Sisigon Matnog Chapel : Restoration and Dedication

Barangay Sisigon, Matnog, Sorsogon province -Philippines

Sisigon – Matnog chapel circa July 1977 ( family photo archive)

This is a private chapel built within the property of my maternal grandparents . According to family records and accounts , the purpose of building a chapel is for the people within the area to visit at least everyday and on special occasions like fiesta , Christmas , new year or holy week. Even if this is in private land, there are people in nearby towns which would visit the chapel .

 Notice the straight cemented stairways leading to the main entrance in the 1970’s

There used to be a smaller chapel made of wood . The current chapel was built in the middle part of around May or June 1977 when my grandmother and aunts decided to have a small chapel built . They made some planning and a small portion of the property was allocated for worship since a big percentage of the people living in the place were Catholics.

inauguration of the chapel circa July 1977 – notice the young palm fronds used as decoration 

The nearest chapel is located several kilometers away and people would not have the convenience to walk  that far . The chapel is located on a sloping terrain with a curving road in which people can visibly see the chapel on ideal location.

inauguration  of the chapel

Local and foreign tourists would sometimes flock to the chapel for some photo opportunities , the location is a good vantage point for taking photos of scenic spots and coconut plantations.

chapel viewed from main road ( photo courtesy by : Mr. Raymond L. De Vera )

There was also light which illuminates the place and serves as guide for motorists visiting the port of Matnog ( which is just 4 barangays away ). One can climb comfortably at the chapel with its 29 staircase made from cement.

 chapel ( circa February 16, 2016 )

Materials were sourced locally like stones, gravel, sand , cement and galvanized roofing were added . Most of the benches and wooden beams were made from local hardwoods.   Since the chapel was made in the late 1970’s, no further improvement were made except for the cement stairs that were eroded due to heavy rains and erosion from the surrounding mountains  . The contractor decided to follow the natural contour of the land.  The curve cement stairways were later rebuilt in 1998 .

chapel interior

The main altar have 3 Santos ( saints) made from different materials, soft wood, hardwood and plaster of paris  . Based on the arrangement of the images. The chapel is dedicated to Nuestra Señora de Salvación ( main altar ) other images included Santo Niño and Saint Jude Thaddeus . Unfortunately all the 3 statutes were in a very sorry state and the Nuestra Señora de Salvación wood image was eaten by termites! According to the caretaker, the chapel is dedicated to Saint Jude Thaddeus since there is also a chapel dedicated to Nuestra Señora de Salvación a few barangays away.

L-R Santo Niño , Nuestra Señora de Salvación and Saint Jude Thaddeus

There was a minor repair done in the early 1980’s due to strong typhoon which hit the place and no other restoration was done . Only the caretaker had kept the small bronze bell  and the chapel is only open a few times every year .

chapel with new iron door and being painted

It had been over 30 years since it was first restored and due to the recent typhoon which hit the area, some parts of the roofs are leaking, side entrance to the chapel and main  wooden door entrance of the chapel have either rotted away or eaten away by termites.

changing of old galvanized roofs and repainting ( photo courtesy : Mr. Raymond L. De Vera) 

When Typhoon Melor ( Bagyong Nona ) hit the province last year December 14, 2015 .  It also left portion of the chapel with roof leaking and badly needed some rehabilitation. We saw a lot of trees, coconuts and houses along the highway that were topped down due to the typhoon . Recovery is still on its way in many places.

repainting of the chapel

It started with the change of chapel door ( from wood to steel last January 2016 ) and then change in parts of the roof and repainting of the chapel ( both interior and exterior ) . The work within the chapel had already progress with the delivery of building materials last February 17 . The project time table is between 3 to 5 days and hopefully within this week, the project will be completed .

There are plans to install electric lights within the chapel and if all things goes well, the chapel will be fully furnish before the end of this week.

The wife of the mayor had pledge a divine mercy frame to the chapel and those who wanted to donate religious icons and images are gladly accepted.

Just email me at L_rence_2003@yahoo.com

Cellphone : 0928-6604819 SMART

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