Asia’s Century Bells rings on Easter Sunday PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 25 April 2011 00:00

Happy Easter to everyone!

This is my most favorite day of the Holy Week and the most significant event for me as it is the day Jesus Christ resurrected. This is Resurrection Day, a liberating day, wherein Jesus overcame death and defeated sins in the cross. Freedom Day!

And in Zamboanga City, 2011 Easter Sunday will be a memorable day. For in this occasion, the new bells of the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Church will ring its news bells that can be heard over a 7-kilometers radius. It has also a big clock on top that will tell the exact time of the day.

Constructed under the supervision of Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo Valles and designed by Architect  Boboy Abarro, this will be known as the Century Bell Tower in commemoration of the Centennial Celebration of Zamboanga’s Archdiocese.

According to Archbishop Valles, the imported bells and the big clock are from Europe. These are the best of the bests in the world. And will be the first computerized bell system in Mindanao (I don’t know if this will be the first in the Philippines). Initially there will be three bells but it will be followed later by six more bells.

This is will surely be another tourist spot for Asia’s Latin City.

I gathered from the internet that the present structure of the cathedral was built in 1998-2002 in cruciform, of which the candle-like design is appropriate to the cathedral's patron. Inside the main church is marble statue of the Immaculate Conception designed by Philippine National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon Abueva.

Along the aisles are the stained-glass symbolic images of all dioceses in Mindanao from 1910 to 1984. The day chapel at the ground floor is used for weekday masses. Fronting the day chapel is the baptistery with the relic of Our Lady of the Pillar, the patroness of the city.

Behind the day chapel is the columbarium with a replica of Michelangelo's "Pieta" and the stained-glass images of the 12 apostles around it. The left wing houses the parish office and the adoration chapel, while the convention hall is located in the right wing. The original statue of the Immaculate Conception, which was placed in the main altar of the old church, can be seen at the parish office.

The new structure of the Cathedral was designed by Arch. Abarro and Associates through the efforts of former Msgr. Crisanto de la Cruz, who said that the decay of the old cathedral's ceiling damaged by termites was one of the reasons why the reconstruction should take place.

The design of the new cathedral was unveiled in December 1997. The old structure had been demolished a day after Easter in 1998, preserving its stained glass window and sculpture from the facade, which respectively are located at the rear portion of the new church and at the left side. The Cathedral was solemnly dedicated on December 6, 1999 with Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal of Cebu and President Joseph Estrada as guests of honor. The day chapel, columbarium, baptistery, the multi-purpose hall and office were constructed in 2002.

Trivia: Do you know that the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is considered one of the largest modern cathedrals in Asia?

The church bell is rung to signify the hour or the time for worshippers to go to church, perhaps to attend a mass, wedding, funeral, or other services. There are different types of ringing of the bells that signifies what event is happening inside the church.

Can you guess by the ringing of the bells that it is Archbishop Valles celebrating the mass? That is for you to find out.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 April 2011 16:40