HISTORICAL NARRATIVES OF THE SPANISH HERITAGE CHURCHES IN ALBAY: PLATFORM FOR PROMOTING BIKOL CULTURE AND HERITAGE
As cultural heritage reflects the historical origin of a certain group of people, it reveals the customs, traits, beliefs, practices and even values they hold on for years. One of the tangible examples of cultural heritage is the physical structures including the century old churches. The study looked into the existing historical narratives of the century old Catholic churches: the Nuestra Señora de Salvacion in Joroan, Tiwi, Albay; the Our Lady of the Gate in Daraga, Albay; the San Juan de Bautista in Tabaco City, and the St. John the Baptist in Camalig, Albay. The secondary sources of history were evaluated on their reliability and validity based on the elements of history. The historical narratives were also analyzed using the following codes: the Patron Saints; factors that paved to their constructions; the people responsible for their constructions; the misconceptions about their constructions; and their contributions to Bikol heritage. The historical documents were found to be reliable and valid based on the elements of history. Based on the codes, themes were identified as Marian Devotees and Christ-centered Patron Saints; geographical, sociopolitical and cultural factors paved to the construction; church and government officials were responsible in the construction; misconceptions are on the dates of constructions and original sites where the church were constructed; and the contributions to Bikol heritage which include: popular pilgrim sites and well-admired architectural designs. The historical narratives of the century old churches is responsive in promoting resilient, sustainable and inclusive tourism industry.
Keywords: historical narratives, century old churches, cultural heritage, Bikol culture
Research and Development Center