San Pedro Calungsod Shrine eyed in south Cebu town

CEBU CITY, Oct. 26 (PNA) — A shrine for San Pedro Calungsod, the Philippines’ only second saint and the first from Cebu, is being planned in the southern Cebu town of Ginatilan, some 153 kilometers from Cebu City.

Town residents believe Calungsod may have come from the town because many people in the town bear the same family name.

Ginatilan Mayor Dean Michael Singco said the San Pedro Calungsod Shrine is being planned in a 1.8-hectare lot in Barangay Kagsing, some seven kilometers from the town proper.

Singco said the lot will be donated by a private owner who is currently in the United States.

He said the road to the site is being paved while waiting for the owner to return to sign the necessary papers so they can start building the shrine.

“We feel that Calungsod was originally from our town,” Singco said.

Fr. Gerardo dela Victoria, the town’s parish priest, said they do not have funds yet for the construction of the shrine, but he believes there will be more donations to help them.

A chapel in honor of San Pedro Calungsod is also located in Kagsing, where many Calungsod families live.

Based on records kept in the Ginatilan church, at least 94 Calungsod families lived in the town from 1849 to 1925.

Several people with the same last name were also recorded in the church’s baptismal, marriage and death records from 1815 to 1842.

Calungsod was a teenager when he went to Guam together with some Spanish Jesuit missionaries to convert the Chamorros people in 1668.

Calungsod and the Spanish priest he assisted, Diego Luis de San Vitores, were believed to have been killed by natives in Guam on April 2, 1672. Their bodies were tossed into the sea and never seen again.

The Roman Catholic Church declared San Vitores a saint in October 1985.

Calungsod was canonized on Oct. 21, 2012, some 27 years after. (PNA)