Escuela de Niñas
The abundance of outstanding heritage structures in the country built in the Spanish era speaks of the people’s engineering and architectural genius. Through the National Heritage Cultural Act of 2009, our threatened built heritage is ensured protection and preservation by the state.
Bohol, with the most declared built heritage, suffered destruction and loss during the 2013 Bohol Earthquake. The immediate intervention took place led by national cultural agencies. Comprised of experts and technical personnel, the National Museum of the Philippines created the Bohol Heritage Taskforce to gauge the level of destruction and recommend necessary actions and interventions for the affected sites.
Situated on the main highway of Tagbilaran is Escuela de Niñas – an edifice of coral stone blocks established as a school for little girls in 1856. Until the Second World War, it remained a school administered by the Thomasites during the American regime. With the original walls retained, this structure became the Bohol Provincial Library in 1958. In 2007, the Provincial Government of Bohol donated the library building to the National Museum to become the public repository of the island’s archaeological, ethnographic, and natural history. In 2012, it was declared an Important Cultural Property. In 2018, this 166-year-old structure underwent restoration and rehabilitation and was turned over back to the province after the National Museum Bohol relocated to the restored former Provincial Capitol building.
Today, through the support and initiative of the Provincial Government, the former escuela serves as a gallery for local artists— a favorite go-to-place for tourists other than the museum.
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