Barasoain Church ready for Visita Iglesia
by Russell Jay M. Manglicmot
The 380-year-old Barasoain Church is all-set for the expected arrival of Catholics for Holy Week’s Visita Iglesia, Parish Priest Menald Leonardo said on Tuesday.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, popularly known as Barasoain Church, annually caters more than 5000 faithfuls on Maundy Thursday, the peak of Visita Iglesia.
Visita Iglesia or “Church Visit”, is a yearly tradition of Filipino Roman Catholics of visiting seven to fourteen churched to reflect on the passion of Jesus Christ.
Leonardo said that police visibility is not a problem, because the church is covered by City of Malolos Police Station (CMPS)’s Oplan SumVac.
“Sa ngayon okay naman, kasi mayroon tayong mga g’wardya plus ‘yong coordination natin sa City Hall,” he said. (The condition is fine because we have our hired guards and we also coordinated with the City Hall.)
Oplan Sumvac is an annual project of MCP to assist tourist that will roam around the tourist spots of the City, including the Barasoain Church.
On the contrary, only two policemen are deployed in the said church, along with the stationary guards hired by church’s management.
According to SPO1 Ramon Chavez of CMPS, they cannot deploy more police in a certain spots because of the lack of personnel.
“Mayro’n naman tayong force multipliers katulad ng KIF-ACO, Bantay-bayan, Sigma Force plus the Barangay Patrol para tulungan tayo [magbantay],” Chavez justified. (We have force multipliers like ng KIF-ACO, Bantay-bayan, Sigma Force plus the Barangay Patrols to help us monitor the situation.)
Force multipliers are the non-members of MCPS that voluntarily help to maintain peace and order during the Holy Week.
As of now, no petty crimes were recorded by Malolos City Police, making the church “tourism-friendly”.
Meanwhile, Fr. Leonardo reminded the Catholics to exercise the spirit of the Holy Week every day.
“Hindi lang ito ang season para gunitain ang ang pagpapasakit, kamatayan at huling pagkabuhay ng Panginoon, isabuhay natin ang diwa nitothe whole-year-round,” he said. (It’s not just the season to remind us the sufferage, death, and the reincarnation of Jesus Christ; we should imbibe the message of this all-year-round.)