Site of thanksgiving mass should be preserved: Palma

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Saturday, January 5, 2013


CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma has called for the preservation of the site where an estimated one million people gathered for a thanksgiving mass for the canonization of San Pedro Calungsod.

“The event should be immortalized, remembered,” he said.

He worries that the templete, which was built with bamboo, cloth and other indigenous materials, will soon deteriorate.

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Subject to the elements

“The ground is not ours. Sooner or later, the templete will be gone and (considering) its material, it will not last,” he said.

The Templete de San Pedro was built specifically for the national thanksgiving celebration last Nov. 30 in Cebu City’s South Road Properties. The celebration came a month after the official declaration in Rome of the second saint from the Philippines.

Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal had celebrated the mass within the templete, which is located inside a 27-hectare area of the SRP.

The templete itself has a floor area of 1,200 square meters.

Awaiting instructions

In a separate interview, templete construction chairman Fr. Brian Brigoli said there are no instructions yet on what to do with the structure.

A memorandum of agreement between church officials and Cebu City Government representatives is being discussed.

Late last year, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama issued an executive order declaring the templete as a heritage structure.

In the same order, he formed a team of government and church representatives to ensure the preservation and maintenance of the structure.

The move is important as part of efforts to preserve the culture and history of Cebu, said Brigoli.

“That (move to declare the templete as a heritage structure) is for a living memory imbued in the structure of the templete,” he said. It will be “a living reminder for all generations on the value of the celebration on Nov. 30, 2012.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 06, 2013.

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