News Release

Joint Digitization Project for Borongan Diocese

Typhoon Yolanda brought unimaginable devastation and wreaked havoc in the lives of people.

Borongan diocese which comprises the whole province of Eastern Samar was badly hit by the typhoon, particularly the Municipality of Giuan.  Many old church records which date as far back as 1780 were damaged in Guian. 

In response to this, the FamilySearch Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints represented by Manolito "Manny" Baul, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Borongan through its Archbishop, Most Rev. Crispin B. Varquez, DD entered into a joint agreement to microfilm and digitize records. 

Borongan diocese

Archbishop Varquez granted permission requested by FamilySearch, a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing access to recorded genealogical data provided for use primarily by family historians and genealogists, to reproduce, display and use the records for non-profit purposes through technology now known or later developed.  A full copy of the files will be provided to Borongan for their use.  

Though most of the records were damaged by water, expert camera operators can bring to life these records through a careful and meticulous process.

Archbishop Varquez commented, “I am impressed by the way you sacrifice your time and resources just to make these old records available for future generations.”

For more than 40 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines has been preserving government and church records through its microfilming program. 

According to Manny, “When Typhoon Sendong hit Cagayan de Oro, we finished microfilming the records in those areas two weeks prior to Sendong.  Now, those records in its entirety can be made available for the people of CDO.”  

Borongan diocese2

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Since 1894, FamilySearch has worked with archives, libraries, and churches in over 100 countries to facilitate economical access to records that help people find their ancestors.

Every month, over 3 million people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. These records and services are available online at, or through over 4,600 family history centers in 126 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

FamilySearch is a service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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