The culminating activities celebrating the quadricentennial anniversary of Palawan Christianity will be held in Puerto Princesa City on August 24 and 25.
Anticipating that the event will attract thousands of devotees in the city proper, representatives from the vicariates of Puerto Princesa and Taytay, along with the city and provincial governments, convened a press conference at the Balai Padi Conference Room in Seminario de San Jose to disseminate details about the event.
“Naging sambayanang Palawenyo tayo, nagsimula lang nung dumating ang mga missionary ng Espanyol nung 1612. Andito na ang ating kasaysayan at kultura, dapat natin katalagahan at makiisa sa pagdiwang ng pagdating ng Kristiyanismo sa ating lalawigan,” Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates said.
With the theme “Demdemen, Icelebra, Ipadayon”, the concluding events will focus on activities for the younger generation of Palawenyos. August 25 was designated for events tailored to the younger audience.
“Kaya yung ideya ng ‘padayon’ ay maganda, ay dahil naandun yung progress,” stated Bishop Socrates Mesiona of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa.
“Yung mga parishes magpapadala talaga sila ng youth delegates. Sabi nga ni Pope Francis, ‘they’re not only the future of the church and our society, but they are the now,’” he added.
There will be a procession on August 24, starting from the old airport to the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, where a mass will be held. On August 25, a youth fair will be organized at the City Sports Complex, and a symposium will take place at Sta. Monica Parish.
As part of the celebration, the church will also bless St. Ezekiel Moreno Street, formerly known as Taft Street, on his feast day on August 19. While the day is celebrated annually every August 19 on the island municipality of Cuyo, the committee decided to hold the quadricentennial event in the city to honor his status as Puerto Princesa’s “living saint.”
“Yung pananaw na itong bayan natin ang Palawan ay nilakaran ng isang banal na tao,” added Rev. Edgardo Juanich, Bishop Emeritus of Taytay, referencing the moniker of Puerto Princesa as the City of the Living God. “City of God. That’s sublime.”
“Yearly, we celebrate the anniversary [of Palawan Christianity] in Cuyo. Nag-propose lang sila kung pwede bang i-closing natin ito sa Puerto Princesa kasi mas maraming tao dito kaysa Cuyo,” Mesiona said.
The event schedule was set on weekdays (Thursday & Friday) to allow priests enough time to return to their parishes for the regular Sunday mass. Although there was a request to designate the culminating activities as special non-working holidays to enable more people to attend, neither the city nor the provincial council had the authority to declare it throughout Palawan.
Despite the potential for bad weather and large crowds on the 24th and 25th, the planners behind the culminating activities remained undeterred. Both the city and provincial governments implemented measures to ensure a smooth event flow. While specific details weren’t disclosed, the committee revealed that traffic plans, emergency services, and security measures were in place for the event.
Although the culminating activities will take place this month, the Catholic church and other Christian denominations continue to celebrate the quadricentennial anniversary of Palawan Christianity throughout the rest of the year.