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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Labo Church: a vestige of faith and history

 St. John the Apostle Church 
Photo via Mahatma Gan

Etched in the fortified foundations of the Baroque structure of the St. John the Apostle Church is the vibrant history and immense religiosity of the Catholic faithful of the town Labo.

The town was first established in 1651 by missionaries as a sitio of Indan (now Vinzons).

As the Catholic faith took root and grew, the townsfolk constructed a place of worship made of the humblest of materials: bamboo and palm leaves.

The administration of the parish was later transferred to the secular priests in 1661. However, the missionaries regained it in 1880.

Meanwhile, a home for the parish priest was also built under the leadership of Fr. Guilliermo Roho from 1882 to 1889.

The church, on the other hand, was built in 1890 under the helm of Fr. Sotero Martin, who served as the parish priest from 1891 to 1894.

St. John the Evangelist was chosen as the patron saint. The saint is honored every May 6 as had been traditionally celebrated in Labo. This date is different from the official Catholic calendar, in which the saint celebrates his feast day on December 27.

Deep traditions have been forged out of the profound Catholic faith here. Some of these, as shared by local Josefa Tenorio Vda. de Atienza, are the processions on the feast day of Christ the King and the Immaculate Concepcion. The latter, said Tenorio, has been in practice since December 8, 1918.

To this day, Catholicism remains alive and growing. Testaments to these are the ever growing number of religious organizations that exist here.

At present, the parish priest is Rev. Fr. Julito Heraldo. Also supportive of these proud expositions of faith is Engr. Joseph Ascutia, municipal mayor of this town. (Mahatma Gan)
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