By Mike U. Crismundo
Butuan City – City officials, along with line agencies of the government and historians, are set to commemorate 496th anniversary of the first mass on Philippine soil, which local officials maintain was celebrated here in March 31, 1521, with various activities from March 28 to 31.
The four-day commemoration will be anchored on the theme, “One People. One Heritage. One Voice.”
On March 28, a thanksgiving mass will be celebrated at Bood Promontory and Eco Park at Barangay Pinamanculan here by Rev. Fr. Joesilo Amalla, who is also a historian, followed with a program at the same venue.
Key officials of the city, Mayor Ronnie Vicente C. Lagnada, Butuan City Rep. Lawrence Lemuel Fortun and other local officials and historians from the Butuan City Heritage Society will give their respective inspirational messages on that same day and same venue.
Other activities also to be held on the same day at the Caraga State University (CSU) are dance drama, presentation of Ethnic Contemporary Dances, Budjong Chorale presentation, showcase of CSU’s dairy products and Cabadbaran City products, Onaw products demonstration and display, as well as the on-the-spot poster making contest and “baroto” ride.
On March 29, the following activities are also scheduled at Libertad National High School: Chorale presentation (Butuan and Visayan Songs); Philippine Folk Dances; Kundiman and Folk Songs; and Contemporary and Pinoy Pop Dances. In the afternoon of the same day, the Manobo and Folk Dances, on-the-spot Essay writing contest and Baroto ride will be held at Butuan City School of Arts and Trades.
On March 30, the visual art exhibit, Manobo Dance tutorial, bead working, and Baroto ride will be conducted at Agusan National High School.
The culminating activities on March 31 include the commemorative Latin mass, program, and awarding ceremony for the on-the-spot Poster making and Essay writing contests.
Historians in Butuan City have claimed that the first mass on Philippine soil was held here and not in Limasawa Island in Mactan, Cebu.