QR markers to be installed in Dgte parish churches

By Jennifer C. Tilos

 

bishop
Most Rev. Julito Cortes (left), bishop of Diocese of Dumaguete, scanning the QR marker thru his mobile device to open the web link. (PIA Negros Oriental)

 

Leading to the celebration of the 500-year anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021, the Diocese of Dumaguete has partnered with a telecommunications company to set Quick Response (QR) interactive markers to make way for a digital tourism experience.

Bishop Julito Cortes of Diocese of Dumaguete said this is part of the preparations for 2021, which marks the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country, with March 2020 to March 2021 as a Holy Year.

Smart Communications Visayas-Mindanao Public Affairs Head Maria Jane Paredes recently turned over the initial seven QR code markers to Cortes which will be installed in parish churches.

Using the QR code markers, pilgrims, tourists, and students can access accurate information and explore heritage churches and monuments using their mobile phones.

The digital tourism program harnesses technology to deliver cultural, historical, and travel information to mobile users.

Under the program, the QR codes and near field communication chips will be installed in every church heritage structure and when scanned through a mobile device, it will open a web link on the user’s smartphone.

Paredes said through these markers, the tourist and the pilgrims can get information on a particular site right away.

The information provided has been carefully curated and validated by the Diocese and Commission on Cultural Heritage.

“This is to help also catechize the pilgrims especially the young ones because mobile technology is their arena, so we also hope to draw attention on the youth sector,” added Paredes.

“The Rome will allow us in the Philippines to declare thru the CBCP that 13 churches in every Diocese can grant plenary indulgences, like in the Diocese of Dumaguete my hope we can declare the following churches to receive indulgence Cathedral, Bacong, Dauin, Zamboanguita, Siaton, and Bayawan in the south and then Sibulan, Amlan, San Jose, Tanjay, Bais, Manjuyod and Jimalalud,” the bishop said.

With this, Cortes wants the seven churches to start the QR markers that also link to a prayer and other spiritual exercises, and expand eventually to all the churches that will be declared to receive indulgences in 2020-2021.

“This is to help also catechize the pilgrims especially the young ones because mobile technology is their arena, so we also hope to draw attention on the youth sector,” added Paredes.

“The Rome will allow us in the Philippines to declare thru the CBCP that 13 churches in every Diocese can grant plenary indulgences, like in the Diocese of Dumaguete my hope we can declare the following churches to receive indulgence Cathedral, Bacong, Dauin, Zamboanguita, Siaton, and Bayawan in the south and then Sibulan, Amlan, San Jose, Tanjay, Bais, Manjuyod and Jimalalud,” the bishop said.

With this, Cortes wants the seven churches to start the QR markers that also link to a prayer and other spiritual exercises, and expand eventually to all the churches that will be declared to receive indulgences in 2020-2021.

Dumaguete Cathedral, Bacong, Dauin , Francis of Asisi of Siquijor, San Juan, Lazi, Maria, Larena, and Talingting while church heritage QR markers are in various stages of completion.

Digital tourism involves the creation of apps, mobile guides, and interactive materials that give tourists and locals comprehensive and localized information about various destinations in the country, including heritage sites, nature parks, historic cities, and churches.

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VMC opens search for young artists in NegOr

By Jennifer C. Tilos

 

The Victorias Milling Company (VMC) has called anew young aspiring artists in Negros Oriental to participate in its 7th Interschool Art Contest in September this year.

The contest banners the theme “My Community” as the VMC also celebrates its 100 years of existence to instill the young Negrenses in Negros Island how the company values the community.

“This is also how involving themselves in their own communities will eventually empower the youth to have a stake in nation-building through arts,” Corporate Communications Director Anne Tiongco explained.

Now on its 7th year, the competition has since been dubbed as the platform for young artists, paving the way for them to be discovered, recognized and given exposure while inculcating love and preservation of our heritage, said Tiongco.

