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Philippines all set to begin anniversary events

Two dioceses announce events kicking of celebrations marking 500 years of Christianity in the country

Philippines all set to begin anniversary events

Churchgoers from Borongan Diocese in Samar province counting down the days to the launch of 500th anniversary celebrations marking the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines. (Photo supplied)

The Philippine Church is set to kick off celebrations to mark the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country.

At least two dioceses have announced their first events to commemorate the arrival of Catholicism in the Philippines in 1521 when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan first set foot in what is now Cebu province.

The main national event marking the anniversary will take place in April 2022 after it was postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

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Manila Archdiocese announced on Feb. 3 that it would formally begin the celebration with a special Mass on Feb. 6 in Manila Cathedral.

“The Eucharistic celebration will be presided over by our apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo together with the apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Charles Brown, and priests from the archdiocese,” Manila Archdiocese announced on social media.

Manila Cathedral rector Father Reginald Malicdem said many religious congregations and government figures would attend this and other planned events, without elaborating what the other events were.

“Representatives of different parishes and religious communities will be attending. The mayors of the five cities covered by the archdiocese are also invited,” he said.

LED screens will be set up outside the cathedral for the many expected people who will be unable to enter the church due to Covid restrictions.

Meanwhile, Borongan Diocese in Samar province will launch its commemorations with a lecture about Christianity’s arrival, its spread to the province and how it grew there and beyond.    

People from Samar were among the first Filipinos to meet Magellan shortly before he was killed in a skirmish on April 27, 1521.

The lecture to be held on March 17 will be given by historian Ambeth Ocampo from Ateneo De Manila University.

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