It will be a collaborative effort between the church, stakeholders, and local government units, including the Cebu Provincial Government, to successfully organize and celebrate the 500th year anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
Preparations are underway even as the main celebration is still three years away and Cebu will be in the forefront for the event being the “cradle of Christianity”.
Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale met with Church representatives and organizers last week at the Capitol to discuss plans for the 500th anniversary in 2021.
It will be a three-year event though, with activities already set to start next year to celebrate the time Magellan and his whole fleet left Spain before arriving in the Philippines in 1521.
Magpale said the Sugbu Queen Centenario (SQC) has been organized to head the preparations in Cebu. The executive committee will be headed by Gov. Hilario P. Davide III and Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.
The committee includes mayors of the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue; president of the League of Municipalities, and representatives of the church, academe, tourism, DILG, media and consular offices.
During the meeting at the Capitol, Serbia Honorary Consul Joaquin Rodriguez said they will be inviting Pope Francis to lead the re-enactment of the First Mass.
They will also be inviting King Juan Carlos of Spain, as well as the heads of state of 12 countries where Magellan passed by when he circumnavigated the earth.
Rodriguez said there are a lot of activities lined-up, including in Manila, but stressed that the focus will be in Cebu.
Rodriguez came to Cebu for the initial meeting of SQC and was with Spanish official Juan Manuel Montel Castro-Rial, the executive director of Sociedad Española de Beneficencia.
The group will be meeting again soon to finalize the composition of the organization.