MANILA, April 10, 2014— The Manila Cathedral, recently assessed as one of the Philippines’ most at risk heritage structures, reopened yesterday, April 9, following restoration work.
The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception has been closed since February 2012 to correct some structural defects with the fear that it might not be able to withstand a strong earthquake.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila, thanked the donors — from big companies to ordinary people — who were able to raise the P70 million spent on the cathedral’s repair work.
“There are so many to mention… God knows who you are. We could not have reconstructed without your generosity,” Tagle said in his homily at a special mass to celebrate the reopening of the cathedral.
He recalled that when he was installed as Manila archbishop in 2011, one of his first decisions was to repair the cathedral to ensure parishioners’ safety.
“Now are all home. Welcome home. Welcome home to this archdiocese… the home of our God, the home of our Mother,” Tagle said.
He added that he wanted locals to get involved in bringing the cathedral back to life.
The liturgical celebration at the Manila Cathedral was Tagle’s first since becoming cardinal.
Government officials, led by President Benigno Aquino III, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada attended the mass with their families. (CBCPNews)