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limasawa cross

The province of Southern Leyte, particularly the municipality of Limasawa and Maasin City, will host a celebration of heritage as it hosts this year’s opening of the Taoid Heritage Program Celebration, spearheaded by the Subcommission on Cultural Heritage (SCH) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in conjunction with the 493rd commemoration of the first mass in the Philippines. This aptly augurs the celebration of National Heritage Month in May 2014. Taoid sa Limasawa, which will happen on March 31, 2014, jumpstarts the highlighting of heritage in the Visayas.

Limasawa Island is a historical place, considered by many as the “site of the first Mass in the Philippines” on March 31, 1521. Southern Leyte’s smallest municipality, Limasawa, located at the southern tip of Leyte, was visited by Chinese and perhaps Arabic traders before the arrival of the Spaniards. The island municipality still holds the commemoration of the first Catholic mass in the Philippines through the Sinugdan Festival every March 31.

limasawa magellan
Activities start in the morning when a Santo Niño de Cebu image will arrive in the barangay of Triana via a fluvial parade and will proceed to the barangay of Magallanes via a foot procession, where it will have a festive welcome. After a six-gun salute, the anniversary Eucharistic mass will be held. The Taoid Heritage Program Celebration will be launched graced by local officials as well as the members of the SCH. In the afternoon, SCH officials will conduct an ocular inspection and technical assessment of cultural properties, sites and structures including the library, First Mass marker, schools and the municipal hall as well as natural heritage sites.

The steering committee of the Taoid Heritage Program 2014 is composed of Rev. Fr. Harold Ll. Rentoria, OSA, head of SCH and the National Committee on Archives; Dr. Stephen S. Totanes, vice head of SCH and head of the National Committee on Historical Research; Lucille Karen E. Malilong-Isberto, SCH secretary and head of the National Committee on Monuments and Sites; Dr. Marilou P. Tadlip, assistant secretary and head of the National Committee on Libraries and Information Service; Robert Bjorn O. Santos, SCH member and head of the National Committee on Art Galleries; and Amado R. Alvarez, SCH member and head of the National Committee on Museums.

For more details on the activities and schedules, contact NCCA-Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) head, Rene Sanchez Napeñas at (632) 527-2192 or at 0928.5081057. Log on to or email us at

For more information, contact the NCCA Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) head, Rene Sanchez Napenas at (632) 527-2192 or 0928-5081057; or email us at