Thursday, September 3, 2009

Presenting: The Dauis Renaissance Program

Summer heat and white sand beaches is what usually comes to ones mind when they hear of the island Panglao, but the town of Dauis proves that the island can offer more than just a tropical getaway to visitors, thanks to the new project called “ Dauis Renaissance Program”. Indeed it was a rebirth for the Our Lady of the Assumption Shrine Complex, as it is being developed into a pilgrim center for Marian devotees and a tourism hub that promotes the culture and the people of the town.

The restoration is a five year renovation and development program partnership between the Diocese of Tagbilaran through Bishop Leonardo Medroso and Bea Zobel Jr. With the application of adaptive reuse the ground floor of the Convent now houses three of Dauis Center’s operating units that serve pilgrims and tourists. First is the Café Lauis, which serves unique Dauisanon and Boholano Cuisine like ube pandesal and pork humba panini. Out of school youth from the town who serves as waiters are also trained in hospitality management and entrepreneurship. The old courtyard which was developed into a seaside park where wooden decks where built around two imposing acacia trees also serves as an extension to the café where guests can enjoy the wonderful view of the sea, the sunset and Tagbilaran City. A mélange of colonial feel, sophistication and elegance fills the atmosphere as one dines or sips coffee in the Terraza de Mariveles.

On the other side is the Handumanan Shop ( Boholano for souvenir) which showcases local products from the town such as colonial inspired fine jewelries which is one of the shop’s bestsellers and the wood products by the Dauis craftsmen. This does not only promote the local craftsmanship of the town but at the same time it is presently reviving the town’s jewelry industry which slowly died in the 1960s.

Found on the second floor is the Assumpta Museum which displays the history and the story of the town of Dauis. It also houses the priests’ bedchambers and retains much of the original flooring, balustrades, and religious figurines of the early 1900s. The ceiling paintings in the Sala de Recibidor by Filipino painters in the 1920s was also beautifully restored which reminds us of Michaelangelo’s works on the Sistine Chapel.

Indeed the restoration program is worthy of praise for it not only preserves the heritage of the town but also promotes the skills and livelihood of the people.

To contact the Dauis Pilgrim- Heritage Center please call (038) 502 3017 or email

wrote this article for the Make My Trip page at the Bohol Sunday Post.
Information Credits: Ayala Heritage foundation

Photo credits: Paul Kiener

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