MANILA, Philippines –
Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg visited the centuries-old Church of the Immaculate Conception in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, which was destroyed during Typhoon Yolanda. Thanks to U.S. Embassy Manila, the church is to receive a PhP13 million (USD $300,000) grant for reconstruction.
“Historic landmarks like this are important to the community. The U.S. Embassy believes it is important to preserve cultural sites for future generations to enjoy,” said Ambassador Goldberg during his October 20 tour of the site.
Through a grant from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), the United States Embassy in Manila partnered with the National Museum of the Philippines for the initial restoration of the church, which began construction in 1596 and was completed in 1768. It is the only shell-decorated church in the world.
The AFCP supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 developing countries around the world. AFCP-supported projects include the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, preservation and protection of important archaeological sites and the documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques and indigenous languages. Cultural heritage endures as a reminder of the contributions and historical experiences of humanity. By taking a leading role in efforts to preserve cultural heritage, the U.S. shows its respect for all cultures.