By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — Police security operations were sustained to maintain a peaceful and orderly culmination of the 500th Year of Christianity celebration in Limasawa Island on Holy Wednesday (March 31) down south.
PNP Chief General Debold M Sinas said the mass and short program in Limasawa town concluded around 1:45 p.m. with no untoward incident.
The concelebrated mass was officiated by Most Rev Precioso D. Cantillas, SBD, DD, Bishop of Maasin, Leyte together with local officials headed by Gov Mercado of Southern Leyte and Usec Anthony Gonzales, Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas who represented President Rodrigo Duterte.
Citing reports from Police Brigadier General Ronaldo De Jesus, Sinas said event organizers allowed only 500 persons, including Catholic bishops and government officials, to attend the Holy Mass in compliance to public health restrictions.
Another highlight of the event was a fluvial parade of the Santo Niño De Cebu to Brgy. Magallanes of Limasawa where the Holy Mass took place. The attendees were pilgrims and devotees from different provinces, Provincial Officials, Mayors, visitors, and other representatives from different agencies.
Officials also led the unveiling of the Historical Marker of the municipality of Limasawa by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
The PNP deployed five High-Speed Tactical Watercraft to ferry 339 troops and participants to Limasawa, De Jesus reported.
“I would also like to commend and give our gratitude to the pilgrims and parishioners for their cooperation and support to the security measures and health protocols imposed by the authorities”, Sinas added.
On March 31, 1521 the first Mass was held on Philippine soil by Fr. Pedro de Valderrama, the chaplain of the Spanish fleet led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. (AI/MTVN)