An opposition senator proposed to declare the San Roque Cathedral parish church in Caloocan City in the northern part of the national capital a “national historical site for history, freedom, and independence.”
Opposition Senator Leila de Lima said the church bore witness to centuries of the Filipino people’s triumphs and struggles.
The senator filed Senate Bill 2301, saying that hundreds of years of stories of struggle “have reverberated” within the church’s sacred chambers.
“It heard the cries of heroes for freedom, and the giggles of infants as holy waters trickle down their foreheads,” said the senator.
“Its grounds are where the hopes and dreams of Filipinos have been implanted, and from its halls their prayers have been heard,” she added.
De Lima said the San Roque Cathedral parish church “was a living witness to the bravery and heroism of the many Katipuneros in Balintawak who laid their lives and paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom we relish today.”
“When the Filipinos knew that the time has come for an uprising, when they realized that enough is enough and they could no longer tolerate and endure the tyranny of the Spaniards within whose iron fist they have been crushed, the thirst for freedom spread like wildfire,” said De Lima.
The senator said the parish church also served as one of General Antonio Luna’s staging camps in 1899 when he led the fight against American soldiers during the Filipino-American war.
“As the blood of our heroes drenched the earth, the parish stood there still listening to the prayers of the faithful,” she said.
“Amidst the Filipino-American war, the American soldiers were able to overrun Gen. Luna and his party, which caused the parish to be partially destroyed,” said De Lima.
“Eventually, the same grounds were utilized as a temporary hospital for the injured members of the invading force,” she added.