MANILA, May 16, 2014 — One of the oldest parishes in the country is celebrating its 400th founding anniversary this Saturday, May 17, with a series of high profile programs and masses.
In the morning of May 17, a wreath-laying on the parish’s commemorative marker with ambassadors from the United States, Spain and Japan will be held at 8:00a.m.
A quadricentennial commemorative stamp will be officially released and launched by Philippine Postal Corporation Postmaster General Ma. Josefina de la Cruz and Chair Cesar Sarino, leading the ceremony.
There will be a high mass at 10 a.m. with Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas as main presider, followed by a program at 11:30 a.m.
The San Bartolome de Malabon Parish, founded by the Augustinian friars in 1614, also held a re-dedication ceremony on May 10 at 3:30 p.m., led by Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Filipino apostolic nuncio to Haiti, and San Bartolome parish priest Fr. Ricardo Torrefiel.
The parish church was renovated to coincide with its quadricentennial celebration.
Tambobong, the former name of Malabon, was established as an independent parish church on May 17, 1614 under the patronage of San Bartolome Apostol with Fray Luis Gutierrez, OSA as its first vicar prior.
The parish church is Malabon’s first stone church built by the Augustinian Fray Diego de Robles in 1622, a year after he was named prior of Malabon.
The twin bell towers built in 1861 currently houses seven bells. Two are dedicated to Santa Rita, one of the patrons of Malabon. One is dedicated to the patron of the parish, San Bartolome and another bears the name of Fr. Guillermo Diaz, OSA, parish priest from 1881 to 1885.
The historic church measures 70.14 meters along and 25.05 meters wide. The façade of the church features ionic columns resembling a Greco-Roman temple. Its dome, of the barrel vault style, is famous for its ornate paintings of saints and Biblical scenes. Its imposing architecture is one of the remnants of Spanish influence on ecclesiastical architecture in the country. (Rommel Lopez/CBCPNews)