This is open to all students from Negros Island from Grades 1-6 for interschool elementary, and Grades 7-12 for interschool secondary.

Interested participants may send their application forms to vmcartcontest@gmail.com and vmcart@yahoo.com with a clear snapshot of previous work.

Deadline of registration is on September 4, 2019.

All qualifying participants must be endorsed by their respective school’s representative which will be submitted during the on-the-spot competitions scheduled tentatively on September 14.

Tiongco said, “This year, it is our hope that we will increase the number of entrants from Dumaguete City or Negros Oriental with the support from the provincial government and the Department of Education.”

In 2018 competition, at least 67 students island-wide made it to the qualifying stage but only 16 came from Negros Oriental.

Yet, last year’s elementary champion still came from the province, Dwight Eisenhower Alota of Bais City Pilot School-SPED FL; and the winner for college category was Ledzeepee Ace Taboada from Silliman University.

Prizes await for the top young artists under elementary category will receive P20,000 cash and a trophy plus computer package for participating school, P15,000 cash, and trophy for the 1st runner, and P10,000 cash and trophy for 2nd runner up.

For interschool secondary, the champion will get P30,000 cash, trophy plus computer package for participating school, P20,000 cash, and trophy for the 1st runner, and P10,000 cash and trophy for 2nd runner up.

All 20 semi-finalists will be invited to attend a workshop sponsored by the VMC Foundation, in partnership with VMC, within six months from the final judging event.

The criteria of the competition include originality, relevance to the theme, handling of medium, and overall impact of the artwork.

NMP declares Dgte Presidencia ‘important cultural property’

By Jennifer C. Tilos

 

Presidencia 2
Cultural Properties Regulation Division Deputy Chief Raquel Flores (left) of the National Museum of the Philippines with Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo (right) showing the public declaration of the Dumaguete Presidencia as “important cultural property.” (PIA-Negros Oriental)

 

The Dumaguete Presidencia or City Hall was officially declared an “important cultural property” (ICP) by the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP).

NMP’s Cultural Properties Regulation Division Deputy Chief Raquel Flores said this property, under the law of the National Museum, passed as exemplary aesthetics, engineering, architecture, and history and social impacts.

Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo expected that this would be the start of community consciousness to preserve old structures that are historical monuments that will be a legacy for the future generations.

In the next three months, the National Museum can start putting in national treasures which are now deposited at the NMP.

Remollo said the original Presidencia will be transformed into a repository of the important artifacts of Dumaguete that date back as far as 500 BC, with most of them unearthed in Bacong, Negros Oriental.

Flores said that under the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, “the State shall promote and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage and resources” and assures that the Presidencia’s protection, preservation, and promotion are intact.”

It qualifies as an ICP on account of it is designed by Juan M. Arellano, one of the country’s greatest architects, and possesses “exceptional cultural, artistic and/or historical significance” to the Philippines as defined by the Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act, the National Museum Act of 1998, and the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.

The declaration of the Dumaguete Presidencia or City Hall, built in 1936, as an ICP entitles it to be granted government funding for its restoration, protection, and conservation by the National Museum.

Remollo welcomes the declaration as this will enhance the city’s reputation as a heritage destination.

The mayor expects that the Dumaguete Presidencia will become another tourist destination for heritage lovers and provide the next generation a better appreciation of the city’s rich culture and heritage.

The Dumaguete Presidencia is the fourth to be declared as an ICP in Negros Oriental after Silliman University, Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, and Bacong Church.

The building is currently undergoing restoration works with a budget of P49 million and will be converted into a branch of the NMP that will house artifacts and historical pieces of the city, province, and Central Visayas.

The National Museum (NM) is one of the lead government cultural agencies tasked to achieve the goals of instilling cultural consciousness and a sense of pride and nationalism among Filipino citizens through its activities covering the sciences, education, and culture.

To ensure the preservation and protection of cultural properties in the Philippines, NM is mandated to declare significant cultural properties as National Cultural Treasure or ICP.