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Duterte orders 1st Mass holiday

February 18 - 24, 2017

MALACAÑANG - The Office of the President declared March 31 a non-working holiday throughout Southern Leyte in commemoration of the First Christian Mass in Limasawa Island.

Proclamation No. 161 was signed last February 15 by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on authority of Maasin-born President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

"It is but fitting and proper that the people of the Province of Southern Leyte will be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies," the Proclamation read.

The declaration of Malacañang was in response to the request of the people of Southern Leyte, through a resolution passed by House Representative Roger G. Mercado, resolving that March 31be declared as a special non-working holiday in the province.

The island of Limasawa is the site of the First Mass in the Philippines when Portuguese world explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed on the tadpole-shaped island looking for spices. It was on Easter Sunday of 31st day of March 1521, when Magellan ordered the expedition’s chaplain Fray Pedro de Valderrama to say the mass which heralded the start of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines.(By MARK L. RIMAS)






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