Youth leaders to gather in Iloilo for Church heritage pilgrimage

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Over a hundred youth delegates, including those from the 39 Roman Catholic churches declared as National Cultural Treasures by the Philippine government and  as World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), will gather for Angat Kabataan 2012, a heritage pilgrimage, May 1-5, in Iloilo City.

Organized by the Society of Ecclesiastical Archivists of the Philippines (SEAP), the event is intended to strengthen leadership among the younger generation and to develop their capabilities in connection with conservation of the country’s cultural heritage.

Bishop Julito Cortes, chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Permanent Committee for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, endorses the heritage pilgrimage, saying that the bishops’ committee “is cognizant of the gains the youth will obtain through the Angat Kabataan 2012.”

“This relevant endeavor aims to make available general knowledge about heritage conservation and the importance of these heritage assets in forming future generations,” Cortes writes in a March 21 endorsement letter.

He continues that “through this event, the youth are also expected to valorize natural heritage in which cultural heritage is embedded.”

To be held in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Angat Kabataan, which is on its third year, will officially be a part of the National Heritage Month celebrations.

The event will feature talks and workshops to be given by representatives from Jefarca, an organization  dedicated to heritage preservation that started from the initiative of high-school students in Pulilan, Bulacan; invited speakers from Escuela Taller, a Hispanic arts-and-crafts training program for the underprivileged Filipino youth; and experts on Philippine heritage, such as Fr. Gaspar Sigaya, OP of the Society of Ecclesiastical Archivists in the Philippines, Cynthia Rivera (consultant of the Intramuros Administration), and Lito Zulueta (Arts and Books editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer).

Angat Kabataan director is former NCCA commissioner Fr. Harold Rentoria, OSA.

Another highlight of Angat Kabataan 2012 will be a city tour around historical sites in Iloilo, which include the centuries-old Miag-ao Church.

Institutions supporting this heritage pilgrimage are CBCP’s Permanent Committee for the Cultural Heritage of the Church and Commission on Youth; the Archdiocese of Jaro; San Agustin Museum; the University of San Agustin; and the Escuela Taller.

Call Jocelyn Evangelista at 0915-7720739, fax 7324652, e-mail to jsevangelista03@yahoo.com.

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