The National Museum of the Philippines is set to declare Cebu City’s centuries-old Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño and the image of the Child Jesus as “national cultural treasures.”
Rene Escalante, National Historical Commission chairman, made the announcement during a recent webinar on the history of Christianity in the country.
“This stature is the highest recognition the State can give to such historically and culturally-significant heritage of the Filipino people,” he said.
He said the official declaration will be held on April 14 in time for the opening of the year-long commemoration of the 500 Years of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
The day will also mark the 500th anniversary of the first Catholic baptism in the country.
To highlight the celebration, there will be a reenactment of the historic event and 500 children with special needs will be baptized at the basilica.
The Archdiocese of Cebu has earlier announced that Archbishop Charles John Brown, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, will be in Cebu to grace the occasion.