By Christina Hermoso
The National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) has declared the Nueva Segovia Archdiocesan Archives as a national cultural treasure.
Known as Archivo Nueva Segovia (ANS), the archives become one of only three archives in the country, including the NAP and the University of Santo Tomas Archives, that were accorded with the honorary distinction, a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News post said.
Nueva Segovia Archbishop Marlo Peralta led the recent unveiling of the commemorative marker in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur with representatives of the NAP and the provincial government. The marker states that the ANS “provides sources of information in the study of history, language, arts, religion, politics, society, economy, and other specializations.”
The CBCP said ANS keeps church documents dating back from 1645. Most of the files are canonical books from various parishes of the archdiocese. The ANS keeps these documents as witnesses and primary sources of the development and growth of the archdiocese or the Northern Luzon region.
Other files include the documents of historical personalities like the baptismal entry of Padre José Búrgos who was born in Vigan in 1837, the death register of Gabriela Silang and her companions who were executed in Vigan’s Plaza Salcedo in 1763, the ordination documents of Padre Gregorio Aglipay, and the important ecclesiastical documents of a candidate for sainthood, Servant of God Alfredo Verzosa of Vigan, among many other important documents.
Archdiocesan archivist Fr. Jeric Jaramillo said ANS serves as a “storage of memory of the Christian community and storehouse of culture for the new evangelization.”
The ANS was established in the early 1990s through the mandate of Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, who served the archdiocese from 1986 to 1998.