This image depicts a scene from "Ang Dakilang Sugo–Ang Pagtalima ni San Ezekiel Moreno sa Pagpapalaganap ng Kristyanismo sa Palawan: A Commemorative Play" held at the Eulalia Park, Puerto Princesa City, on March 10. | Photo from the Palawan Provincial Information Office

Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates said the tribute “Ang Dakilang Sugo” to honor Spanish friar St. Ezekiel Moreno’s contribution to the growth of Christianism in the province is a good way to remind Palaweños to be faithful amidst the obstacles that tend to divide them as a people.

The commemorative play was performed on March 10 at Eulalia Park near the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, not only to remember St. Ezekiel Moreno but also to celebrate the 151st anniversary of the First Mass in Puerto Princesa.

“It’s a good time to remind ourselves, as being faithful also, that all history is the history of salvation, in such a blessing that we are a part of Christendom and that we are a Christian country. Napakalaking biyaya, kung tutuusin ay napakahirap isipin na nangyari, ngunit nangyari ito at tayo ay napakapalad na tayo ay isang sambayanang Kristiyano,” he said.

“It’s a good time to renew our bonds as a community, pagpapatibay ng ating pagkakabuklod bilang sambayanan sapagkat ang Kristyanismo ay napakalaking bahagi ng ating katalagahan bilang sambayanang Palaweño,” Gov. Socrates added.

Palawan Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates addresses the crown who came to see the commemorative play at the Eulalia Park in Puerto Princesa City. | Photo from the Palawan Provincial Information Office

“Ang Dakilang Sugo”–Ang Pagtalima ni San Ezekiel Moreno sa Pagpapalaganap ng Kristyanismo sa Palawan: A Commemorative Play was performed by young Palaweños. It portrayed the arrival of the Spanish galleon on which St. Ezekiel Moreno was, based on research and stories from the Augustinian Recollects in the country, as well as artistic licenses such as the meeting with the tribes and the conquistadores.

The play was put together through the Office of the Governor and the Culture and Arts Program headed by chief of staff and program manager Ceasar Sammy Magbanua, who was also its executive director. It was in collaboration with the Creative Media Services of the Palawan Provincial Information Office

Several dance groups demonstrated their acting skills by bringing the play’s characters to life through bright costumes and exquisite dancing towards the conclusion of the show, reminiscent of the Spanish era.

They were performers of the Palawan Dance Ensemble ng Pamahalaang Panlalawigan; Banwa Dance and Arts; Palawan State University (PSU) Sining Palawan Dance Troupe; Palawan Polytechnic College Inc. (PPCI); Perlas ng Silanganan Dance Troupe; Holy Trinity University (HTU); Palawan National High School (PNS); Puerto Princesa City National Science High School (PPCNSHS); San Miguel National High School (SMNHS); Tagburos National High School (TNHS), and Loreto-Santos Lanzanas Central School (LSLCS).

The play was organized by the Governor’s Office and the Culture and Arts Program, which was led by chief of staff and program manager Ceasar Sammy Magbanua, who also served as executive director. It was carried out with the help of the Palawan Provincial Information Office’s Creative Media Services.

Bishop Broderick Pabilo of the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay (AVT) encouraged the audience to thank God for sending missionaries such as St. Ezekiel Moreno, who was noted for his simple and welcoming personality.

“Sana sa panonood natin ng mga pangyayaring ito, ay mas lalo tayong magpasalamat sa Diyos sa pagpapadala ng ganitong mga misyonero. Talagang tayo’y tagapagmana lamang ng mga dakilang bagay na kanilang ginawa. Magpasalamat tayo sa Diyos. Magpasalamat tayo sa mga nauna sa atin, sa kanilang pagtitiyaga at sa pagpapalaganap ng kanilang pananampalataya,” pahayag ni Bishop Pabillo.

On the other hand, Bishop Socrate Mesiona of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa (AVPP) expressed thanks for the occasion that brought together the church, the government, and civic leaders to commemorate the city’s inaugural mass.

“It was a joint effort to become who we are now. Kaya it is also good that we join forces, both the government and church group sectors dahil after all, we are serving the same people. And if we work hand in hand, I think we will be able to achieve total human development both body and spirit. This is a good sign, and we hope that we could continue to have this good working relationship,” he said.

The commemorative play, according to Magbanua, is for the Palaweños from the AVPP and AVT, Palawan Cristianismo 400 years (1623-2023), and the city and provincial governments.

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