Museo Diocesano de Bacolod: Promoting religious tourism

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Thursday, February 20, 2014


ASIDE from its festivals, cuisines, and unique way of life, another tourism attraction of Bacolod is its religious tourism.

The people of Bacolod have a rich religious heritage, and this fact is highlighted in the many religious structures built in the city.

Bacolod enjoys a stable flock of religious and cultural tours of its historic churches, and in the past years, the Pope (now Blessed) John Paul II Tower at the reclamation area.

Fronting the Pope Tower is the street stretching from the corner of Rizal and San Juan that was recently named “Bishop Antonio Y. Fortich Avenue,” in honor of Fortich’s birth centenary.

Last Jan. 20, the Museo Diocesano de Bacolod was inaugurated as part of the celebration of the Feast of San Sebastian, patron saint of the Diocese of Bacolod.

Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra blessed the Museo Diocesano.

Fr. Felix Pasquin, rector of the San Sebastian Cathedral, says the Museo Diocesano is the church’s contribution to the Bacolod City government and tour operators in promoting the city’s tourism.

He also told Navarra that the Museo Diocesano, a project of the Papal Awardees of the Diocese, is “our special gift on your 75th birthday.”

Pasquin says the museum is a fulfillment of the aspirations of the Diocese to have a repository of its religious heritage that will showcase its history and the people who have served it.

The Museo exhibits religious artifacts such as vestments, sacred vessels, religious artworks, centuries-old canonical books, relics, sacred statues and images, as well as photographs of historical sites and structures.

Before that, the initial artifacts, sacred vessels and other religious heritage of the Diocese had been deposited at and cared for by the University of St. La Salle.

The Second Diocesan Synod, convoked by Navarra on Jan. 20, 2002, decreed that a diocesan museum be established.

The Museo Diocesano is temporarily housed at the third floor of the Diocesan Pastoral Center across the St. John Mary Vianney Hall.

Pasquin explained that the Museo will be a “transitory depository,” until the Diocese is able to construct a bigger museum in a separate location.

Other religious items from the parishes and private individuals are also expected to be exhibited in the Museo, he said.

“We encourage our people, especially the children and students to come and learn their history from these artifacts. We welcome the seniors as well, because these artifacts will remind them of the days of their youth,” Pasquin said.

Constituting the working committee with Pasquin are Fr. Joevic Lemoncito, chairman of the Diocesan Committee on Church Heritage and Patrimony, Recollect Brother Jazareel Jakosalem, Modesto Sa-onoy and architect Ray Granada.

“The Museo is only the first step of our long journey towards a permanent and bigger museum to house our many religious and artistic heritages that can be an instrument for the education of people about our history and religious culture,” Lemoncito shares.

He said this transitory home will need the cooperation of many people, from sharing their antique collections and through their personal assistance by inviting family and friends to visit the museum.

They are also inviting especially the schools to bring their students to the Museo and the tour agencies and organizations to place it as one of the destinations of their tourists.

Pasquin thanked Msgr. Guillermo Gaston, who took the initiative of collecting many of the items when he was rector of the Cathedral, and consequently entered into a memorandum of agreement with the University of St. La Salle Museum for their safekeeping.

He also thanked Lemoncito for the preservation of these sacred objects and all the papal awardees and their families for providing financial assistance to the museum.

Meanwhile, Mayor Monico Puentevella said Bacolod will be celebrating a bigger Viva San Sebastian Festival next year so that the city will have three major festivals—the other two are the MassKara Festival and the BacoLaodiat Festival.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 20, 2014.

Lifestyle

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