Catholics in Palawan will launch a year-long commemoration of the 400th anniversary of 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.
Founded by Spanish Augustinian missionaries in 1622, the parish is now administered 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.
Dubbed “Demdemen, Icelebra, Ipadayon,” the year-long event will feature, among others, a pilgrimage of the Mission Cross across the island.
Cuyo is the oldest town in Palawan and home to more than 23,000 people, 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.