The Manila Cathedral holds an open house to give the public free guided tours and access to various parts of the cathedral to commemorate Philippine Independence on Monday, June 12. (Photo by Jana Francesca D. Yao/ The Varsitarian)

FILIPINOS must value Philippine independence by exercising their right to vote and preserving the country’s environment instead of merely observing it every June 12, a Manila cleric said. 

“Let us promise that we will take care of the Cathedral, of the Philippine Freedom, and the environment. Ipakita natin tayong mga tunay na Katoliko at tunay na Pilipino,” Manila Cathedral Rector Msgr. Rolly Dela Cruz said during a Mass on Monday, June 12, in celebration of the Philippines’s 125th Independence Day.

In an interview with the Varsitarian, Dela Cruz said freedom entailed duties and responsibilities, which, in the Catholic context, include engaging in weekly Masses, annual confession, and almsgiving. 

“[W]hen we were baptized as Catholics, we [became] a member of a Church. [I]n any membership, mayroon iyang privileges and mayroon din iyang responsibilities,” the cathedral rector said. “Hindi natatapos ang pagiging Thomasian mo sa pagpapa-enroll […] You’re either making UST proud of you or regret being an alumnus.”

The historic Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception conducted an “open house” on Independence Day for the first time since 2018 by allowing people to visit its restricted areas, such as the side chapels, choir loft, and crypt.

The country marks Independence Day every June 12 to commemorate the country’s independence from Spain in 1898. With reports from Niña Angelica M. Rodriguez


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