The Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa (AVPP) on Monday commemorated the 500th years of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021 and the 400 years of Christianity in Palawan in 2023 via an online event it dubbed “7th Bugsayan”.
Bishop Socrates Mesiona said during the AVPP’s live program that despite the coronavirus disease pandemic, the Catholic church is celebrating the annual event as it is already part of the lives of local devotees.
“Maraming nag-akala na baka hindi na magawa ang Bugsayan sa taong ito, sa totoo lang naging bahagi na sa buhay ng ating bikaryato ang Bugsayan kaya hindi ito pwedeng makansela. Ito ngayon, sa gitna ng isang pandemya, magkakasama, face-to-face, online nga lang, virtual reality nga lang,” he said.
The virtual celebration was held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
Bugsayan is one of the largest events of the Roman Catholic church in the city every year. It is usually participated by thousands of devotees at the City Coliseum.
Due to restrictions against mass gatherings to contain the spread of the COVID-19, the AVPP hosted this year’s Bugsayan virtually joined by devotees at their parish churches and some at their houses.
This year’s focus, he said, is on the celebration of 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021 and the 400 years of Christianity in Palawan in 2021.
“Ang dalawang pangyayari na ito ay mga makahulugang kasaysayan na may kaugnay sa ating pananampalataya kaya ito ay mga pangyayari na dapat natin alalahanin, balikan at sariwain upang sa ganon ay makapagdiwang at makapagpasalamat sa Diyos,” he said.
“Hinihimok din ang bawat isa sa atin na pahalagahan ang biyaya ng pananampalataya na ito. Ibig sabihin ang biyayang ating natanggap ay hindi dapat sarilihin, kung hindi ay ibahagi din ito sa iba,” he added.
The AVPP noted on its post that this year’s Bugsayan also signifies the formal closing of the Year of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue & Indigenous Peoples’ celebration, and the opening of Year of Mission Ad Gentes or Mission to the Nations.