The oldest parish in Palawan, The Parish of St. Augustine in Cuyo. (Photo courtesy of Katya Santos)

Catholics in Palawan will launch a year-long commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Christianization of the island on August 28.

The celebration will take center stage at the St. Augustine Church in Cuyo town, the oldest parish in the entire province.

The parish was started in 1622 by Spanish Augustinian missionaries. It is now run by the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay.

The kick-off event will be highlighted with a mass to be officiated by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, with Bishop Socrates Mesiona of Puerto Princesa among the concelebrants.

“Dakila ang pag-ibig ng Diyos na pati ang Palawan ay inabot niya. Nagpadala siya ng mga misyonero upang ipakilala sa atin ang kanyang pagmamahal,” Pabillo said.

“Hindi lang dumating ang pananampalataya. Ito ay nanatili at nagkaugat sa ating mga isla,” he added.

The event, called “Demdemen, Icelebra, Ipadayon,” will last for a whole year and include a pilgrimage of the Mission Cross across the island, among other things.

Cuyo is the oldest town in Palawan and home to more than 23,000 people, of whom the majority are Catholics.

The 17th-century Cuyo Fort is the most notable structure in the town that was built to protect the residents of the island from Moro attacks.

The Spanish fortress is said to be unique because it also houses the parish church, convent, and adoration chapel within its walls. (CBCP News)

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