Mayugba of Laoag and Jacinto Jose of Urdaneta.
Bishop Lunas stressed that the gathering was not only a homecoming for him but an occasion of gratitude.
“My mother came from this place before she left for Mindanao. Today is not only a homecoming for me but a thanksgiving,” he also said.
“Just as we remember the parents of the mother of the Lord, the human ancestors of Jesus, Saints Joachim and Anne on their feastday, I remember you and my ancestors with gratitude to the Lord, for you shared with me not only blood and flesh, you shared with me your faith as well, the faith of the Ilocanos, of the faithful in Piddig as this church symbolizes,” he added. CBCPNEWS