BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
A photo exhibit, titled “Las Piedras Vivas (The Living Stones)” opened Tuesday at the Bacolod San Sebastian Cathedral in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
The year-long celebration was launched on April 4 and will run until April 22, 2022, Maria Roselyn Solinap, Museo Diocesano curator/executive assistant of Fr. Jovic Lemoncito, said.
Lemoncito is the director of the Diocesan Commission on Church, Cultural Heritage, and Patrimony.
The exhibit features the photos of seven churches built by the Spaniards in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, and taken by photo artist Eric Geolingo, finance officer of the San Sebastian Cathedral Parish of the Diocese of Bacolod.
Solinap said the churches are being taken care of by the present generation of priests under the Diocesan Order although most of these structures are not 100 of their original state anymore.
This is just the first of a series of photo exhibits that they are going to mount. The celebration of the 500th year anniversary was supposed to be held this year but because of the pandemic it had been moved, she said.
The Spaniards brought Christianity here, and 500 years later, the Catholic faith has remained strong as ever and is alive despite the pandemic. That is why the exhibit is entitled “Las Piedras Vivas or The Living Stones, also because the churches are made of stones, Solinap said.
One of the featured churches is the San Sebastian Cathedral, which is about 150 years old, and built by Fr. Mauricio Ferrero, she said.
Ferrero served the parish for about 33 years, long enough to be considered “The Father of Bacolod City” on account of his evangelism efforts and various infrastructure projects that stand until today. The activity was attended by Social Action Center director, Fr. Chris Gonzales, Louie and Dolly Gatuslao, Betsy Gazo, Joemarie Sy, representatives from the different Diocesan Commission offices, Divine Mercy, and officers and personnel of the San Sebastian Cathedral Parish.*