By Ben Serrano
The National Quincentennial Committee and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) is set to hold a focus group discussion for Butuan proponents of the 1521 Easter Sunday Mass celebration this Thursday (Nov.9).
Budget Undersecretary Agnes Joyce Bailen, a member of President Duterte created National Quincentennial Committee will give the overview and explained the purpose of said forum.
The forum which will be held at the Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center is titled “Focus Group Discussion for Proponents of the 1521 Easter Sunday Mass Celebration in Butuan”.
Officials from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), NHCP and National Quincentennial Committee will attend the one-day event where an open forum among historians and attending members of the academe and religious groups will also be held.
Last May 9, 2018, Executive Order No. 55 was signed by President Duterte for the creation of the National Quincentennial Committee tasked to organize, coordinate and synchronize the commemorative activities to strengthen the people’s love of country and national unity.
According to the Executive Order, comprehensive plan for the 500th anniversary commemoration of Magellan’s arrival, Lapu-Lapu’s victory, a celebration of the first mass in the country, among others, must be submitted to the President within six months.
The body was also created to prepare the comprehensive plan for the 500 years of commemoration of the arrival of explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the Philippines, the victory of Lapu-Lapu in the Battle of Mactan, and other historic events from 1519 to 1522.
A launching program to be initiated by the Quincentennial body will took place on June 12, 2019 in time of Philippine Independence celebration that will start the countdown of the 500 years celebration of Christianization and coming of Magellan to the Philippines whose grand celebration is set on March 16, 2021.
Some of the celebration will be held in Butuan, which is said to be the cradle of civilization as claimed by historians.
Members of the National Quincentennial Committee are the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Tourism, Department of Budget and Management, and other members from the government and the private sector designated by the President.
At least 24 Latin-American nations and other countries have already signified their intentions to join the Philippine celebration of 500 years of Christianization in 2021 which is less than two years from now.
It was said that the Pope will attend the March 16, 2021 grand event.