The Department of Tourism (DOT) has welcomed the support of the Regional Development Council (RDC) to the preparations for the 500th anniversary of the historic first mass held on the island of Limasawa in Southern Leyte.
DOT Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, head of the ad hoc committee formed by the RDC, said members from different government agencies will meet for the first time on Oct. 29 to establish their specific roles.
“Having an RDC support is vital to any undertaking in the region. It carries with it weight in terms of establishing the significance and societal impact of program or projects,” Tiopes said in a mobile phone interview on Tuesday.
During the 3rd Quarter RDC full council meeting held on Sept. 13 in Macrohon, Southern Leyte, the region’s highest policy-making body passed a resolution creating an ad hoc coordinating group to ensure the implementation of the programs, projects and activities needed for the 500th anniversary
The ad hoc coordinating group is headed by the DOT, with members from Southern Leyte provincial government, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation, and the local government of Limasawa, Southern Leyte.
In support of the celebration, the Council also endorsed the installation of the First Mass’ Cross Shrine on Limasawa Island. It also resolved to declare Limasawa as the “true” and undisputed site of the historical first mass in the Philippines.
“The committee supported by key leaders in the region, will help the RDC identify the things that need to be done by concerned agencies to ensure the success of 500th first mass anniversary in 2021,” Tiopes added.
Preparations for the 500th anniversary started in 2011 or 10 years before the event, but it was only this year that the campaign got the RDC’s support.
Limasawa Island, the smallest town in Southern Leyte province, is touted to be the site of the first Catholic mass in Asia, officiated on Easter Sunday on March 31, 1521 by Father Pedro de Valderrama under the fleet of Ferdinand Magellan. (PNA)
<credit> Photo Credit: Department of Tourism </credit>
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