Taoid opens in Limasawa, Southern Leyte

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The cross used in the first Philippine Catholic Mass

The cross used in the first Philippine Catholic Mass

The smallest municipality of Southern Leyte, Limasawa, hosts this year’s opening of the Taoid Heritage Program Celebration.

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Spearheaded by the Subcommission on Cultural Heritage (SCH) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the event happening on March 31 is conjunction with the 493rd commemoration of the first Mass in the Philippines. It also signals the celebration of the National Heritage Month in May.

Limasawa Island is a historical place considered by many as the “site of the first Mass in the Philippines” that happened on March 31, 1521. The island municipality remembers this important event through the annual Sinugdan Festival.

Activities start in the morning when a Santo Niño de Cebu image arrives in the barangay of Triana via a fluvial parade and will proceed to the barangay of Magallanes via a foot procession, where it will have a festive welcome. After a six-gun salute, the anniversary Eucharistic mass will be held.

As Taoid partakes in this year’s commemoration, officials not only from the local government but also from SCH are expected to grace the festival.

The first Mass held in the Philippines happened on March 31, 1521 at Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte

The first Mass held in the Philippines happened on March 31, 1521 at Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte

In the afternoon, SCH officials will conduct an ocular inspection and technical assessment of cultural properties, sites and structures including the library, First Mass marker, schools and the municipal hall as well as natural heritage sites.

The steering committee of the Taoid 2014 is composed of Rev. Fr. Harold Rentoria, OSA, head of SCH and the National Committee on Archives; Stephen Totanes, vice head of SCH and head of the National Committee on Historical Research; Lucille Karen Malilong-Isberto, SCH secretary and head of the National Committee on Monuments and Sites; Marilou Tadlip, assistant secretary and head of the National Committee on Libraries and Information Service; Robert Bjorn Santos, SCH member and head of the National Committee on Art Galleries; and Amado Alvarez, SCH member and head of the National Committee on Museums.

For more information on the activities and schedules, contact NCCA-Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) head, Rene Napeñas at 527-2192 or at 0928.5081057. Log on to www.ncca.gov.ph

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