RC Naga inaugurates monument marking 500 years of Christianity

By Zyra Ponce


The Rotary Club (RC) of Naga in partnership with the Archdiocese of Caceres inaugurated a commemorative monument of the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at the Our Lady of Penafrancia Parish Compound in Naga City.


Amazing Life Changing President (ALCP) Salvador “Nong” Aldecoa of RC Naga said the monument was erected to celebrate the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines and to give honor to “Ina,” Our Lady of Penafrancia, whose Son “did not come to be served, but to serve ”(Matthew 20:28), which is the inspiration of every Rotarian in the world: “Service Above Self. “


“We proportioned the total height of this monument to 15.21 meters signifying the year 1521. The image of “Ina” is at the center and on the right side is St. Joseph, and on the left, St. Peter the Baptist, the patron saint of Archdiocese of Caceres, and below is the logo of the archdiocese,” Aldecoa, who is the designer and structural engineer of the monument, said as he explained its concept and design.


“On the top of the corinthian capital is a stainless cross of Jesus Christ, which is a replica of the Cross of Baldacchino in Saint Peter’s Basilica, fabricated by Boboy Mendoza of Mass Steel Fabricators,” Aldecoa said.


“I am honored to present to you this completed monument, our club’s legacy project that will last through a lifetime and will be visited by generations, immortalizing the seed of Christian Faith in our Motherland,” Aldecoa said in his sppech during the inauguration rite.

MAJESTIC AND SOLEMN This is how Caceres Archbishop Rolando Octavus Joven Tria Tirona, O.C.D., describes this commemorative monument erected by the Rotary Club of Naga to mark the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines. The memorial stands at 15.21 meters representing the year 1521, when Christianity was first introduced in the country.


He added that the cost of the monument is over P 1 million, which came from the voluntary contributions of the RC Naga members. The groundbreaking for the same was held on May 1, 2021.


In his message during the inauguration ceremony, Caceres Archbishop Rolando Octavus Joven Tria Tirona, O.C.D., described the monument as “majestic and solemn.”


Bishop Tirona said “Rotarians are not to be lighthouses, lighthouses are fixed. Rotarians are meant to be torches, meaning to say, you go where the people are.”


He said the monument is fixed but what makes it dynamic are the Rotarians.


Aside from the Caceres archbishop, also present during the event were: Most Rev. Rex Andrew Alarcon; Penafrancia Church parish priest Rev. Fr. Felipe Culvera; Rotary Club District Governor Angelita Sunio; ALCS Annabelle Lee; past presidents and members of the Rotary Club of Naga.