The Simbahan ng Balayan (Immaculate Conception Parish Church) has stood for more than 400 years, recognized as one of the Philippines’ most beautiful churches and historical shrines. But now the Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa is on the verge of despoiling this National Historical Landmark and Natural Cultural Treasure.
The Archdiocese has started talks to have the adjoining 18-century structure leased to a national grocery chain. This will mean the destruction of the the Convent, which houses the nuns, and the elementary school building of the Immaculate Conception College. History wiped out in one sweep -- the convent/school used to be the site of the Casa Real (House of Tribunal) until 1752.
Please help us, residents of Balayan, save this national treasure. Please help us stop an illegal and immoral move by the Archdiocese of Lipa. The Church of Balayan bears a historical marker installed by the then National Historical Institute (now, National Historical Commission of the Philippines - NHCP). This means that the Church itself officially recognizes the historical value of its property.
The Church is powerful. It already has shown a precedent in ignoring Balayan residents’ pleas, when it allowed a burger chain to rise on Balayan Church land. Now it is poised to directly violate the historical integrity of the Simbahan.
We believe that if you help us, if we work together in this campaign, we can stop the desecration of history by convincing the Archdiocese of Lipa to submit to NHCP oversight.