Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Catholicism in the Philippines

“…500 years have passed since the Christian message first arrived in the Philippines. You received the joy of the Gospel... And this joy is evident in your people … We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs and in your prayers. In the joy with which you bring your faith to other lands …”

~ Pope Francis said in his homily of the Mass at the Vatican on March 14, formally opening the yearlong celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Catholicism’s arrival in the Philippines.

A country of 7,641 islands at the sea of southeast Asia with a population of 109 million, of which more than 10 million are migrants living in almost 100 countries across the world.

Why the Pope calls Filipinos “smugglers of faith”? What makes the local Church so unique?

What is the Catholic population in the country? How many dioceses, bishops are there?

All you need to know about the Church in the Philippines in one click
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Archdiocese of Palo

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Archdiocese of Palo
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The capital city in the Province of Leyte is Tacloban. Palo as municipality is considered the seat of Catholicism of the province. The offices of the ecclesiastical government of Archdiocese of Palo, the archbishop's residence, as well as the minor, philosophy and theology seminaries of the archdiocese are all located in Palo.

Palo is also considered the center of government of Region 8, composed of Leyte, Samar and Biliran islands. This is because almost all of the regional offices of government agencies and institutions are located in the municipality.


Languages used in the diocesan territory are English, Tagalog, Waray-Waray and Cebuano


One can get to the Archdiocese of Palo by air to Leyte. There are 7 daily flights from Manila to Tacloban. One can also get there from Cebu by air and other small planes, which travel to Tacloban 2 flights daily or travel by ferry, which has a Manila-Tacloban route. From Cebu, one can also take the fast crafts which have about 3 trips to Ormoc daily, and from there, V-hire (vans for hire) is available to Tacloban which will take about 2 hours. One can also reach the city by land. Busses go to Tacloban from Manila, and there are also bus trips around Samar and Leyte. From Samar, one can travel the scenic route via San Juanico Bridge by means of a bus or the local jeepney.

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