The celebration of the 50 years anniversary of the Diocese of Laoag held in the town of Sarrat was a solemn occasion at the same time a historic event.
On June 5, 1961, the Diocese of Laoag was created comprising the civil province of Ilocos Norte and Laoag City as its capital. It was canonically erected on July 26, 1961.
It is one of the Ecclesiatical Territories of the Philippines which is called Dioecesis Laoagensis in Latin and a Suffragan of Nueva Segovia. The titular patron is St. William, the Hermit and the secondary patron is La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc, Cause of Our Joy.
There was a blessing of the Jubilee Door at Sta Monica Church in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte. Archbishop of Cotabato Most Rev Orlando Quevedo did the Eucharistic celebration. He is a Saratteno who introduced himself in Ilocano before he celebrated the mass.
I saw several bishops in attendance. Of course Bishop Sergio Utleg, the jubilee bishop was there. Bishop Edmundo Abaya, third residential bishop of the diocese was also there.
I have seen Bishop Socrates Villegas of the Diocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, Bishop Jacinto Jose of the Diocese of Urdaneta, Bishop Ernesto Salgado and other bishops not known to me. The priests of the 22 parishes in the diocese were all there. Mrs Imelda Marcos also attended the program.
The highlight of the event is the blessing of the Diocesan Museum at the convent. It was a nice venue showcasing the precious artifacts of the church. I saw old framed photographs, dilapidated bells, antique images and many others.
In the afternoon, the Jubilee Pageantry showcasing dances was held infront of the capitol. On the day itself of the Jubilee, Bishop Utleg celebrated the jubilee mass at the cathedral. It was followed by a solemn procession. In the everning a musical play entitled Suray ti Pammati was held at the carpark area of the cathedral.